Last week we were on our mid-year hiatus; working hard at relaxing to ensure that we could finish the 2nd half of this year as strong as we started it. Things started as planned, but ended with a different kind of bang and a great story that ties in with both #Go52 themes.
“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” J.M. Barrie
The Week 26 theme was “Trusting” and ironically enough the imagery was a bridge.
While I trusted that relaxation was on the way, I ended up placing my faith in something much greater. My husband was on his way to a morning meeting in a car that has been in the family for a little more than 12 years. I know right?! That’s a long time for a car to keep rollin’ and it has served us well.
As with any car that’s over 10 years old, you kind of expect it to have some challenges. What you don’t anticipate though, is when and where you'll be when it happens. I couldn’t have imagined for said car to Harlem Shake on the highway during the end of morning rush hour traffic on a day when it was already 90 degrees at 8:30 in the morning. Nor, could I anticipate this occurring on an elevated highway that criss-crossed over another highway. Nor did I envision my husband needing to pull over onto the shoulder of a curving portion of said highway. But that’s exactly what we got.
I pulled up behind his car as he was arranging for a tow through our insurance company. Yay, insurance! What I realized as I was waiting patiently was that we were not in a safe location - at all. While the elevated highway was bouncing as intended to ensure the bridge didn’t buckle and fail, we were still catching the wake of every car in the right hand lane that nearly missed seeing us while driving at highway speeds.
All I could envision was one distracted driver causing something terrible for a lot of people. There was nowhere for either of us to go. Seeing no out, I said multiple prayers of protection for everyone on this particular highway - my husband, myself, and all of the drivers in vehicles that might not be able to see us at the moment. Then, I decided to see if I could find the phone number for the highway patrol’s emergency assist vehicles. Maybe it was the panic and fear of getting flipped onto the highway below us that was starting to set in. Maybe it was the passing Prius that nearly clipped my mirror. Either way, I couldn’t find a number to call. So I did what every self-assured adult (who is able to) does.
I called my momma.
Through tears I told her where we were and what was going on. She calmly asked my Dad for guidance. “Call 911,” he said. “They’ll patch you through to the Highway Patrol.” So I did, and the 911 operator was able to pinpoint our location and connect us to a state highway patrol dispatcher, who urged us to stay in the car (you got it ma’am!) while she sent for someone to come as quickly as possible.
He cracked a joke to ease the tension when he arrived. He waited with us in the heat for more than 40 minutes for our tow truck’s arrival. He created a shield for the tow truck workers while they hoisted the car up on the rig. He gave us the opportunity to merge back into traffic without having to play Frogger.
*Sidebar - we were so high up, one of the drivers took a picture of the highway below us and I’m pretty sure in that moment, we became one of his rescue stories*
Over the span of a couple of hours, I placed my trust in a lot of beings last week. It reaffirmed something that I’ve long believed; humans, humaning (helping other people) are a reflection of the best in all of us.
I knew we were fortunate to walk away with the results we had. Later that night I found out that a stranded motorist in a different part of the city lost his life at the hands of another driver that very same day.
Life is fragile and fleeting. Enjoy every moment while it’s present. Have fun (that’s the Week 27 theme). And if you see a vehicle on the shoulder of the road, imagine that inside is one of your beloved family members and MOVE OVER. Be safe during the holidays…
C. L. Fails