On the long dark stretch of Interstate 55 north bound just a few miles south of Brookhaven, Mississippi, my children and I have a lot to be thankful for.
I had debated on whether or not I would go home to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my family in Mississippi. As badly as I’ve wanted to see my granny, aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins (so did the kids) I was dreading the long and tiresome, seven and a half hour drive.
After a last minute decision to bite the bullet and make the trek, I thought briefly to rent a car instead of driving my own. I decided against a rental considering my November budget was a complete bust, and I didn’t really have the energy to go and pick up the car. Being that I wanted to leave Wednesday evening so that I would be there for in time for Thanksgiving dinner, all I wanted to do was get home and get some rest.
Excitement rose as we drew closer to the end of our road trip crossing the state line from Louisiana into Mississippi. We stopped at the Welcome Center rest stop for a quick restroom break. As we reentered the highway, the car began to shake abnormally and drift hard to the left. I wasn’t certain what was going on but I was sure it was not good. I disengaged the cruise control and slowed down. Just as I did, the car swerved uncontrollably to the left as I was driving in the right lane. I gingerly pressed the brake as I attempted to regain control of the car and pull into the median. I was shaking and my heart was racing from the sudden rush of adrenaline.
On this Thanksgiving morning at 2:50 am my children and I were thankful to be the only car on the road.
In having to pull over to the side of the road, we were thankful there were very few cars passing through, reducing the risk of being hit while we waited for assistance.
I was thankful this happened here on this empty stretch of highway instead of on the busy lanes of my 610 loop work commute where most of my driving takes place.
I am thankful for my wise and loving eldest aunt. She kept things calm and gave wonderful advice. She offered to come to our rescue and stayed on the phone with me until someone did, which was nearly two and half hours.
Finally, my children and I were thankful for the Mississippi State Hwy Patrol. It is here that an officer, whose name escaped me during all the excitement, came to our aid at mile marker 25 of Interstate Highway 55 North bound where my children and I had been stranded for more than 90 minutes.
He pulled up behind my vehicle with flashing lights, walked up to our window, announced himself and kindly asked, “How are those babies?” He then changed our ruined tire and got us back on the road to complete our journey home.
This Thanksgiving we are thankful for grace, thankful for kindness, and thankful for our lives as things could have taken a more tragic ending. We are thankful we were able to spend Thanksgiving surrounded by the love of our family regardless of what we had to go through to be there.
What are you thankful for?