It was twenty-five years ago this morning that a routine drive to work on a rainy Monday morning ended up with a totaled car and physical injuries, resulting from a head-on crash with a pick-up truck on a major highway.
While the whole story of that life-defining event needs an entire book to do it justice, suffice it in this short post to say that the accident was the best-worst thing that ever happened to me.
Because it was the best thing for me as a whole person, far exceeding the “worst” physical repercussions, I’m glad I resisted the temptation I felt when I awoke that day to stay home with my family.
Within days after the accident, when the impact of the potential fatality fully weighed in on my aching brain and body, I reflected on the two most important unfulfilled life’s desires I would have missed if my life had ended on that highway.
First, I always took for granted that I would grow old, retire, and then have the privilege of attending daily Mass. (Why I thought daily Mass and being employed were mutually exclusive, I have no idea! I just know I always wanted to be able to go to daily Mass…when I retired.)
Second, I always dreamed of being a picture book author, which I thought and hoped could happen at any moment, full-time employment being no impediment.
Concerning my first desire, the accident actually “drove” me (no pun intended) into going to daily Mass, so that by God’s Grace, I learned I did not have to wait for retirement—God fulfilled that heart’s desire while I still was working.
In fact, attending Mass and meeting fellow believers in various cities throughout this land in conjunction with the traveling I did the next fourteen years while working in publishing, was one of my life’s greatest joys and blessings for which I am eternally grateful.
Concerning, the second desire, still no dice. Despite various authorships and publications, as well as a dozen personal, encouraging rejections—no picture book (yet).
So now, it occurs to me. If God granted me one heart’s desire 25 years ahead of time, while I still was working, perhaps He will grace me with a picture book now that I am retired. Like an expectations reversal!
A priest once told me that I needed a “godfather” to get published. I told him I had a “God Father,” and if it were His Will to open publishing doors for me, He would.
Used to be that I dreaded dying without fulfilling the picture book dream—now, in retirement, I am happy to be writing each day—picture book or not.
Since God gave me the heart’s desire to be a writer, I hope I write for His glory. And if I ever seem to violate that intention, I hope someone will kindly tell me!
Have you had any “dreams deferred” to allude to the poem by Langston Hughes? What has happened to them?