I've learned a lot from my parents. One very important tidbit that my Momma taught me is that it is often beneficial to start a story with "Everything/Everyone is fine, but...". Taking away the tension of wondering whether anyone is hurt, significant damage is done, etc, eases the blow a bit. Unfortunately I got to practice that line a couple of times last month.
Everyone is fine, but...
We were in a wreck.
The kids and I were on our way back from across town, in stop-and-go rush hour traffic when the cars in front of us stopped suddenly. The car in front of me came to a stop, I came to a stop...unfortunately the person behind us did not. And hit us hard enough to push us into the truck in front of us. It really wasn't that bad, the only reason there was serious damage to the front of my minivan is because the truck in front of me was adorned with a rather large trailer hitch decoration that lodged itself into my front bumper...and pulled the whole bumper off. Sounds bad, but really, we were smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest interstates in our city at 5pm. This could have been so much worse.