A Moment In Time

October 28, 2009 022 (2)
There is a phrase, “When your life passes before your eyes”, used to explain the near death experience. Usually that phenomenon occurs during a serious illness or accident. It is said to be like a recording of your life on hyperspeed fast forward, when the fear that the breath you are then taking might be your last. I have not had this mental manuever. But there is something that happened that needs sharing.

It was a Saturday, Hallowe’en day, raining. Raining so much that the regularly scheduled earliest possible Saturday morning golf round at the club where the Financier plays might be cancelled. The saying “It never rains on the golf course” applies to the Financier. He would play if the course would allow it, no matter the weather. Our normal weekend routine is to make the forty-five minute drive up the interstate in the morning while it is still dark, to allow time for me to be dropped off at daughter Semi’s house near the course before the league play begins. It is the time for me to enjoy chatting and shopping with Semi and having quality one on one time with our youngest grandson, four year old LTB. We all look forward to this togetherness. He dropped me off at Semi’s and went on to the club, prepared to play just in case.

At Semi’s pumpkins were carved for the trick or treaters to be faux frightened by the scary faces that night, lit from within. The seeds were scooped, separated from the pulp, washed and saved to be salted and roasted later. I was dressed all in black, with striped socks and pointy toed shoes, sporting black lipstick and a pumpkin headband. Semi donned a Morticia Addams black gown, pulled back her dark tresses and applied black lipstick and eyeliner. LTB was Buzz Lightyear in the special costume brought back by his daddy from a recent trip to Chicago. We went shopping. A toy and groceries were purchased, snacks for the Penn State football game watching later that afternoon for the Financier and me and the food needs for the week for Semi. The toy, a Ben Ten brain guy was a gift for LTB.

When we returned to the house we saw the Financier was there. His golf had been called off and he had spent some quality time at his favorite spot, Best Buy, scoping out electronic goodies for himself and the family. He had not bought anything though, just browsing. Since there was no golf outing, we decided to go on home and prepare for the college football game watching. My groceries were transferred to his car and we were homeward bound. The closest exit/entrance to the interstate from Semi’s house is a very high traffic area with several truck stops located near the ramps. It is not a problem on arrival, but on departure trying to merge into the steady stream of tractor trailer vehicles can be stressful. We usually take a leisurely drive down the state road that passes in front of the golf course and housing subdivision to get on the big highway in a less traveled area.

We had passed the club entrance and were chatting about LTB and his hijinks. Being grandparents is a great joy and we love being able to spend time with all the family. The sky was giving out a light drizzle, it was grey but not dreary. We finally came to the stop light at the intersection where we would be turning left to travel the short distance to the on ramp to go home. Our light was red. I was talking, as usual, about who knows what. The Financier was half listening, his normal attention level to a non stop motormouth. The arrow signal became green for us to turn. The Financier eased the car forward slowly. Suddenly, in a split microsecond of time, the shortest instant that can be imagined, he hit the brakes hard. At the exact same moment a white car traveling at a very high rate of speed rushed past the nose of our car, coming closer than the breadth of a hair. It had run the red light, not even slowing down a little, and did not slow down after the near miss. There were cars at all four sides of the criss crossing roads, all waiting their turns to go, that witnessed this. After a moment the Financier moved ahead, made his turn and continued the drive home.

This event cannot be erased from my mind. There was no time for a life to be replayed during this almost catastrophic scene. What does keep replaying is the vision of impact that did not happen. Glass breaking, blood splattering, violence beyond measure. It would have squarely hit the driver’s side of our vehicle, which is equipped with only front airbags. There is nothing that would have saved my dear Financier, my beloved husband of more than thirty-five years, from the force of the impact with the high rate of speed with which the driver of the light ignoring car was zooming. It plays over and over in my brain. Yet here we are, unhurt, living continues.

