The Day I Lost My Galant

It was the summer of 2004. Not a whole lot in my life was in order this summer. Finances were tight and I had made a decision that a career

We were one of 8 cars in the chain reaction wreck on  Hwy 78 in Stone Mountain

We were one of 8 cars in the chain reaction wreck on Hwy 78 in Stone Mountain

change was necessary. Therefore, I had recently submitted my resignation and on this day I had only a handful of days left of employment. This was a stressful time as I began to formulate how I would go about finding a new job.

Though it did seem like much in my life was out of control, I did have one possession that was all I wanted it to be.  In 2000 I had bought my first, and only, new car. After careful research I had purchased a new Mitsubishi Galant. It was a four-cylinder, Pearl Blue, (though I called it green), sedan. It had a CD player, cruise control, and alloy wheels. It was the first car I ever had that actually responded well when I hit the gas or turned the steering wheel. It was my pride. I went out of my way to keep that car in good working order—regular maintenance, regular cleanings and warnings to the kids each time they rode along with me. Even after having the car for several years people would mention my new car. I kept it like new. As I said, it was the one thing in my life that was in order.

On this particular day I had run an errand in Atlanta. I was traveling back on Highway 78 in Stone Mountain. As I write this story, the reversible lanes on Highway 78 are being replaced with divided lanes. The reversible lanes were confusing and a contributing factor to many accidents. So it was on this day. I did not see the lady who had stopped in the reversible lanes in front of the oncoming traffic.  The old Dodge pickup truck in the adjoining lane hit the brakes and rammed into the rear of a mini-van that slowed to avoid the inappropriately stopped car. The pickup fished-tailed into my lane. I did my best to stop, but hit the rear of the truck hard. The shiny hood of my Galant buckled before my eyes as my car came to an abrupt stop. I heard screeching and then felt a rear impact. I heard more screeching and felt another, more forceful, impact. I panicked when I heard more screeching. Thankfully, there was not another crash. When the screeching and swerving had stopped, eight cars were damaged and scattered along the road. My like-new Galant, along with two other vehicles, was totaled. I had lost my car—for good. The one thing I had that was in good working order was gone.

Anna was saife --and that was all that mattered.

Anna was safe –and that was all that mattered.

As strange as it may sound, however, I had a peace and inexplicable joy immediately—and I mean immediately. My car was gone, but it didn’t matter. The impacts had been hard, but as I looked to my right where my daughter, Anna, was sitting, I saw a frightened, but safe, little girl.  At that moment the loss of the car didn’t matter. All that mattered was that my Anna Joy was safe. I grabbed her hand and we said a quick prayer of thanksgiving, “Thank you Lord for keeping us safe.”




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