Maybe it’s a bit whimsical of me, but there’s part of me in the last few years that feels like maybe he’s become my guardian angel…or sent someone to watch over me, particularly when I’m on the road. A little while back I told you guys that I’d taken on a new job. It was a temporary gig, but it was one that had me on the road quite a bit.
Toward the end of my first week, I was driving southward on I-75. We’d just passed a bunch of construction and had gotten back to driving at our usual speeds of 70-80 MPH. As I sat, tooling along, singing to the radio, I saw a silver ladder flying through the air. The burgundy Toyota two cars ahead of me tried to swerve and miss it, to no avail. It smacked the rear quarter of his car, sending it careening into the lane next to me, spinning out into a 360 back across traffic to bounce off the guardrail and back into our lane. Thankfully, the black Audi in front of him managed to hit his breaks and skid to a stop mere inches from the car on the side of the road with me close behind.
“Please let me stop in time. Please let me stop in time. Please let me stop in time.” I chanted over and over again in my head as my foot slammed on my brakes.
I missed that Audi by less than a foot. Turning my head to the right, I saw all three lanes of traffic had come to a dead halt and waited to make sure everyone was okay before moving on. My hands were shaking and my stomach was doing cartwheels as I sucked in a deep, calming breath and pulled back onto the road and drove away.
“Thank You.” Those words were said with heartfelt conviction, though there was no one physically there to hear them. There’s no doubt in my mind that there were higher powers at work that day, watching over us.
But there’s more…
My biggest fear is hitting a pedestrian, whether by foot or on bicycle, because I never want anyone to have to go through what my family did. So it stands to reason that the last thing I’d want to see is that kind of incident playing out before my eyes.
Last week, waiting for a red light to change, I noticed a bicyclist heading toward his workplace. He’d crossed the street to our left, and had charged his bike out directly in front of us without watching the lights to see if they’d change. The light had turned green. The older gentleman in the Volvo to my left had been fixated on the light and started to accelerate.
“Oh, God. Please stop!” silently ran through my head, praying I wouldn’t witness what I was afraid I’d see.
As if he’d heard me, he hit his brakes and his horn simultaneously. The old man looked a little shaken up, but okay and began to accelerate. Me? I said another prayer of thanks. The guy on the bike… well, he seemed completely oblivious to the chaos he nearly created.
That was just in the last two weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I know what people say about Florida drivers…and sometimes it’s even true. But this hasn’t only happened to me in Florida!
Our first night at Authors After Dark in Savannah, we decided to go out to dinner. We took my sister’s rental car and went to the Bohemian Hotel and ate at their amazing restaurant called Rocks on the River. We had a great time! In fact, we tried their appetizer variation on Chicken and Waffles and found it to be utterly fabulous! I’d never eaten anything like it before.
Anyway, it had been raining pretty heavily that evening, so the streets were slick. Fortunately it had stopped. On our way back to the hotel I looked out my window from the back passenger seat to see a guy on a motorcycle driving beside us. Hot, right? Well, not when we were taking a tight turn and we saw him wipe out, spinning within inches of our wheels. Fortunately, there was a short turn lane toward the hotel, so my sister pulled into it. We wanted to make sure the guy was alright! He wasn’t wearing any of the usual protective gear. No heavy jacket. No helmet. A t-shirt and jeans. My sister reminded us that she was a qualified medical professional and that we should stay in the vehicle and dial 911. As she started to get out of the car, the guy stood up, brushed the gravel off himself (I’m sure he had a ton of road rash he’d have to take care of later), got back on his bike and drove away!
We hope he was okay. I said a little prayer of thanks that he didn’t find himself under our wheels…. But it all still makes me wonder sometimes. Was it a coincidence that my brother died in a car accident, but every time one that could potentially be dangerous or traumatic has come my way, something has protected me? Call me whimsical. Call me naïve. Call me silly or a hopeless romantic….but I believe he’s keeping an eye out for his big sister.
Yes, today I’m thankful for Guardian Angels and the power of belief.
What about you guys? Any near misses? Anything that’s made you believe in ghosts or guardian angels? I’d love if you’d share your thoughts and stories.