The Only Gift That Matters

Dear friends,

My son and I were making dinner in the kitchen a few nights ago when I got the call that no parent ever wants to receive:  My daughter had been in a car accident on the highway during evening rush hour.

An accident instantly halts all the world’s noise.

Everything else falls away with crystallizing focus to the singular, life-and-death question:  Is she okay?

And thankfully, joyfully, gratefully, my Gracie is fine. She didn’t get hurt at all, and the driver of the truck she hit was okay, too.

Gracie’s little green Toyota Corolla that motored her so reliably through Denver city streets and back and forth to college, however, is totaled.



So. Now we are dealing with insurance deductibles and rental cars and claims and paperwork and unplanned expenses at Christmas time. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. And if everything on my holiday To Do list doesn’t get done or bought this year, it doesn’t matter.

We have lost two loved ones to car accidents, and I am acutely aware of how vulnerable we are and how easily a few more inches, a couple of seconds, a different angle, or a little more velocity can, in an instant, bring forth an outcome too painful to imagine.

I wish it didn’t take an accident to remind me of the truth I know, but sometimes I forget.


Catnap at Happy Simple Living


Every day we have together is a gift.

In these coming days filled with holiday preparations and busy-ness, I wish for you the gift of simple, happy moments with your loved ones.


The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

14 thoughts on “The Only Gift That Matters”

  1. Any accident that everyone walks away from is “not serious.” Happy that this was the case. You all have something special to be grateful for this holiday season.

  2. You are so right, Claire. A friend once told me “Any problem that can be solved with money isn’t really a problem,” an adage that certainly feels true this year. Thanks for stopping by, and happy holidays!

  3. Oh my gosh, Eliza! It all becomes crystal clear at moments like these, doesn’t it. I am so thankful your daughter is fine. Love the photo of the two together under the Xmas tree–that says it all!

  4. Thank you, Rosemary! You’re right, these tough things we go through make us more aware of what’s important. Wishing you all the best this holiday season, too!

  5. So glad that Gracie wasn’t hurt in the car accident.
    Her car doesn’t look very good. It could have been so
    much worse. Thank you God for keeping our Gracie girl
    safe from harm. May we always remember what is important in our lives.

  6. How scary – and happy to hear that she is fine. I’ve gotten those kinds of calls from kids and I know how terrifying it is! Happy holidays to you all.

  7. I’m very glad she is alright! I once rear-ended an old man, but he was alright…it just scared me when I saw him struggling to get out of the car…

  8. This is my first comment on your blog, but I’m not a new reader. I was glad to just come across of this post. Thanks for the reminder of what really matters. I’ve added you to my blogroll on my new (and experimental) blog,

    Thanks again for the wake-up call with this post!


Leave a Comment