Crashing My Parents’ Mercedes Benz Convertible Changed My Perspective (in 3 Words)

It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon on May 7, 2008… ☀

My high school baseball team had just finished a great baseball practice as we were preparing for the upcoming playoffs. ⚾

A teammate and good friend, David, had asked for a ride home after practice.. 

A new road had just opened up a different route than usual to David’s house, so we decided to check it out.

I knew we weren’t far but wasn’t exactly sure where the next turn would be.

At the last second, we saw the street we were supposed to turn on and David said, “Turn left here!”

As a 17-year old (still thinking I was nearly invincible), I pump the brakes and yank the wheel to the left…

As we start to turn, the tires start sliding across a patch of gravel in the middle of the intersection…

Boom! 💥 We slide right into the curb and bounce right over it…

In shock at the time, I did not hit the brakes.

I thought the car would stop.

It didn’t.

BOOM! 💥 The front of my parents’ new Mercedes Benz convertible (that they, for some reason, were letting me drive) drills a brand new concrete pillar at the entrance to this subdivision.

(This isn’t the actual pic, but pretty accurate.)

With the hood smashed up into the windshield, smoke coming out of the engine, oil pan ripped off the bottom of the car, David and I stop and look at each other… shocked by what had just happened and unsure what to do next.

(Missed the airbags going off by a ½ inch.)

I open the door, get out of the car, hands on my head, folded over…..

Kicking myself for not just going through the intersection and turning around, I look up and see several families from nearby homes looking to see if we were ok.

I could hear sirens in the distance, quickly approaching… 🚨 

(In hindsight, I realize these bystanders were concerned we might have been hurt in the way that I was bent over…)

3 police cars and 2 ambulances arrive on the scene. 🚓🚓🚓🚑🚑

My high school driving record wasn’t great, but this capped it all off.

Scared to death, I dial up my parents… ☎

Mom answers.

“Mom, you’re never going to let me drive again.”

“What happened? Are you ok?!”

“Yes, I’m fine… but the car isn’t.”

“Where are you at? It’s just stuff. As long as you’re ok!”

Although not thrilled at all with the situation, my Mom suddenly turned what was seemingly a catastrophic moment for me into a perspective changing moment I’ll never forget. 🙏

It’s just stuff.

We can always get the car fixed (or get another one).

People are what really matter.

Life is the most precious thing we have.

No material possession comes close, or even belongs in the same conversation.

I’ve found myself countless times since this incident, when something breaks or doesn’t work correctly (or even when wanting to buy some new gizmo), replaying my Mom’s words in my head… “It’s just stuff.”

True fulfillment will be hard to find if your identity is tied to material possessions of this world. None of it is coming with us when we die.

This was one of many examples of how my Mom has influenced my perspective on what’s truly important in life.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the supportive, loving Moms out there (especially mine!) who dedicate so much time and energy to raising their children! 💝

P.S. Shouldn’t every day be Mother’s Day? 🤔