This afternoon I had a close encounter with a major accident on I-595 heading west bound. I was driving in the left lane about to take the I-75 South Exit when I heard a crash and screeching sounds that were all too close to me. Out of nowhere, I see two cars fused together gliding horizontally across 4 lanes and passing right in front of me by a couple of feet. And when they hit the big grassy median, they were bouncing off each other…they looked like toy cars being mistreated by a two year old boy. The momentum of their speed carried them with me along my side for what seemed like forever. The barricades that prevented them from entering the other side of the highway almost propelled them back to me. During the parallel travels of their cars skidding and careening everywhere and mine by their side, I remember trying to be prepared for the possibility of their cars crashing into me. The only problem was there really wasn't anywhere I could go. Debris started falling on the road…missing my car barely or me running over it. When the two cars finally stopped their pummel demise, I kept on driving. I didn't stop. I was scared. I was too scared to see the damage. And I wouldn't have been any help…I was a wreck myself. I called 911 immediately. My leg started shaking uncontrollably. My mouth kept uttering the words "oh my god." I finally took my exit and pulled over and cried.
It was something that happened so fast, yet it was in slow motion…so much so that I can tell you the passenger in the red car was wearing an orange shirt, she had short curly frizzy hair, her arms were up in the air and her face had a look of terror. I can never forget that look. These images keep flashing in my head. Seriously, I'm not sure how I managed to have been caught in the middle of this scene yet passed right on through unscathed, as if I wasn't even there.
It's moments like these that make you thankful. Ironically, the weekend of thanksgiving is coming up and I was given an opportunity to be even more grateful! Life is not guaranteed to you. Don't take anything or anyone for granted. Let the one's you love know you love them. And be thankful for the gift of another day.
Before I go, let me leave you with this:
During my emotional wreckage, all I could think of was Mathew. I couldn't help but think how horrible it would be for Mathew to grow in this world without his mother by his side. On the positive side, where I'm trying to remain, I am thankful to have been only a witness to this horrible accident. I am thankful for my son, Mathew. And I am thankful for the gift of another day!
And I pray for a miracle that the people in this accident walked away unharmed.