I was drowning in depression. It was a clear and sunny afternoon as I drove the 125-mile stretch of interstate from a meeting in Detroit back to my office in Grand Rapids, Michigan. At 80 miles per hour, I approached a bridge overpass just west of Lansing, the state’s capital. I had decided that the pain of failing as a dad and the judgement, embarrassment, and uncomfortable silence of so many friends and family members was more than I could handle. The bridge was approaching fast, and the expansion joints in the concrete highway made a slapping sound on the tires like a rapid heartbeat. As the shadow of the bridge closed in, I was within a millisecond of ending it all when I jerked the wheel back straight and aborted the collision. Having nearly scared myself to death, I pulled over on the side of the highway. My whole body was shaking as I realized how close I had come to doing the dumbest thing ever. I immediately called my physician, who agreed to see me at once…
Isn’t it funny how oblivious we can be to some very obvious things in our lives?
For the first 28 years of my life I thought that I was invincible. I was the guy who raced my Mustang through the neighborhood, and would ride my motorcycle 100 miles per hour down the highway. I thought I was completely in control of everything. But then my wife Lynn had a miscarriage and we lost our first child. I started to question if there really was a God.
As an adolescent, my son Greg Jr. and I would frequently have conflicts and in most cases, it was always over the same issue, follow-through. It could be forgetting to cut the lawn, pick up his room, forgetting his homework etc. At some point, I convinced myself that it was plain and simple rebellion on Greg’s behalf. It seemed if I wanted something done Greg was determined that he wasn’t going to do it. I remember my temper flying with raised voice and Greg growing increasingly quiet. My confrontations were placing a big wedge in our relationship.