The Scary Call……

So about a month ago we got the call……. you know that scary call that every parent dreads when their child learns to drive. It went something like this……

My phone rings……. I answer to hear a frantic voice on the phone, but then sigh a little sigh of relief in the realization that it was my daughter’s voice on the other end……..

Leading up to this call, we had just finished a long day of restoration projects on the farm, and my hubby thought (to which I agreed) that it would be a special treat to let the kids (our son and daughter) ride together about 2 miles down the road to the Redbox and pick out a movie…….

About 15 minutes later the call came in……..

And, she says….more like cries with a shaky voice, “Mom, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I thought I looked……..” 

And of course, my answer is, “You don’t need to apologize, but more than that, are you and your brother okay? Is the other driver okay?” She responded that they were, but she just felt terrible. I asked where she was, and my hubby and I took off to the spot where the accident had happened.

Now, thankfully, our kids had been in the family vehicle that’s really almost an armored tank, I think, but the other driver’s car was almost obliterated. We breathed another sigh of relief and offered a prayer of thankfulness that the other driver, while very shaken and upset, was alive and unscathed as well……..

But, in all of this, I must say, that the whole process is so much different when it’s our children instead of ourselves, and so we leapt into the next process with mama and papa bear lurking just below the surface waiting to pounce if someone didn’t treat our kids well through the next set of interactions to which we knew would be the tedious undertaking of police reports, court, working through the insurance claims, etc………

BUT, despite our concerns, we have been more than pleasantly surprised and blessed.

**This is where I want to just stop and say, the rest of this article is a super huge thank you to two companies: one of which is local, and the other is a nationwide company…..

BUT BOTH treated our family as if it was their child who had been in an accident. And, for that, I owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

It is easy to find negatives everywhere we look. We see it very quickly in the news and on social media. So, I wanted to take a minute and really celebrate two companies that went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we were not just covered by the book, but that our family was cared for, looked after, and treated with respect and dignity.

The first of the two companies is:

Millennium Auto Collision Repairs in Kingsport, TN.

This is a family-owned company that did a beautiful job restoring a VERY damaged Ford Flex. They kept me in the loop the whole way. They worked with us when we couldn’t work out driving during the time my husband was away helping in the hurricane efforts. They detailed the Flex, and there is no sign that an accident ever happened. Their customer service is incredible, and they make every person feel like family. I highly, highly thank them for the care they gave us.

And, the second is our insurance company. That’s right! I literally just thanked an insurance company!!!

Erie Insurance

EVERY PERSON, EVERY STEP OF THE WAY treated our family with kindness, talked to us like real people, and interviewed our daughter with kid-gloves when needing to take her statement. The rental car was available 30 minutes after we called them (with courtesy calls before arrival from the rental agency just to welcome us and a much nicer rental than we had planned). The claims adjuster was at our home within 24 hours of the accident, and we’ve been connecting on his personal cell phone consistently throughout the process ever since. He has advocated for us, gotten to know our family, gone above and beyond in every interaction, and worked with the dealerships, the car rental places, and Millennium Collision to make sure that it all came together.

With so many rules and regulations these days, it’s very easy to look at a person as simply a rule to follow rather than a person with feelings. But both companies utilized empathy in conversations and truly, I believe, placed themselves in our shoes as parents of children who were in a very serious car accident. They listened as I shared our story. They advocated preemptively for our family in order for us to have not just the basic vehicle repairs fixed but then went above and beyond with respect, dignity, and truly making the attempt to connect with us as people who were hurting and in need of care.

In a world of reviews, these two companies deserve the highest ratings, and I wanted to offer thanks from the bottom of my heart.

I’m so thankful to the Lord for allowing our children and the other driver to stay safe. I’m thankful to Erie and Millennium for doing what they didn’t have to do: CARE.

And, as a mom who faced this challenge with trepidation, I am inspired by these two companies to treat others as they have treated us….

So, as we wonder why we should be kind….maybe we could take a lesson from a local collision repair shop, and a giant insurance company. You can influence others a great deal by simply treating them with respect. In fact, if we all treated others as these two companies treated my family, our world couldn’t help but be a little more joyful and reflect the kindness of the Lord. I know our family has been blessed, and I will forever be grateful for this experience!