Wonder Woman Revisited: What We Can All Learn from My Daughter’s Car Wreck

self-care Jan 04, 2022

As Carrie in Sex And The City would say, “And just like that… My world was turned upside down.”

You see, every parent’s worst nightmare is to receive “that call.” Unfortunately, in December I was the recipient of “that call” which came from my 22-year-old daughter Samantha who was on her way to work. She was crying while telling me that she was in a car accident which was just around the corner from our house. 

I raced over to the accident site – there were fire trucks and police cars everywhere. The entire street was blocked off, leaving a pile-up of cars and school buses en route to work, home, and school. 

Samantha’s car was turned upside down and totaled. I mean totaled. 

I found my daughter in the ambulance… Seated and talking with the paramedics.

No injuries. No pain. No bruises. Nothing. Surreal. Thank God for the seatbelt and airbag. A miracle. I feel that God was watching over Samantha. 

Apparently Lynda Carter (the original Wonder Woman) once lived in my neighborhood. It’s as if my daughter Samantha is a modern-day Wonder Woman; a miracle for which I am truly grateful.

Three Key Factors That Helped Us Move Through the Accident & Heal

1. Find The Humor

When I first found Samantha in the ambulance, I was a wreck but wanted to show strength for my daughter during this crisis; I needed to be like a duck swimming smoothly on top of the water while my legs were doing otherwise underneath. 

So the first thing I did was crack a joke to break the ice…

It just so happened that the day before the accident, I discovered that we had expired car insurance cards in our glove compartment. I printed new ones and put Samantha’s on the counter for her to keep in her car, the morning of the accident. 

Upon greeting Samantha I asked, “Did you at least take the new insurance card this morning?” We laughed. Humor helped cut through the tension and trauma. 

2. Gratitude 

Cars are replaceable. Lives are not. It takes accidents like this to teach us about the importance of gratitude. I don’t believe in coincidences but I do believe in divine providence where God (or your higher power) is intervening to teach you a life lesson. 

To be most effective, I suggest that you open your mind, heart, soul and awareness in order to “receive” these lessons and to remind yourself daily to be grateful. In fact, according to a 2019 study on gratitude involving three cohorts, the cohort who received the direction to write down “five things in your life that you’re grateful for” each day, had higher well-being, happiness, positive affect, and life satisfaction scores and lower scores for depression than the neutral intervention group.

And, while I am not a religious person per se, I have become a spiritual person and proudly Jewish. Strangely, Samantha’s car accident happened just across the street from our Rabbi’s home. 

It just so happened that on the day of the accident, I had pre-arranged for our Rabbi to come over to our home to install two new mezuzahs -  a traditional Jewish doorpost decor -  - inside the entranceways of our garage and our new Zen-themed den. Inside the mezuzah is a scroll that includes the verse (Psalms 121:8), “G-d will guard your going out and your coming in,” meaning that the mezuzah also protects the persons who live in the house when they leave and go out into the world. The mezuzah acts as a constant reminder of God’s presence.  It was as if God was looking out for Samantha and providing extra protection for her and for that I am truly grateful.

3. Messages, Meaning and Moving Forward

Another ominous thing happened the following day while walking to Sabbath services: I was approaching the accident site when my fanny pack opened up and all of my personal items spilled out one by one. It may seem innocuous, but, to me, I took this as a sign from the Universe to pay attention, keep moving forward and keep my eye on what’s important.

And, just as I was looking forward, I noticed one car part that was left behind on the grass: A headlight.

It instantly reminded me of the image on the screen placed in front of Samantha’s hospital bed in the emergency room: A picture of a forest with the sun beaming. It was there to show us a path - to “see the forest from the trees.”

Samantha’s survival is the real light in my life. If she can make it out of the upside down wreck, we too can find our way out of our own traumas whether that be the pandemic, tragic personal circumstances, injury, divorce, job loss or something else.  

If we keep looking forward and focus on gratitude, we will emerge stronger and more in control over our lives forward. As the old adage says, “Keep looking forward with hope, not back with regret.”

Now that 2022 is upon us, I wish you hope, health and healing. You don’t need to be Carrie Bradshaw or Wonder Woman to know that each one of us has endured so much these past two years. However, I also know that, with the right tools in our toolkit and the correct mindset, we will emerge from this darkness with a new zeal, a grateful heart, a healthy body, and an inner light that shines brighter. 

Happy new year,

PS: NEW! Get on my COACHING WAIT LIST so you can learn how to explore new options, directions and creative space for yourself in 2022. The coaching program includes access to Byte-Size Wellness Academy (now available for personal use).

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