The saying goes “Good things come in small packages.” And they do, they really REALLY do. Anything that comes wrapped in a small square, or rectangle box makes any girl’s eyes start to twinkle.
But good things also come in extremely large packages.
At least it did for me--once.
It was the summer before my senior year. It was filled with volleyball at the beach, basking in the sun, and time making memories with friends. It was one of those summers where I didn’t have a care in the world.
One day in August, some girlfriends and I decided to get some ice cream at our local Baskin N’ Robbins and we took my younger brother with us. After filling up on too much Cookie Dough Ice Cream we went back to my house to do something, or get something…I don’t remember.
As we were leaving in my friend’s car and heading up the steep hill that we lived on I remembered that I forgot that I told my mom I would drop some clothing off at the dry cleaners that day for her. I told my friend who was driving a 5 speed stick shift that we had to go around the block because I forgot something at the house. She decided it would be quicker to just back down the hill.
Instead of putting the stick shift into Reverse, she put it into neutral. We started backing down the hill and the car started going too fast. My friend got scared, slammed her foot on the brake which caused them to lock up. We swerved (did I mention we were going backwards?) and the back tires hit the curb directly across the street from our driveway.
When the tires hit we were going at a fast enough speed that the car flipped up (we were literally sitting on our rear bumper) and started falling backwards. Thankfully there was a line of holly trees that slowed our speed some. I remember the holly branches coming in the windows of the car and immediately taking residence inside the entire cab. The roof of the car hit the holly tree, taking it out by the roots and then the car fell to the ground. By the guidance of the holly tree and goodness knows what else, the cab of the car miraculously landed into a rockery bank in our neighbors’ yard. A rockery bank that just so happened to fit the cab of the car perfectly. A rockery bank that if the car had moved an inch either way would have smashed the car and everything in it, flat as a pancake.
But it didn’t. It held the car up, which gave us a space that was only a foot high on one side for all four of us to crawl on our hands and knees over broken glass out of.
Surviving that accident was a gift. A gift that was wrapped in bent metal, broken glass, and prickly holly branches. But it was the greatest gift of my life because it allowed me to receive so many other wonderful, breathtaking, and life changing gifts ever since that summer’s day. The most important of these are:
The gift of my best friend and the love of my life, who did me the honor of becoming my husband.
The gift of the three beautiful boys we created together.
The gift of memories we create as a family each and every day.
On that fateful day I was given the gift of time.
So while I absolutely adore things that come in small neatly wrapped beautiful packages.
I have a soft place in my heart for the one package that was given to me that was wrapped in dirt, stone, twisted metal, skin cutting glass shards and prickly holly leaves.
For it gave me this, it gave me my life as I know it today, and I am forever grateful.