Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Close Call!

Earlier tonight I headed over to another town about a half hour away to pick son up from work.

It had been unmercifully hot and humid today but now for the drive over it was a balmy summer night. Windows down. Music turned up. My hair whipping around in the wind. It felt like I was flying low because there were hardly any cars on the road to slow me down.

I LOVE that free feeling!

It even smelled like summer. Oddly at a few different points on my drive over it seemed that I could smell fresh corn - the sweet smell of husked fresh corn, except that it its too early for a corn crop to be harvested. Maybe it was just the sweet smell of some rich farm dirt or a balmy June summer night.

I picked son up. Inquired about his night at work. Then he put his iPod headphones on to listen to his newly downloaded songs. I put my music back up. Sometimes we share each other's music. Sometimes we do our own thing.

The drive back - uneventful but equally enjoyable as the drive over.

About a third of the way home a truck seemed to come out of nowhere, practically driving on my tail- too close behind me and the lights were shining right into my eyes. I felt as though I couldn't get away from them.

It hindered my vision. Darn Truck! I quickly tried maneuvering the power outside mirrors to reflect the light away from my face and in so doing, because I was slightly distracted - I slowed down a bit.

After checking the position of the outside mirrors I switched my gaze to the road in front of me. A car was passing another car and had crossed the double line on a curve in the road! We were just coming around that bend! I processed this in a couple of seconds but had no time to react. It was that fast.

The other driver maneuvered back in front of the car he was passing - barely missing them and us! It was like we were all on top of each other. We should have been and I don't see how we all didn't collide.

But we didn't! Thank God we didn't!

I looked over at son. He looked at me - his eyes wide. I'm sure my eyes were just as wide. I shouted over the music, "Did you see THAT?" to which he nodded yes and then I said "Wow! Thank you God!".

I know it was seconds but it was surreal and when this all happened I didn't even hear the loud music playing. There was no time to brake. No time to scream. The other cars were RIGHT THERE!

The other driver? IDIOT! (I thought that after I calmed down.)

That DARN truck? I'm so glad he did what he did! If I hadn't been distracted and slowed down those few seconds by his lights - I DO think we would have had a head on collision that probably would've involved all 3 vehicles and come to think of it the truck that was following close behind me.

Have you ever had close calls that seemed to defy all odds that you would remain safe and yet you did? I have. Ever wonder how many near misses we have that we don't know about? Maybe someday God will lift that veil and we will be in awe of how many times we were protected or rescued.

I do believe that we all have a guardian angel and that there are angels who are God's messengers that work on our behalf.

I don't pretend to understand why some people die when it seems they shouldn't have, why the sad things happen - but they do. God doesn't love them any less. Maybe their life's work here is done? Maybe they are spared something worse?

I am just so grateful that my son and I and the other people are alright.

Also, my referring to the other driver as an IDIOT is the pot calling the kettle black.

I totaled a car once - a brand new 1972 Mach I - that wasn't mine. We weren't belted, all three of us hit the windows but we stayed in the car and I really do believe angels must've been holding us in. I'll post on it another time.

While driving home, I couldn't help but to think of what could've happened and I wondered if I had died tonight - would I have been ready to meet God? Was my son? I quietly pondered these things until an odd thing happened as we rounded a corner by a traffic light in the last town before almost arriving home.

I could smell popcorn! What is it with me and corn tonight? Seriously, is corn symbolic of anything? :)

And to our Heavenly Father I say -Thank you - thank you very much! :)


Sisyphus said...

Thank goodness you are all alright and here to tell the tale, SeaSpray. It kind of shakes you up doesn't it? I have had plenty of near misses in my time.....the plane I didn't catch because I was late was the PanAm Lockerbie one I had a seat booked on all those years ago; the decision to bunk off my medical school classes early which meant I did not get caught in the Kings Cross underground fire; the forgetting of a notebook to necessitate returning home thus avoiding a fatal pile up on the road out of my village...there are many that I think about but the first two are the most dramatic, particularly the Lockerbie one.

peggy said...

yikes. be careful driving that route at night. when I used to do it i had several close calls. glad you guys are ok!

but you're right, it feels so nice driving that way at night with the music up and the air blowing around.

