Back in August 2008, Cuppa and I had driven to the cottage (aka Riverwood) for the weekend. We were on our way home when we had an excruciatingly close call. Since we missed, it can’t be classified as an accident, but if my old brain hadn’t suddenly and almost miraculously kicked into gear, we would surely have become fatality statistics and Nikki Dee and Zachary, already minus one grandfather, would have only known and been nurtured by one grandparent. It really was that close.

I wrote about it back then on my previous Raindrops blog in A Second from Death.

By the time we navigated our way from the secondary roads onto the highway darkness had settled. Very shortly after getting onto the highway, I saw a car up ahead, lights on approaching in my lane. He was trying to pass three cars when I showed up speeding towards him in the opposite direction. Naturally, I went onto alert but began to breathe easy when I saw him beginning to edge back into his own lane. Except that he didn’t. I assume that he couldn’t find a space in the midst of the cars he was passing, so in his great wisdom his solution was to straighten up and barrel right towards me.

I was travelling at almost 100 kph (60mph) and he was doing the same, probably faster. We were close to impact and certain death. Instantly, I pulled over onto the shoulder, and we whizzed passed each other.

Talk about a close call: about as close as you can come and live to tell about it. I’d say we were about a second from catastrophe when I pulled onto the gravel shoulder at great speed. If there had been no shoulder, or a sloping one, or a less hard packed one, our trip and our lives would have ended. If he had also attempted to make for the shoulder at the same time as I, we still would have had a fatal crash for there would have been no time for another correction. I cannot fathom why he didn’t head for the shoulder, why he chose to drive right at us, but apparently it’s good that he didn’t, for we didn’t crash.

In an instant it was over. I was very calm both during and after. I sort of said to myself, “That was close, but we’re here, and life goes on.” There was nothing else to do but keep driving and hoping that the other driver had learned a lesson about driving in such a reckless hurry.

Now, I have another day to live, actually not a day, just this moment and then perhaps another and another. It’s a gift, a gift to savour. Life always is a gift and not just after a close call, but we all get caught up in our doings and forget that all too frequently. We forget to slow our frenzied minds and simply revel in our breath and the beating of our hearts. Today, I will make an extra effort taste and appreciate the gift of life that I and Cuppa have been given, and I invite you to do the same.

Two and a half years later, I still shake my head in wonderment. What a narrow escape! But there is yet another, one that that took place a long before this one …

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12 Responses to Spared

  1. Lorna says:

    Old Highway 17 used to be Accident Central with just that kind of occurrence. Glad you made it through.

  2. Diana says:

    That was a scary one AC. So good that you remained calm and navigated the situation correctly! Love Di ♥

  3. Ginnie says:

    Isn’t that interesting how calm you can be in the time of near disaster. I had a similar occurence once and was calm then but clammy just thinking about it now !

  4. Paul says:

    AC, I find myself being far more cautious even though I know I’m special, unique and immune from the effects of aging and still have perfect eyesight, lightning reflexes and infallible judgment. Regardless, I find myself driving slower, taking safer routes, avoiding left turns in heavy traffic and putting more distance between myself and other drivers. Even though it’s several years in the future, one of the things I’m pondering is how to know when it’s time to quit and leaving the driving to others.

    I’d be interested in reading about changes in your driving behavior as you age.

  5. OMWord!!!! Scary!! Thank God for Angels…You surely had several that day!
    (PS- You’re in the house today…right??Hahahaa)

  6. When I saw your headline I thought you were gonna say, “Spared from new snow.” It missed us but rained sideways all night, with the wind I was sure glad I was tucked in.
    You are blessed.

  7. Bernie says:

    My heart was in my throat reading this AC, so glad everything worked out okay. I wonder if that other driver realized how close he came to killing everyone…..just makes me shiver……..:-)Hugs

  8. Philip says:

    I had one of those “near death” experiences which makes me shutter to this day.
    I was travelling the bypass highway around Boston. 495, I think. It is a split highway and it was a very dark night with little traffic either way. Suddenly, a car travelling on my side of the highway toward me with no headlights on. I did not see it until it passed me in the passing lane. I looked in the rear view mirror just to prove to myself that a car with no light on had gone past. It was real and if it had struck me my wife and myself would have perished. My friends following behind in their car (gas was 29 cents a gallon back then) would no doubt have plowed into us. It was one of those horror of horror moments. If cell phones had existed back them I would have called the police.

  9. Glad you and Cuppa were safe, AC. Cool thinking prevailed in that you pulled off to the shoulder in time. IF not, we might not have been able to read this account and that would truly have been a loss to everyone.

  10. Linda Fraser says:

    Barry and I had a spin out (black ice) north of Gravenhurst when the girls were little. The mac truck coming towards us had time to break and we were able to get back in our lane before he reached us. It was snowing and very slippery and we were very lucky that day too. Angels watch over us and that’s a very good thing.
    The guy coming toward you needed to get out of your lane. He should not have been there in the first place. Lots of snow shoveling today. You too?

  11. Hilary says:

    I’m glad you had that second to correct the situation. And there’s still another to tell? Yikes!

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