Isn’t it funny in the most macabre way how we inspect our failures after they shine in the worst times? Each motion of the sea serves to draw beasts from the depths closer to the shore, but when they emerge it will be too late, won’t it?
The brakes in my truck have been failing for a while, and I knew I needed to get them changed. A little over a week ago I made plans with my father to change them that Friday and make sure my truck was running properly. When the day came for me to replace the brake pads, I woke up early to help pops with a class at our church and my girlfriend needed the truck that afternoon to run some errands for her new job. I was exhausted, not having gotten any sleep and getting called in to work that night myself, I asked to reschedule. It was no problem for dad, he let me reschedule, knowing I’d be around to fix them as soon as I had the availability to.
I went home and went about my day, returning from work as my girlfriend took the truck and headed to her graveyard shift. I was sitting quietly at home when she called me and told me that the brakes failed, and she needed a ride.
A sudden wave of realization washed over me as I realized what had actually happened.
Have you ever watched something occur, and it took a few moments before your brain processed the event? Something catastrophic like a train wreck or a hurricane making landfall? It was in the scale of that for me, because I am a bit of a drama queen naturally.
Still, the realization struck that if the scene had been just slightly different, if there had been lots of traffic, if she didn’t know about the emergency brake, if she was on the freeway, there was a real chance that I would have lost my girlfriend that night.
It was all due to my negligence.
I’ve often wondered how a parent can allow something to happen to their children in the same way, there have been a handful of national cases involving negligence over the past few years, children passing away untimely in the event that their parents weren’t paying attention to them or something that they were doing.
I’ve chastised that concept for years.
“How could you be so careless to not take care of the things your loved ones will be doing?”
“How could you not make sure everything was safe before you let your kid play around out there?”
“What were you doing that you weren’t looking towards them and caring for them?”
Albeit, she isn’t my child, but the comparison still rings true.
I could have fixed the brakes that day, really. I could’ve called my mom to give her a ride. I could have sucked up my exhaustion and done what needed to be done, as a boyfriend should.
However, I didn’t, and I thank God that my laziness and negligence didn’t turn into a waking nightmare for me.
Don’t get me wrong, the probability of something worse actually happening was slim, but it wasn’t nonexistent. Which is what I would rather in all scenarios. The fact that it could have been done in two hours or less is the kicker. I had plenty of time. Hell, I could have fixed the brakes and still napped before work, but I made the argument to myself that I had too much that needed to be done, it was more important for me to get work done and get my girl to the bank. When in reality, I ended up staying up late that night panicked because I could have accidentally murdered my girlfriend due to nothing more than laziness, or negligence.
I think I see the side of the negligent more clearly after this.
No that it is an excuse, but I can see how it happens.
When your own life and needs come before others, bad things can happen. I’ve nearly lived it, and I don’t want to live through it again. I hated the thought of something happening because I was more concerned with my exhaustion, and my own needs than I was taking care of the vehicle we both share.
The point is, I am not the most important person in my life anymore, and I would do well to remember than when important things arise.
If you haven’t seen it yet, I released the first vlog on my writing YouTube channel this tuesday! If you’ve ever considered writing or had the idea that you could make a story, this will definitely be a channel you’ll want to see.