One of life’s biggest clichés becomes a horrific reality when Douglas Segal’s wife and daughter are randomly hit head-on by a city bus. Alternatingly harrowing, humorous, heartbreaking, and hopeful, Segal’s memoir is an intimate and honest chronicle built around the regular email updates he sent to family and friends. It is ultimately uplifting—a tribute to how love, determination, and the compassion of community all hold the power to heal.
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the last day of normal
The phone rings. I check the caller ID and don’t recognize it; I’m not going to answer. I’ve got twenty-five minutes before I have to get on a conference call with Disney, and before that, I want to rewrite a couple of lines of a television pilot I’m delivering today.
But the phone continues to ring. I wait for the answering machine to get it; however, for some godforsaken reason, it’s not picking up. I exhale, annoyed because I know the call is either going to be for Susan (she’s the only one who receives calls on the home line and she left to bring Alyce to school ten minutes ago) or it’s the latest of three hundred previous attempts to sell me something I have absolutely no interest in. Because of the persistent ringing—the answering machine has decided to malfunction and not pick up—I’m going to have to answer it.
“Hello,” I say, an edge in my voice.
The reply on the other end surprises me.
“Daddy, it’s me.” It’s Alyce, my twelve-year-old daughter, her sweet yet scared voice on the other end. But why is she calling from this strange number, and worse, why is she crying and why does she sound so frightened? “Mommy was just in a car accident.”
My heart stops...and then immediately begins pounding.
“Are you all right?”
Another deep sob.
“I don’t know…I don’t think so. Come quick.”
We’re all familiar with the saying, “There but for the grace of God go I.” On this particular October morning, that grace was gone…and it was I.
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Maecenas vehicula tortor!
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Take a break from the hustle and bustle.
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