A few years ago my wife and I decided to drive down to southern California for Thanksgiving from Portland, Oregon. What made this particular trip interesting is that we brought along our German Shepherd, our cat, and my wife was 8 months pregnant with our son…all in a Honda Civic. Knowing we would be tight on space, I went ahead and purchased a vinyl roof top carrier.
On our trip home, somewhere a little north of Sacramento at about 10 p.m. on a lonely stretch of highway, I heard what can only be described as four “whoosh” sounds. I watched as one by one the latches of the rooftop carrier were torn from our doors. I looked in my rearview mirror only to see our carrier tumbling behind us, followed by a tailgating semi running over our belongings. I quickly pulled to the side of the highway in a panic. I jumped from the car and stood on the side of the road, standing in shock as car after car, truck after truck, ran over and completely obliterated our stuff.
Clothes were flying through the wind, duffle bags were burst to shreds, cologne bottles were broken into a million pieces, but what stood out was the sound of breaking glass. At first I thought it was the sound of our things hitting car headlights or windshields, but I soon realized it was actually the sound of my laptop computer being crushed into bits. I spent the next thirty minutes running out between traffic trying like a bad game of Frogger to grab as much as I could. My mom had given me a portfolio of some artwork I had done in college that was, along with everything else, in shreds. However, one particular drawing I had done of my wife and me lay spotless on the ground.
As I picked up the portrait I had done of my wife and me, I quickly thought to myself, “What am I so upset about? No one was hurt, there were no accidents, and all of these things can be replaced.” And the simple truth was that they were all just “things”, belongings that could have just as easily been taken from us as they were acquired.
We were fortunate that our insurance ended up covering everything, but I encourage you to reflect on all of the things in your life you are thankful for. Not the “things”, but the relationships, family, and health. Be safe out there this summer, don’t go on the cheap and buy a flimsy roof top carrier, and enjoy the many blessings you have.
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