Chrysalis Angel said...

Really, Seaspray, I was trying to enjoy the old movie the Rookie with a huge bowl of popcorn!..can't take my eyes off of you for a moment. ;)

(you know I'm kidding) You had my heart skipping a beat reading this. I am so glad you and your son and all are okay. Those are the moments you know you were protected.

SeaSpray said...

Hi Sis, Peggy and Angel - I will come back to comment - just have to get going now. :)

patientanonymous said...

Hi SeaSpray, the closest call I can think of immediately was really bizarre and yes could have been completely catastrophic for both myself, the other driver and who knows how many more.

It's also kind of sad...

When my maternal grandfather died, after the funeral my grandmother (aka Nana) did not want to be alone so I decided to stay over. I barely got any sleep as all I could hear was her crying all night in the next room. I didn't know what to do--she was my Nana! It wasn't like I could crawl into bed with her and give her a hug! Well, maybe I could have but it would have just felt so awkward...I was what(?) 20, 21 at the time and you have to understand that my family is not close.

Apologies, I am writing a post in your comment section but you need to know, I suppose, that I was terribly sleep deprived and why?

Or maybe not why but I'll tell you anyway for the sheer drama factor--the whole mess of it all probably contributed to my exhaustion as well, not just the lack of sleep.

So the next day, I get ready to leave after staying for breakfast, lunch whatever to sort of stay with her for bit...my university classes had not yet started for the fall.

I left, got in my car and hit the highway. The warm afternoon sun started to beat down on me and...you can see where this is going...

I started to feel myself nod off after getting no sleep and so I turned up my music opened the window for air. It didn't matter. I fell asleep. I started to drift across my lane, into another and I just, oh so gently, touched another car and then completely in slow motion drifted back into my own lane.

Actually, it was all in slow motion! It was like a dream! So bizarre and no--your life doesn't flash before your eyes! But wow, was I jolted awake!

Because it was such a large highway it surely could have caused absolute mayhem and well...again, who knows what could have happened to me or any of the other drivers.

It might not have been pretty, however, as the minimum speed limit is 100km/hr on those sizes of highways over here (I just did a conversion so that's a little over 60 miles?) Anyway, hardly anybody follows that?! When PA last had a car she'd zip along at 130-140kms and the majority of the time that would just be keeping up with traffic!

Okay, sorry, rather long but I'm trying to keep my mind off Gandhi on TV--and not crying (my post tonight haha.) It always makes me bawl my face off *sniff* "sniff*

SeaSpray said...

Hi Sis - Thanks Sis and thank God YOU are alright! Boy that sure is a lot of close calls. The kind of thing that makes you wonder. Yes it does shake you up.

I remember the Lockerbie flight going down because of terrorists. Wasn't it a bomb on board? Yikes Sis! Those other things too - HAVE you ever wondered why you were spared?

I remember hearing about the stories of people who normally would have been at the World Trade Center on 911 but for various reasons they were late or no shows and as a result their lives were spared.

The one story that stands out to me is the one where the boss/CEO (don't remember) of a corporation lost all 700 people working that day. He would have died too except he had to go to his child's preschool for some reason and it was either for the first time or it was unusual that he would have to. How awful he must've felt to know that everyone died and he was the only survivor. Talk about survivor's guilt! I would really be pondering that one.

Also, I have heard stories where people have a 6th sense telling them not to board the plane or whatever. Some people have felt nudged by God not to do something or to do it and it takes them in a different direction and spares them OR they come upon someone who needs help.

I do think things and events happen for a reason and we don't always know why but sometimes understand when we look back. And then their are things that we will never understand on this side of life.

