Near Misses

Ever wonder what might have happened or could have happened if this, that or the other thing happened? For example, if we weren’t born to the parents we had, who would we be? If we had been born in another part of the world, what would our lives be like?

If we had never taken that trip to the ocean and had seen the green flash on the water as the sun slowly dipped below the sea, would we ever have had that “wow!” moment? If we never had children, what would we be like? If those of us who never had children had had children, what would we be like?

My mother once told me about what had happened to her when she was a teenager. She was sitting with her friends on the warm grass in late Spring, and they were all watching a baseball game going on in the field next to them. As Mom was talking to her friend, she leaned back to get something out of her purse.

At that moment, she felt a strong breeze brush her bangs. It was a hard-thrown baseball that had gone over the fence. If she had not bent back at that very moment, it would have struck her square in the temple and killed her instantly.

What are the odds? Had that happened there would have been no me, no life with my dad (nearly 60 years of marriage), no life at all. It makes me wonder: what other near misses have been in our lives? Something to think about, isn’t it?

Years ago when I lived and worked in Massachusets, I was driving home on the highway at dusk in the winter. I was in the slow lane and was coming up to my exit. It was nearly dark and the roads were getting slippery. Suddenly a car to my left pulled out in front of me, ostensibly to take the same exit.

I hit my brakes as hard as I could, but the ice on the road caused my car to spin to the right. The man driving the other car had tried slow down and went into a slow spin. I was too scared to think straight, in fact, I don’t remember thinking at all. I heard myself saying over and over again, “no, please, no!”

What happened next still mystifies me. Both cars were both in a slow spin, and somehow we both ended up on the side of the road, out of harm’s way, tail to tail. We wobbled out of our cars, and there was no damage to either vehicle. We looked at each other and grinned, and, at the same time we said, “I am so sorry! Are you ok?”

I think that we both were just over-the-top thankful that nothing worse had happened. To this day I don’t know why we escaped injury or damage to our vehicles. All I know is that someone or something was watching out for us. I think that it is those near misses that teach us, remind us how precious life is, and keep us on our toes.

Just another thing to think about…

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