Life is what happens when you’re not expecting it.

Starbug has bit the dust.

Starbug was a 1996 Mazda Protege that my family bought for $600 in 2010. It was the kids’ car — and when they weren’t using it, I did. It easily paid for itself in gas savings over my van within three years of us buying it.

The Red-Headed Menace got his driver’s license a couple of months ago, and last Friday we had the heaviest rain we had had since then. He was driving on the freeway, hit a stretch of standing water, hydroplaned, and overreacted. The car…

Rolled. Twice.

Fortunately he called me to tell me, rather than me hearing of it from CHP. In fact, he seemed calm enough that I didn’t really believe that he had actually rolled the car rather than simply slamming into a concrete barrier.

I believe now.


We went today to the yard where it had been towed to get things out of the trunk and glove compartment. Even though I knew it had been through a bad accident, I still wasn’t prepared for what I saw. The photo is misleading — it looks worse in person (and from the back).

The RHM is alive. He’s upright. He can walk. Thank God for seatbelt and airbags.

I keep trying to stop my brain from going through all the nightmare scenarios: what if he hadn’t been wearing his seatbelt, and been thrown through the windshield? What if the airbags had failed, and he had been slammed into the steering wheel? And, worst of all, what if the car had not skidded before it rolled, instead flipping over the guardrail of the overpass and dropping onto the freeway full of traffic below?

He was so lucky — all of us were. I cannot imagine life without him, and just thinking about this accident makes me sick to my stomach.

The takeaway is…

  • Tell people you love them
  • Don’t take life so seriously
  • Laugh more
  • Forgive people
  • Even people like Donald Trump
  • Use the good silver for no reason
  • Sing in the car even if the other drivers give you weird looks
  • Learn new things
  • Love what — and whom — you love without apology or regret
  • Always turn aside for the chinchilla races

And always wear your seatbelt. ALWAYS. No excuses.

As for Starbug… Thank you little car. You saved my kid’s life. We’re going to miss you.



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1 Response to Life is what happens when you’re not expecting it.

  1. Geri says:

    So grateful he is ok… That car’s safety systems did everything they were supposed to. We should write to Mazda and thank them.

    And no joke about the seat belts… My grandmother died by not wearing one 😦

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