After losing all of my family members, with each loss, grandfathers, grandmothers, aunt, mother, father and brother, the very precious existence of life’s essence, awareness, consciousness, the miracle of it all has been felt in our very fiber. What a gift, and the truth of my mother’s favorite saying, “Life is too short”, is felt constantly. I am now in the limbo of watching life go by, like a spectator. Movement, forward progession, onward, never stopping, whether you are there to participate or not, life continues. The world turns. I am bogged down in analysis of each moment, each tick of the clock. Time itself will sand the memory, smooth the sharp edges, let us get on with it. Yet it, this brush with our own mortality, and more importantly the mortality of the Financier shouldn’t be forgotten.

The Financier was and still is an athlete. He played college baseball at Penn State, was the team captain. He played football, basketball and baseball in high school, back when it was possible to play more than one sport well. All of that was before I met him. He has quick reflexes, faster than anyone I have ever known. If you were at a ballgame, he would be able to reach over and catch the ball, preventing you from getting hit in the face with it. If you fell, he could catch you. He once fell off the ladder at our present house while doing some painting, his foot slipped off the rung because he was wearing inappropriate footwear. Instead of hitting the deck and breaking an arm or worse, he did a back flip to land on his feet, kicking off said footwear midair. Age is slowing him down only slightly, it has already slowed me to a snail’s pace, but he saved us both that day. I asked him how he could see that the white car was not slowing down, was going to run the light and manage to stop in time. It happened so fast. He replied that he always looks both ways before proceeding. I pray, dear readers, that you always do the same. And don’t forget to savour each moment to the fullest. Life’s too short.

Frances

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48 Responses to A Moment In Time

  1. lynn says:

    Dear Frances, each paragraph made my heart race a little faster and my eyes never moved so fast and furious to get to the part where I KNEW you were ok…Thank GOD!
    I’ve had similar flashes where my actions (if I were to take them), would have resulted in tragedy. Like when I think of changing lanes and am fairly positive it’s safe to do so BUT I check my blind spot anyway….every, EVERY single time, there’s a car! Instantly I thank my guardian angel for sitting right there, saving me…yet again. I definitely am one to check before proceeding on my green light!!
    Thank you, Frances, for this reminder and I am so thankful that you and quick-thinking, and even more quick-action hero of a husband, are safe and well ;) ;) ;) Love the costumes!!

    Dear Lynn, comrade of the earliest morning hours, thank you for following this tale. It has nothing at all to do with gardening, but I needed to share it for my own mental stability, which is sometimes questionable. I think we have all had those near misses, people running lights, trying to change lanes and seeing someone is in the blind spot at the last minute, but this one was the closest we have ever come to tragedy. Let us all be extra careful and give thanks to the guardian angels who had to have been with us that day. :-)
    Frances

  2. Sunita says:

    Frances, its a hot, humid day here in Mumbai but as I read your post it was almost like being seized with a bad case of chills and I could feel that horrible “oh no!” feeling. Thank God both of you are safe. And maybe you could leave some cookies out for your guardian angel (if Santa can get them why not your guardian angel?)
    And you’re so right about life being too short… my husband’s going to wonder what he did right today ;)

    Dear Sunita, thanks for reading this non gardening tale. Cookies for the guardian angel, who has saved us several times over the years are in order. Give all your loved ones an extra hug today, and every day. :-)
    Frances

  3. Anna says:

    So glad that you are able to tell the tale Frances. I imagine that it will be on your mind for some time to come. Somebody was keeping an eye on you and The Financier that day protecting you from harm. Take care.

    Thanks Anna. It is like a movie, this gory scene that keeps popping into my mind, uninvited. My youngest offspring, Brokenbeat suggested I blog about it, dilute its intensity by sharing it. Hope it works. We were being watched over that day, and every day I suppose. Drive carefully. :-)
    Frances

  4. Oh Frances, my heart was in my mouth.
    So glad you are both OK
    Yes – today I will live each moment to its fullest.
    K

    Thanks Karen. We are fine, that is the thing that I can’t get past. Nothing at all changed in our lives. It was such a close call. One more inch into the intersection and everything would have been changed, forever. I can’t seem to get beyond the miracle. Do inhale the best life has to offer, every day. :-)
    Frances

  5. Steve says:

    That’s a great story, Frances and a good cautionary tale. The Financier is smart – I look again, myself, even after checking once for traffic. It has saved my butt more than once. But I disagree with one thing you said – life is not short. It is long and enduring and magnificent. You’re still in the middle of it and you are obviously enjoying every minute, just like you are supposed to. A life well-lived is never too short – it is an example of what is possible. Sunita’s post was funny, lol. I am a “grand-person: by the way. My niece had the first Grandkid in our set yesterday. See what I mean?

