I’m a writer and there is truly no way I can write the words to explain what happened to me last night, but I will do my best.
All I know is today I’m different. I will tell you more about that in a minute.
But yesterday my mother came into town to visit for my Aunt Candy’s birthday party and for my daughter Kaelani’s baby shower on Sunday. But since I hadn’t gotten a good response from family stating if they were coming to the shower or not I decided to cancel the baby shower.
So since the shower was canceled my mom said she wanted to go to Babies R Us to allow Kaelani to get things she needed for the baby. We went there and got a bunch of baby clothes, mainly onesies but when we got back to our house and started going through what Kaelani already had we realized she didn’t need all the onesies for the baby. So we then decided to return all the onesies, get the money back and instead shop at Wal-Mart to get items she really could use like blankets and bottles.
So after dinner we headed back to Babies R Us, made the exchange and then went to Wal-Mart. My mom, Kaelani and I, left Wal-mart and I decided to jump on I-20 east to head home. Normally I would take the local road because it’s not even necessary for me to take the highway. On top of that , it was rainy and the roads were very dark last night for some reason.
So as I was driving with my mom on the passenger side and Kaelani in the back, we approached a car on our right side that was burning and in flames, it shocked us and was so unexpected. I turned my head to the right to look at it and I remember thinking, I have got to get away from this car because it could blow up at any minute and I’m right next to it.
Then my mom yelled, “Kia look out!” and all I remember was there was a car stopped in front of me in the middle of the highway turned horizontal so I swerved to the left to avoid hitting it, but then there were other cars swerving too and I kept swerving to avoid cars left and right and somehow kept missing them, mind you in the rain, in a minivan and it was dark. And then in front of me was a big white truck that hydroplaned and was turned completely around and headlights headed toward me, I knew I was going hit it, there was no way out, but my mind kept saying, “Not today. This is NOT gonna happen today!”
My defensive driving skills kicked into action and I cut to the left and went off the road onto the dirt shoulder but swerved the van quickly to the right so we wouldn’t go too far off and flip over and somehow I missed the truck literally by inches. I made sure that I stayed in control of the van and ensured I didn’t over-correct either. It was a delicate driving dance to maneuver that way, but I have been driving since I was a teenager and now at 38 years old, I can say I must have mastered my skills.
I pulled back onto the road and all the while kept driving and never stopped for a minute. I never lost my cool, I never screamed. I wasn’t even scared. I immediately took the next exit, kept driving and once in the clear I then started SCREAMING and crying. It hit me like a ton of bricks what had just happened and what I somehow had just avoided. I had just saved my mom’s life. I had just saved my daughter’s life. But I told my mom she saved my life when she screamed out to me to look out. I was so focused on the fire I didn’t see what was ahead of me – a mistake that still haunts me. I didn’t keep my eye on the road and I know better.
The whole time I was driving I was the calmest I have ever been in my life. I just knew I could not and would not be responsible for killing my mother and daughter and soon-to-be granddaughter. And I just know I was calm because I could not possibly be navigating that car alone. There’s no way. I can’t even explain to you even as I tell this story how unbelievable the whole episode was. When my mom looked behind us, all the cars were piled up and hit that truck and was snarled up in a huge accident. My mom says she just KNEW that I was going to hit something. Because how many times can you swerve and keep missing cars? How is that possible?
I say, God makes all things possible.
My daughter Kaelani was screaming and crying and my mom started chanting, “Thank you Jesus.” I cried all the way home. I cried when I got home. I cried when I went to bed. I shared the incident with my Facebook friends and so many friends shared their concerned and passed along their blessings. I was overwhelmed last night. I can say I am better today. Well, a little. I had to drive my mom an hour up to my aunt’s house and I couldn’t bring myself to do it, so my husband drove her there. I think I am what they call, “Shell-shocked.” But I’ll be okay. I’m a tough gal. I’ll get through this.
I am so thankful to be alive. I thought about the tragedy that was averted. It would have been too much for my family to bear. I thought about my kids growing up without their mom and missing all the important firsts in their life. I thought about my husband trying to raise my babies by himself. I thought about my daughter and her soon-to-be-baby and I knew there was no way I could let harm come to them. I could never forgive myself. And I knew that after 60+ years of my mom surviving life in Philadelphia that there was no way she would die by my hands and a few flaky Georgia drivers! Nope, not today I say!
But it really hit home because I thought about the countless times I was so careless on the road. Although I was not on a cell phone, I vow from today on I will never drive distracted. I realized that driving distracted when on a cell phone or eating in the car can be the cause of a horrific accident. It’s not worth risking my life or someone else’s when I can just wait to get home. Also it’s a big eye opener when you realize your life could be gone in an instant. Poof. Just gone. I want to live until I am 100+ years old. I want to live my life to do God’s work and help others to better their lives. And I want to live to raise my babies. Point blank. They are important enough for me to take this pledge to be a much safer driver.
I pray for those families that were affected by that crash last night and I am trying to get information on what happened. I pray that it was only a fender bender and that no one died. But I don’t know since there was a car in flames.
I pray for peace for me to get past this. But most importantly I am glad I know my God. I believe in him and I trust him. I know that’s why I was so calm and got my family out because Jesus took the wheel. After last night, it confirmed that I should never sweat the small things anymore. Just give it to God and he will see you through.
I have reason enough to believe that.