It was a migraine so bad I had to call out of work. The kind that a nap, a cup of coffee, Excedrin, and a dark room couldn’t even cure. Defeated, I decided to try some fresh air and went to go for a walk with Kota. As we stepped out the front door, I winced in pain. Of course, a beautiful bright summer day. It was comically excruciating. Then my phone rings, it was my mom. Phone calls and migraines don’t typically go hand in hand, but a phone call with my mom usually fixes everything. So I picked up.
We talked about regular chit chat like usual. Then in passing, politics briefly came up. It’s important to note, tensions were high at this time. It was the start of Summer 2020 when there was unprecedented political unrest, protests and riots, and everyone was at each other’s throats. My head was pounding and I was in no mood to have even light political conversation. So, naturally I got irritated and caught an attitude. One thing led to another and I just hung up on my mom.
My initial thoughts about the whole thing were, how could she bring up something so sensitive when I wasn’t feeling good? After hanging up, my mom tried to call and clear things up, but I ignored the call. For the rest of my life, that decision will make me sick.
All the time I see this in people, most especially in myself, that we’re so quick to think how dare someone when we become uncomfortable. We can be so disillusioned about the respect we think we deserve that we let our selfishness stand in the way of precious relationships. Well let me tell you something, what happened after this shook me to my core humbling me like you won’t believe.
Let it be known I’m not proud of this story, but with the current state of the world right now, there’s so much hotheadedness going on. Too many families and relationships strained. If I can share this before you make a similar mistake then it’s worth putting it all out there. Anyway, moving along…
Four days after the phone call drama, I still hadn’t talked to my mom. Yikes. We typically text every day, but stubbornness took over on both sides. It was emotionally weighing on me, but I didn’t fight my ego for the driver seat. I just let him drive as I ignored my feelings, figuring in time it would blow over. It always does, right?
It was a Friday afternoon around 3:00 p.m., I remember it like it was yesterday. I was working from my dining room table when a loud boom echoed through our home from outside. Louder than a gunshot. Different from a firecracker. I ran to my front door to find all our neighbors frantically heading down the block toward the culprit of the sound. I hurried behind them.
In a cloud of smoke, an SUV and a little sports car were entangled in the middle of our intersection. The drivers appeared safe, although they were screaming and shouting at each other trying to place the blame on one another. In hindsight, it was more than just a metaphor. Neighbors whispered back and forth about what they saw and how they couldn’t believe the sound the accident made. Amidst all of the commotion though, I could barely say a word.
My eyes latched to the scene of the accident as I became wildly unsettled. It was the most memorable feeling I’ve ever experienced as my gut, in desperation, pleaded, “Text your mom you love her.” It was a calling so clear it sent chills up my spine. It was as if I physically heard something demand with urgency to me, “Text your mom you love her. Do it now.” I soon learned it was my intuition begging my stubborn ego to pull the hell over.
I didn’t follow the instruction, I didn’t answer the call, I did not text my mom I love her. I blatantly ignored my intuition like I’ve never done in my life and it almost cost me everything. I smugly brushed it off in that moment like it was nothing. No, I thought, I refuse to text my mom.
To validate my smugness, I reminded myself that a few weeks prior I was in my own car accident, a hit and run. My emotions must’ve gone haywire seeing that accident at the bottom of my street because I was still shaken up from my own. I vividly remember thinking to myself, what’re the chances my mom would get in an accident, too?
Wouldn’t you know that same day, my family’s lives were completely turned upside down.
A few hours later Brett gets a phone call. It was one of my sisters. Confused, I looked at my phone to find I had a missed call from her. It was a Friday night and she was down the shore with my family. There was no good reason she’d have to call me and Brett. Without thinking, I tore the phone out of Brett’s hands, already half-knowing I was about to hear one of my worst fears. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach, “Jack, what happened?”
Her voice was almost unrecognizable, almost trance-like as she said, “Kate we were in an accident.” The biggest blow to my heart. “Me, Mommy, Aunt Linda, Uncle Bill. We were on our way to dinner. The car flipped over. It flipped over twice.” My heart crumbled into pieces. No, no, no way in hell this can’t be happening. “Mommy’ alive. I don’t know where she is. She was taken in an ambulance. But she’s alive. Uncle Bill is alive. Aunt Linda, too. Everyone’s alive.” As if I had been held under water for far too long, I let out this biggest gasp of air. I fumbled for my phone and texted my mom, “I love you” and headed straight down the shore for them.
It’s not lost on me that my family was granted a miracle that night. It also goes without saying I was taught some valuable lessons. No opinion or argument could ever outweigh the love I have for my family, we will always drop everything for one another. So my actions should speak to that, even amidst arguments. We can’t always avoid conflict, but we can control how and when to mend the damages.
We’re always told listen to our guts and go with our intuition. What we aren’t told enough is how dire it is that we listen to those callings despite our anger, frustration, humiliation, hurt or whatever the hell it is we’re so hung up on. Pick up the phone before it’s too late. The consequences of allowing your ego to sit in the driver seat are incredibly unimaginable. You never think it’ll be you, but is the risk worth the pride? Take no chances when it comes to the ones you love. If your intuition is trying to steer you to do the right thing, well that’s the best kind of backseat driving there is, don’t take that for granted.
Today, I hope you can text someone to let them know you love them.