    Thanks for that, Steve. I always look too, but that one time when we might be distracted, or not paying attention as we should, all the what ifs are eating me up. Life is too short was drilled into my brain by my mother. I have taken it to mean to live life to the fullest, not that it is a sad thing to wring our hands over. I think of the song lyrics, — slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make each moment last—. And a very big congrats to your niece and the whole family for a new addition to your set, at first I read that as sect. :-)
    Frances

  6. Frances, I read this post and had to wait a while before I could comment. Everyone who has been in a near tragedy like this, knows the sick, shaky feeling you get after you cheat death. It takes away your sense of security and gives you more appreciation for every moment.
    On a lighter note, love the family photo, did you drive home dressed up?

    Thanks Deborah. I know everyone has had these moments if they drive or ride in a car. It happens all too often. There have been several times that the only thing saving us from harm had to be a guardian angel. But somehow this one was soooo close, and I am older, more aware of how fragile a thing life is. I was dressed as the grand-witch when we left home and returned the same way, minus the headband. It kept bumping the ceiling of the car. :-)
    Frances

  7. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I am so glad you are both ok Frances. This is definitely a good post to remind us to count our blessings. Never take one another for granted. Life is always happening. ((hugs)) and peace.

    Thanks Lisa. I wanted everyone to take the time to enjoy life and be careful out there! Hugs back at ya! :-)
    Frances

  8. Frances, You definitely have your priorities straight. We are always quoting from John Lennon’s song, Beautiful Boy, with the line “life’s what happens while you’re busy making other plans” that he wrote to instruct Sean. Take a listen if you aren’t familiar with the song.
    So glad that you are both safe.
    Cameron

    Thanks Cameron. I will check that out, I am not familiar with it but love John Lennon. Sometimes it seems that details get in the way of viewing the grand scheme of things. :-)
    Frances

  9. tina says:

    What a close call. So glad you both are safe. Driving is a risky business for all now a days and there are so many tragic accidents. So sad.

    Thanks Tina. Driving, something we all take for granted, even do without total awareness when it is the same path taken over and over, is full of dangers lurking. Do be careful. :-)
    Frances

  10. Lzyjo says:

    OMG, Frances! Sorry to hear about your near-miss. You’re right about those things replaying over and over. I was rear ended when I was 16, it totally freaked me out, I still see that car driving into my back end. I’ve read to many lawsuits where people go to the convenience store or fast-food restaurant and don’t come home. The most fatalistic of them, all was about a couple who was in a near-fatal car accident. The ambulance arrived at the scene and rushed the to the hospital, on the way to the hospital, the ambulance was hit, killing both of them. I’m so glad you and your DH are safe and sound.

    Hi Lzyjo, thanks, I think! for those stories. Life is merely a thread attaching us to the here and now. So fragile, yet we seldom see it that way. Any car accident, I have been in a few in my younger days, scars our psyche for life.
    Frances

  11. Gail says:

    Dear Frances, Your mother was a wise woman and she and your dad taught you marvelous lessons about living life…especially living life to the fullest, while never taking it for granted. The Financier never ceases to amaze me, seriously! Now I see him back flipping off the ladder. You of course, know how very glad I am that both of you are fine~~if not more philosophical. I shall continue to look both ways and then look again. xxxxxgail ps Do they have a gymnastic Wii game;)

    Thanks Gail. I do thank my parents for the gifts they bestowed upon me. The Financier is a marvel of manhood. :-) ‘Nuff said.
    Frances

  12. Janet says:

    I am not sure what to say, what a close call. The film of your life that plays in your head will hold on to that experience for many years.
    We are starting to get redlight cameras in our area. The accident rate is down. One would wonder if such a deterrent may not have stopped that driver. You are truly blessed. Embrace life!!

