So, when the end is near, do you think your life flashes before you? What goes through your mind?
I never really thought about that question too much until last weekend when the end came perilously near. Rick and I were driving home from dinner with our friend Jan, who was in the front seat with Rick. We were headed home on a busy one way street, a Friday around 8:30. The road was busier than it sometimes is with cars in the lanes to our left, some to the right, when we saw a police car with its lights on, rushing down a perpindicular street just at the next light -- and going through the light.
The police car turned into our one-way street -- going against traffic. And then we saw it.
He was chasing another car, coming straight toward us in our lane, driving at an extreme rate of speed. The police car was in hot pursuit, again headed straight toward us.
We were within just a few feet of being slammed head-on when Rick swerved the car into the lane to our right. Fortunately, no one was there.
Without his quick reflexes I am confident that this would have been one of those blogs where people simply disappear and you always wonder. Are they ill? Are they traveling? Will they write here again? Did they just give up blogging?
Those of you who know me might send an email that would be unanswered. Others would simply give up.
I've thought a lot about that evening over the last few days. I think about it all the time. I've thought about how grateful I am for Rick's quick thinking, although I think it was more instinct than anything else. He learned, when racing bicycles on the velodrome, how to avoid collisions, as velodrome bikes don't have brakes. You swerve. Remember that one.
I've thought about how grateful I am there was no one in the lane into which we swerved. There was no time to look. That, too, could have been a crash and probably a debilitating one -- but not so fatal as the alternative.
I've thought about Lizzie, who would be expecting me home and no one realizing that she was there alone, hungry, wondering when her people would come feed her.
I've thought about being grateful that I had no unfinished business with people. No arguments outstanding. No bad will. And it reminded me that I should see more often the people I care about as our busy lives often fail to connect.
When I saw the headlight of the car coming toward us (one headlight was out) I was shocked but calm. No screaming. Until that very instant after when we were safe. And then I shook like a leaf.
All of us have had follow-up issues. We can't find anything about an arrest in the news, so what happened? This chase began in another county but why in the world would an urban chase involve the police chasing backwards on a busy one-way street? Is an arrest more important than the danger all the drivers in that area were faced with? For if that car had collided with us head-on, it wouldn't just be us that felt the aftermath. Without doubt cars would have careened into others and many people would have been hurt.
I truly believe that God, the universe -- call it what you will -- had more work for all three of us to do on this earth. What that work is, I don't know. Being kind? Helping others? Some great mission we've yet to discover?
I don't know. I probably never will. What I do know is that I will forever be grateful, thankful. I will value the life I live even more than I did before. I will continue to live each day in a way that if it was to be my last it would be the best it could be.
And yes, I've always believed in angels. And they were with us that night.
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