This past Tuesday I was driving to run some errands after tennis. I had just turned right onto Moores Lane. I was following a pickup truck.
The light at the intersection with Galleria Blvd was red. Cars were turning left from Galleria Blvd. onto Moores Lane. The pickup truck in front of me was not slowing down.
I did. I could see what was about to happen and it was going to be nasty.
In fact, that’s exactly what I thought: I do not want to witness the carnage that’s about to happen.
Or did I? Was there some part of me that wanted to see complete chaos? Why didn’t I honk like crazy to get the driver’s attention?
That notion did cross my mind. But I didn’t do it.
I just kept thinking, He’s gonna stop right? Any second now he’s going to realize it’s red, right? I mean, he can see the line of cars turning, can’t he? How can he not?
But he wasn’t stopping, or slowing down, and I cringed because he was nanoseconds away from either T-boning someone or being T-boned.
Then the weirdest thing happen. He didn’t screech to a halt. His brake lights did come on, but there wasn’t the sudden jolt you’d expect. No tires desperately gripping asphalt for traction to slow down. His truck just sort of… stopped. And then it was placed backwards a little.
Yes, placed. I’m sure in reality he put his truck in reverse and backed up a smidge. But from my angle that’s not how it looked
It looked like he was gently guided back by an unseen hand. Not quite lifted up off the ground and deposited backwards or anything that dramatic, but certainly assisted with being placed out of harm’s way.
In that moment, I heard Angel whisper to me, “It wasn’t their time.”
And by “their” I knew Angel meant not only the truck driver but any of the other cars that would’ve been involved in the accident.
(And for those who don’t know me, I believe in angels. Call them guardian angels or whatever you want, but I believe we all have one with us –at least one– and I simply call mine Angel.)
Anyway, it was a very surreal moment. I couldn’t see the truck driver’s face obviously, but I did see his head do a little jerk when his truck seemed to stop all by itself.
It also seemed like he wasn’t distracted by a cell phone or anything like that. It seemed like he simply wasn’t paying attention to the red light and was startled that his truck seemed to stop on its own.
All I could think was, “Wow. When it’s your time, it’s your time. Period. If you’re meant to go, you will.”
It wasn’t so much of an epiphany as a reminder. When I first started chemo, I remember waking up after one of my first treatments and hearing Angel reassure me, “You’ll beat this. It’s not your time yet.”
I was filled with such warmth and optimism. I knew I’d make it to remission.
I’m not sure the accident I would’ve witnessed would’ve resulted in any fatalities. Injuries? I’m pretty sure that was gong to be likely. It wasn’t going to be pretty and I’m very thankful I did not have front row tickets for that event after all.
Later that day I turned on the evening news. One of the first stories was about the driver who had caused a fatal crash the day before at Blue Hole and Bell roads.
The driver had been fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run he’d just committed a little ways away. He was in a minivan with four kids.
He crashed into a driver in a Suburban. (Or a Tahoe? Not sure of the make, but a big vehicle like that.)
A Ford Escape was also involved in the crash.
All of the vehicles got smashed up. Likely all totaled. For sure the minivan and the Escape. The Suburban/Tahoe was crunched pretty good though too. The Escape was cracked up beyond recognition. The minivan caught fire.
The driver in the Escape jumped out to help get the kids out of the burning minivan.
The driver in the Tahoe/Suburban, which, again, was cracked up, but looked perhaps the least worst for wear of all the vehicles, died.
Biggest car. I would’ve assumed safest car. That driver? Deceased.
The driver in the Escape walked away with cuts. During his interview, he repeated how the emergency responders kept asking him, “Are you sure you were in that?”
They couldn’t believe anyone had walked away from, much less survived, the crash that had mangled his car’s metal so bad.
I couldn’t help but feel so bad for the driver who died. Friends were being interviewed and saying what a wonderful man he was. They couldn’t believe just like that he was gone.
Twice in one day I was reminded how precious life is. How fast it can change, end, and not resemble anything like the life you knew just a moment before.
And most of all I was reminded there are no guarantees. You can be the perfect weight, eat right, live right, and a fatal disease can find you.
You can be in the biggest car and still not survive a wreck.
Because when it’s your time, it’s your time. There’s a rhyme and reason in this Universe that makes sense. Not always to us. Not even usually to us.
But when your work here is done and your time is up, it’s up. And when it’s not?
Well, some days you get to witness the magic of Divine Intervention at work. If you’re lucky.
And if you’re wise, you hug your loved ones a little longer, tell them you love them a little more sincerely, and give thanks for the privilege.