    Hi Janet, thanks. There is nothing to say really, I just needed to share it and give everyone a warning to pay attention. There are some intersections with those cameras in Knoxville too. It certainly has stopped those last minute yellow to red dashes across. The fines are quite high too. Embracing life is a good mantra! :-)
    Frances

  13. Racquel says:

    I’m so glad that you & your hubby are safe & sound. I’ve had those near miss experiences that leave you a bit dazed and shook up. Those things give us a chance to count our blessings don’t you think? Take care.

    Thanks Racquel. You are right, these are reminders to be thankful that you and your loved ones are still breathing to enjoy this short life. Do be careful yourself.
    Frances

  14. Kathryn (aka Mad Beach Maven) says:

    Hi, Frances. Truer words were never spoken! I miss the physical presence of my sweetlove every moment of every day – give the Financier a big hug!! Take care. K (aka Mad Beach Maven)

    Dear Kathryn, I am so sorry for your loss. Please accept my most profound condolences. I have always figured that I would be the one to leave the earth first, due to my family history. The thought of not having the Finanacier is sobering, to say the least. A big hug for you too. :-)
    Frances

  15. Whew, I’m glad he didn’t pull out any faster. It ridiculous that people run red lights like that. I’ve always thought that I would rather arrive at my destination late than not at all. The people who don’t think are the ones who cause these accidents. I guess drive defensively or even drive paranoid is my strategy!

    Thanks Dave. It is all so frightening. There have been close calls several times through my life, but I was driving. Somehow being an innocent passenger made this one seem different. Helplessness. We must all be on the lookout for the person not doing what they should be.
    Frances

  16. mothernaturesgarden says:

    Thanks for poignantly reminding us to savor the moments for life is more fragile than it seems.

    Thanks Donna. It seems we go about our business, being upset by little things of no consequence, when life is so transient. Too much thinking about it, I know.
    Frances

  17. dirtynailz says:

    Frances, the way you tell that story, I swear I needed one less cup of coffee to get me going this morning!
    Thanks for reminding me of how tenuous life really is, and how in a second, it can change forever – or be taken away.
    So glad that you and your husband are OK!
    Cynthia

    Thanks Cynthia, glad it was this morning and not right before you were going to bed. It was a reminder to hold our loved ones close and drive defensively.
    Frances

  18. ourfriendben says:

    Mercy, Frances! I too have had one of those near-death experiences, when my father’s car spun out of control across a very wet six-lane highway through onrushing traffic in all directions and towards a huge barrier of concrete pylons, miraculously not being hit and stopping about three inches away from smashing into the concrete. It’s the kind of thing you never forget, even if it doesn’t project you into the kind of out-of-body experience I had. I know, too well, the sadness of losing those you love, as well. I think all we can do is continue to hold them close in our hearts in this life and hope to rejoin them hereafter. Loved your reminiscences about the Financier! And little Buzz looks too cute. Sorry to drone on, but I have to share this poem by the great Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer (Robert Bly translation) about a near-death car experience he had. After my own, I’ve always related to it, and suspect you will, too:

    Solitude

    Right here I was nearly killed one night in February.
    My car slewed on the ice, sideways,
    into the other lane. The oncoming cars—
    their headlights—came nearer.

    My name, my daughters, my job
    slipped free and fell behind silently,
    farther and farther back. I was anonymous,
    like a schoolboy in a lot surrounded by enemies.

    The approaching traffic had powerful lights.
    They shone on me while I turned and turned
    the wheel in a transparent fear that moved like eggwhite.
    The seconds lengthened out—making more room—they grew long as hospital buildings.

    It felt as if you could just take it easy
    and loaf a bit
    before the smash came.

    Then firm land appeared: a helping sandgrain
    or a marvelous gust of wind. The car took hold
    and fish-tailed back across the road.
    A signpost shot up, snapped off—a ringing sound—
    tossed into the dark.

    Came all quiet. I sat there in my seatbelt
    and watched someone tramp through the blowing snow
    to see what had become of me.