We all say Thank God he rescued us or something to that effect and I wonder if that hurts people to hear that God helped someone else but didn't spare their loved one from a tragedy? God loves them too! These things do happen but I believe that when we are rescued that he has a higher plan for us still to be fulfilled.

I think God also uses his messengers - angels to help protect us. I think we would be amazed if we knew.

Thanks for sharing Sis. :)

Thanks Peggy - I know it is so windy! But Gee! Crossing over a double line on a bend to pass a moving car? I won't even do it to pass those tractors cutting grass - not on a curve anyway.

I am afraid to pass any cars. I always have in the back of my mind a guy I knew from the shore who was back on his way up to college and died in a head on collision because he was passing 3 cars. I know that was extreme but I just don't pass vehicles. It's not worth it!

Thanks Chrysalis. :)

That was a good movie. Yes - definitely protected.

Wow PA! Thank God you were alright too. Maybe an angel did a bit of steering for you?

I had an experience when I was 23 where I feel like something else steered my car. I had just left work from the ski area and was driving down to an intersection that was known to have accidents. It was sunny but cold and so there was a hard packed snow/ice conditions - in patches. Someone lunged out on front of me to make a left turn and I thought we were going to collide but we didn't. The thing is I didn't feel like a maneuvered the car like I did unless the adrenalin just kicks in and we do things we aren't aware of because of the high stress of the moment? I like my angel theory better. :)

I am sorry about your grandfather.

I know a few people that have fallen asleep at the wheel.

One was a nurse. It was broad daylight and she didn't even think she was tired.

Then an ER Doc and 2 other neighbors. Thank God they were all alright except for getting banged up a bit.

I heard a story on Oprah once where a man had worked an 80 hr week or so. He had some business thing to attend the next day and so he got a full 8 hrs of sleep the night before. He fell asleep at the wheel and slumped over which was a good thing or he would have been decapitated when he drove under the tractor trailer truck.

The lesson was that sleep deprivation and restoration is cumulative. It's like exercise in that you can't not exercise for 3 months and think one day is going to correct everything. So it is the same for sleep. It's what you do over the longterm that makes the difference.

patientanonymous said...

Thanks, SeaSpray...yes, it sounds like Sisyphus wins the award for closest calls? You might be second.

Apart from my little brush with death I probably just win awards for idiocy.

Not to worry about my grandfather...death is a part of life. It was difficult for my Nana as it can be for many, of course! She did find it within herself to move on and her late 70s/early 80s actually met a little "male friend/boyfriend" (hee hee.) He lived in the same building as she did.

They were actually quite cute together. One Christmas I met him and they would hold hands on the couch and giggle like teenagers "in love." I was happy for her.

Then he died.

Sorry...I am morose this morning.

But she was okay with it. She died not long ago.

Again, death is a part of life. I find death within the living while they are still alive to be much more of a shame.

Oh dear...better shut up now...I might actually BE one of the "shameful" ones I am referring to above!

And yes...I've strayed off topic again...whatever are you going to do with me!

SeaSpray said...

I think it is neat when we see elderly couples in love.

My uncle remarried in his 70s after his wife died. When uncle and new wife came up to visit - they held hands when they took walks.

So, I asked my husband why WE didn't hold hands when we walked and he said, "When we get to be their age - we'll hold hands." ;)

patientanonymous said...

LMAO! I can't believe your husband said that to you...well, actually, I can.

Relationships change over time. The "honeymoon period" only lasts so long but I suppose that doesn't rule out affection?

Or maybe it does...

PA (the furthest thing you could imagine from a relationship expert)

SeaSpray said...

Actually PA - I wasn't surprised as we weren't getting along well at that time. And the comment did make me laugh!

Also, even in our "honeymoon phase" he was never publicly demonstrative. Not that he never held hands or walked arm in arm - but given the choice - he probably wouldn't and I know he did it more because I wanted to. He's a private person. And then there's the private moments.... ;)

patientanonymous said...

*wink wink nudge nudge* Heh.

Well, everyone has their own levels of comfortability with public displays of affection.