A Flash Of pure carelessness or recklessness, they can be gone.
Ever have one of those moments where your life, or the life of loved one, just flashed in front of your eyes? Ever have one of moments where you or a family member came within a hairs breath of being killed, of having someone you love being taken from you because of some other person's complete lack of caution or intelligence?
I had that this morning. I could sit here and go on a passionate rant about how much I HATE the way people drive in this country, especially in my neck of the woods here in central Florida. I see careless accidents so often around here because people are either too distracted, or just don't think or care. And as a matter of fact, I was in one in bad accident almost 2 years today on the same road where life came so close this morning. Memorial Day 2011, on my way to Sam's Club by myself, in the inside lane when a restaurant employee came backing out of his employer's parking lot at 40 mph in his dad's truck, hitting me with such force, it totaled my SUV, deployed my air bag and causing injuries to my back & arm. I was without another vehicle for 8 months. He was idle, in reverse, with his foot over the gas pedal and cited with reckless driving. His place of employment has a history of employees being under the influence behind close doors while on shift. But per PD, he said he was stone cold sober. Yeah, an adrenaline rush could clear that up. I was alone in the car because my son misbehaved. He & my wife were meant to go with me, but I had him stay home to nap. Had he not acted out, my wife would have had to have been pried of the car with the jaws of life!!! He came out of nowhere, my fast reflexes kicked in, but not fast enough. Could not prevent collision, but turned a t-bone and what could have been a far worse accident into a point of impact on my right front bumper. The passenger door could not be open. The child seat ended up in the front seat, windshield shattered. The engine & vehicle was a total loss. And this was the car that got us 3000 miles from California to Florida, but could not survive 4 months here. Tons of witnesses confirmed other guy was at fault. I survived physically, but the mental & emotional scars still exist two years later. And I was reminded of it two blocks away on the same boulevard about an hour ago this morning.
My wife needed to go into work this morning for a few hours so I drove her in with our son in the back seat. I am in the right lane and for a quick second I caught movement in my mirrors behind me. A guy driving a small blue car was speeding at a high rate coming up in my lane. He quickly swerved to the left around us, nearly sideswiping me. The thing is, there was another driver in the lane to my left, probably a car's length in front of my left front bumper. So this guy nearly sideswipes me AND nearly rear ends the guy in the left lane, swerving around me, and to the right of him cutting me off. He continues to speed, cutting other traffic off left and right, swerving again and again. I honked my horn as he cut me off, he puts his hand through his sun roof, but does not flip me off. He just waves his hand as he continues on his dangerous course of careless action. Fifty fifty, half rage & anger started to arise in me, but also half complete bewilderment at this guy's action. I didn't react other than honking my horn. I didn't speed up or go into a road rage. But a few seconds hesitation until I scrambled for my cell phone in my pocket and immediately dialed 911. I could not offer a license plate number. Only that he was a male, driving a blue car that could have been a Hyundai and that he had to have been going 90+ in a 40 zone. Where's a cop when you need one, right? The only thing that amazed me was that he actually stopped at two lights. With a phone to my ear, I didn't speed myself but I tried to catch up to at least catch the make & model, but I didn't make it in time. I informed the police where he was and what streets he was approaching. I could not follow too far because we had approached our turn where I needed to drop my wife off. The police didn't take my info, just told me they would send officers out and try to catch up with him. Afterwards, I went back the opposite direction towards home, the scene playing over & over in my head and how close we came.
The one thought that kept coming to mind was my 6 year old son in the back seat who's birthday was just two days ago, graduating from kindergarten. Had this guy rear ended us, my son would be dead. The idiot's recklessness would have killed my only son, my only child. And had we gotten hit and my legs were strong enough to stand, to get out, my rage & wrath would have been uncontrollable, my emotions inconsolable. That's what kept coming to mind as we came home. But after getting McDonalds for breakfast, I hugged my son and I sit here not hating the idiot, but appreciating life and appreciating that my son is still here. And hoping beyond hope that he didn't hurt or kill anyone, and the police or sheriff were able to find him and stop him before he did. And I sit here writing this, wanting to remind others to cherish those loved ones around you. If you haven't hugged them, told them you love them, or even called them this morning please take the moment to do so. Appreciate life, appreciate them that you have them with you, and tell them that. Savor every moment. Because in a flash, because of someone else who makes a wrong choice, they could be gone.