Monday, March 7, 2016
Cars and Death
First, to quote Missy Elliott: ♪ beep beep, who's got the keys to the Jeep? Vrooooom... ♪ I got my car back on Friday evening. Hooray! I want to thank everyone who donated to the GoFundMe fundraiser Alli set up for me in October. It (and donations we got offline) helped pay for almost all of the expenses to get my car running again. It's not 100%, obviously. We had some major communication issues with the mechanic and the car looks good for how bad it was after the accident. There are a few things that can be overlooked. First. he didn't paint it as we assumed he would so some of the paint is peeling in the back. Also, the car is making a noise, the alarm and the electrical stuff isn't working properly (which my next-door neighbor offered to try to fix for me; the alarm at least) nor is the driver's side signal light working (which I'm going to fix by myself). It's a new type of headache but a lot of it is stuff won't make a huge impact on the driving so we're okay.
I think having a car with peeling paint and not working 100% is good for me because I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I need to let go of not having things be "perfect" as well as learning to not stress over things that aren't really important. The sound the car is making is apparently nothing to be worried about, it's just annoying as heck. I'm going to see if someone can help with that because the sound bugs me. I don't like calling attention to myself and that noise is certainly loud enough that people notice. I already reached out to the mechanic about getting it properly fixed but that's apparently not going to happen. He's ignoring my calls again and so we're going to look elsewhere.
The important thing is that I have my car back, it works, and I only had about 15 seconds of anxiety when I first started driving. I think a lot of people will be surprised to hear that I'm driving as if I didn't have an accident. Yes, I was a little jumpy yesterday because I'm not used to the craziness of L.A. drivers after nearly 5 months of not driving but I'll get used to that so it's all good. :D
On Friday, before we got our car back, we (Mom and I) went to the optometrist to get new glasses for both of us. What we weren't prepared for was the news that awaited us. We were expecting to see our optometrist / family friend but we found out she was killed in a car accident by someone who ran the red light in July of last year. It sounded a lot like my accident except I was lucky to escape with a couple of bumps and bruises.
Dr. Julie Kang-Kim (that was her name) was one of those salt of the earth kind of people. She was so lovely and supportive after my dad died. She was there for both Mom and I. One of her employees even went to the burial the day of his funeral; it's like a family. They've watched me literally grow up over the years since I've been going there since I was like 7 years old. It was a beautiful friendship with her, not just business. We went to lunch with her and we caught up on our lives when we saw each other. She was such a lovely, gentle, and caring person so hearing about her death was a huge blow for us. Mom cried but I held it in because of my eye exam. I know I sent out an Instagram post about it but if you could please say a prayer for her soul and her loved ones, I'd be so grateful.
I think the news of her accident before I received my car back as well as what I went through has made Mom (and big bro) a little nervous about me driving. It's understandable. Last year was a bit crazy in terms of accidents and bad things happening but I think we have to look at those things as lessons. As I told my mom, I think it was good for me because the accident made me slow down and learn to take better care of myself. It also made us more grateful for what we have. We also grew closer to God, which is always a blessing.
It seems oddly appropriate that we're going through this now, during Lent, because it reminds us about how death is a part of life. It's not a topic that one loves to think about (and, to be honest, death does scare me) but it's a chance to remind ourselves about how death is not the end. If one wants to spend eternity in Heaven, one must strive to live a holy life. It's not easy and we all slip from time to time but Lent reminds us of God's infinite mercy. Yesterday's Gospel reminded us of that: we may fail and come back repentant but God will always welcome back with open arms. Going to confession and receiving the Eucharist frequently can help us get a little closer to our goal of getting into Heaven. We never know when our time on this earth is up for it's important to keep working towards a holy life.
Anyway, sorry to end this on such a downer (with hope!) but we've been getting thunderstorms today and they're supposed to start again in a couple of minutes (according to the Weather Channel app) so I'm going to end this blog here. Also, the other topic I want to write about is longer than this update and I don't want to write a book just yet. ;)
I hope y'all have been doing well and are having a great start of week!
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D