Waton: "Trees hit cars only in self defense."
And, as usual, you've made me think, and what I've thought of is a story from a few years ago when, in actuality, was the last time I've gone 120 mph.
My husband was driving, yet I approved, and we had two teenagers in the back of the car, my son and his girlfriend.
We had planned to go on a nice kayaking expedition. The sky was brilliant blue and the sun was bright.
My husband got a frantic call from this young girl's father. The grandfather, who lived with the family, had suddenly felt ill and had chest pains out in the acreage that they rented as hunting property. He called the son, presciently, who told him to hang up and call 911 immediately. The grandfather was taken to a hospital local to the farm but about 25 miles from our location.
The father called us and begged us to get the girl to the hospital to hopefully see him one last time if he didn't make it. He also asked us not to tell her the reason why so she didn't fall apart without her family there to support her.
So, we said we would. It was a matter of life and death. So, we sped off down the highway and on back farm lanes as fast as we could without flying off the road. The speedometer was surely over 110 mph and more. It was a new car with All Wheel Drive and excellent brakes. The adrenaline kept us alert and reflexes as sharp as could be. We got there in record time.
We risked additional lives in the process. It's hard to admit, but seeing someone for the last time, or rather, not seeing them was a terrible risk, too. We felt we had to try.
Her family met us at the door, and, yes, he had had a massive heart attack, got medical care in the ambulance, but, ultimately they were unable to resuscitate him. It was a widowmaker they said. Not survivable. So, we had delivered the poor girl to the hospital and it was too late. She did hear the news from her family, she did get to see him and say goodbye physically, though he was already gone. At only 69. He had just retired the previous year and bought a large family home for the 3 generations to live in. A tragedy.
My dilemma was not with the speeding this time, though. It was that I had to lie to the poor girl. Lying doesn't sit well with me. It's a really shitty thing to do to kids, in particular. I debated with myself at the request to not tell her about her grandfather's illness. I am good, in general, in emergencies, and at making executive decisions. I considered her possible reaction to the news and, ultimately, agreed with her father that the girl would need her family to process the outcome, no matter what it might be. I weighed that against her possibly resenting me for lying to her, and accepted that as a risk I must take.
So, I lied. I told fantastical stories about the kayaks being unseaworthy, that a friend had called and needed help right away and it was an emergency, etc, etc. I don't even remember all the lying I did. Still lying as we pulled up to the hospital. I lied her right into her family's arms. And then I wept with them. For the terribleness of it all.
Later on, I told my son that I felt so awful for the lying and asked him to tell his girlfriend so. A day or so later he reported to me that the girl was not angry and thought I had done the right thing. I felt better, but would not have been angry if she had been angry with me. I did lie, and lie, and lie some more to her, and right to her face. It felt so terrible and slimy, yet I did it because it was the lesser of two evils.
My son and she are still together and I think she is a wonderful person.
I'm sorry for the sad bedtime story, and all from a fun post, of which we need more.