Moms Columns & Blogs

A visit to the DMV

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A single sheet of paper, benign and innocent in appearance, heavily weighted with hidden pain…  The letters are arranged in an orderly fashion, announcing the arrival of chaos, and the end of long anticipated hopes and dreams…  

The shadow of my looming birthday forced me out of holiday hibernation and into the winding queue of the DMV.  I needed to renew my license and attend to another detail pertaining to the end of life…  That place is distressing under ordinary circumstances, but was excruciating today.  Having to say the words, ‘My son passed away in a car accident, and I need to be sure his license has been cancelled’ as I simultaneously presented a copy of his death certificate destroyed another piece of my heart…  Unfortunately one must address such things when living in an age of identity theft…  

Naturally, my choice of seat to wait in was no better than my choice of line at the grocery store.  I settled in and quickly discovered the man next to me was an enthusiastic talker.  He felt the need to chatter nonstop, especially effusive on the subject of his young daughter.  More specifically, about how he couldn’t wait for her to get her license…  I finally asked her age; my shock at his answer must have shown on my face, because he immediately launched into a detailed explanation as to why his ten-year old was thinking about driving cars.  Apparently, his family just received an insurance settlement from a car accident two years prior; his wife and daughter were t-boned and suffered life-threatening injuries.  He was pleased his child was now set up for cars and college…  

I could barely restrain myself from shaking him…  I wanted to scream, yell at the top of my lungs ‘What is wrong with you?  Why are you in such a hurry to have her grow up and drive?  Especially after having survived a horrible accident?’  I mean, I know you CANNOT live your life in fear, but honestly??!!  He kept on, blah blah blah…  Finally, it was move, ask him to shut up, or tell him Brian’s story…  I decided to talk…  

About how we made Brian wait an extra year; about how he had been driving alone for exactly three weeks when he lost his life in a car accident similar to that of his family.  About why I was there, what I still had to do with the wrinkled brown envelope clutched in my sweaty hand.  About how there was no escaping this living nightmare or burden of pain.  I ended by asking him to give his daughter an extra hug tonight…  I wish I had the courage to suggest that he slow down, take a step back, and enjoy the season of life he was in, but it took all the nerve I had to go to the DMV in the first place.  What happened to Barbie cars and bicycles?  

The DMV agent was very kind, explaining they didn’t handle that sort of thing in field offices; he then went the extra mile to confirm Brian’s license had been terminated through Raleigh so I didn’t have to do anything more about it.  I’m not certain, but I suppose because his accident was fatal, this was done automatically.  His beautiful life, reduced to the state of an ordinary statistic…  But at least it is done…  

Of course, now Grace is ready to try again for hers...

Wishing you blessings and hope…tg

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator

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