Archived Story

Wake-up call highlights blessings

Published 11:58am Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sunday morning I had a pity party.

I spent my weekend covering Oktoberfest, Candidates’ Day and various other events across our great county.

While I thoroughly enjoyed them all, working both days of the weekend and 40+ hours during the week really did a number on my ‘To Do’ list.

I didn’t finish the laundry that is overflowing from my linen closet, I didn’t grocery shop, I still haven’t decorated for fall and to top it off, my Tigers lost badly.

So Sunday, as I made the 40 minute drive from my house in Auburn back to Lake Martin, I was a little grouchy.

When I left Tallapoosa County and headed home I noticed I had a missed call from my mom.

I talk to her every single day, and she’s a much more sympathetic listener to my whining than my husband. I called her back ready to vent about my ‘problems,’ but she didn’t give me a chance to talk.

She just abruptly said, ‘Maggie’s been in an accident.’

I rushed home, packed a bag, called my incredibly understanding editor and raced to Birmingham to be with my family.

I would come to find out my 17-year-old sister wrapped her Jeep around a pole going 40 mph at approximately 9 a.m.

She was stable, but she wasn’t allowed to leave UAB.

My dad usually smiles when he describes Maggie and says, ‘she’s rougher than a night in jail.’

She’s incredibly athletic, competitive and headstrong. She’s in a million clubs and she’s going to go down as the single best Powder Puff football player in high school history.

But when I got to UAB Sunday afternoon, she just looked scared.

She was in a thin gown with wires everywhere, and she’d had every test in the hospital performed.

My sister and I haven’t had many conversations in the past six months – they’ve been more along the lines of lectures. She hasn’t been interested in my advice on who to date, what college to go to or how to finish her senior year.

But for 12 hours on Sunday, I laid next her in her twin size hospital bed and played with her hair.

Her Jeep is totaled, and she has a lot of cuts and bruises, and she hit her head really hard. But she is going to be just fine, and my family is very grateful.

It didn’t take long for me to realize Sunday that there are a lot more important things in life than whether or not my laundry is caught up.

I’m very bad about getting absorbed in things, lists and plans. I tend to be very short-sighted about what’s really important, and Sunday was a wake-up call I desperately needed.

I have wonderful co-workers, a great husband and an incredible family. I have a lot of blessings in my life and I’m going to start trying to live accordingly.

Pemberton is a staff writer for The Outlook.