    Thanks OFB, that is a very apt piece to go with the thoughts expressed here. We have had icy spin outs into other lanes of traffic too and have always been so very lucky with the outcome. But no one’s luck lasts forever. Sigh. We take so much for granted.
    Frances

  19. Rose says:

    Dear Frances, I am so glad this has a happy ending! I can see why this incident has stayed in your mind and caused you to look at life differently. What a difference a second can make! And no doubt, it was providence that the Financier with his quick reflexes was driving.
    A few years ago, I had a similar experience. Driving my usual route home from school (before we moved, it was a 10 mile route through the country), I put on a favorite CD and was caught up in the music. As I came near an intersection–a country road that intersected the county road I was on–a car driving at a very high speed blew the stop sign and raced across the blacktop right in front of me. I was so shaken and kept thinking if I had been driving my usual speed, I would have been broadsided. But lost in Buddy Jewell’s songs (nobody else has probably heard of him!), I slowed down to enjoy the music. He saved my life that day!
    Now my family doesn’t understand why I slow down a little at intersections even when I have the right of way.

    So glad you included the photo of you in your pumpkin headband–it fit my mental image perfectly:) And another example of our parallel lives–Buzz Lightyear visited my house on Halloween, too:)

    Dear Rose, thanks so much. Buddy Jewell and his music must be held in high esteem at your place. I will look into finding out more about him. About the photo, we had put Semi’s camera on the auto timer to take the shot, this one with no smiling allowed. LTB just couldn’t not smile though. Aren’t we scary? Parallel in so many ways. There is always that Ringo thing. :-)
    Frances

  20. Robin says:

    I’m so thankful that you both were spared tragedy! It does make you appreciate life a little more when faced with an incident like this. I witnessed an accident several months ago that left me shaking for hours.

    I always look both ways too, even if I have the right of way. I just don’t trust other drivers to do what they are supposed to do.

    Thank you, Robin. Those things do stay with us, haunting reminders of the precariousness of life. Let us all look both ways, then look again and maybe again at intersections.
    Frances

  21. brokenbeat says:

    much love, mother.

    Thank you my dear. Writing about it, as you suggested has helped ease the terror out of my mind. The music is quite soothing and the video calming yet beautiful.
    Love,
    Frances

  22. Hello Frances, I´m so glad you and your husband are both safe.
    Blessings to both of you.
    María Cecilia

    Many thanks, Maria. I do appreciate your blessings.
    Frances

  23. gittan says:

    OMG! What a horrible moment for you! I’m so glad that both of you are ok. And, yes life is to short. We must take good care of each moment we have with our loved ones. As you know I’ve also lost all my familymembers, except my brother, way to early and I do appreciate every single moment I get with my beloved husband and our children. I can’t even imagine how life would be without them. I wish that all drivers would think; It’s better to arrive a bit late than not at all! Sometimes I believe we have a guardening angel / trippel kram gittan

    Thanks dear Gittan. I am so sorry for your losses, I know how alone it makes one feel. We must treasure our living loved ones and always drive with the thought that someone is not going to follow the rules of the road. Without a doubt we have been protected by a guardian angel on several occasion.
    Quadruple kram back to you,
    Frances

  24. Daphne Gould says:

    I still remember when I was a teenager. I was in the backseat of the car and we were going through an intersection. Linda slammed the brakes on the car. Another car was going about 70 through the intersection (in the middle of town with a speed limit of 30), running a stop sign. It scared us all to death. It took a while for us to quit freaking out, but I never did forget it. I can never understand why people act like that.

    Thanks for sharing this Daphne. We too often hear stories of young lives lost when drivers are not thinking. Running red lights and stop signs at high speeds happens much too much, with tragic consequences. Those near misses stay with us forever, I can remember every one we have ever had. But the fact that I am here remembering makes life that much more dear. It could have so easily been otherwise.
    Frances

  25. Hi Frances, Wow that really is scary and I’m glad you’re not hurt! I totally understand the aftermath stress and thinking about all the what-ifs. My dear niece was involved in a terrible car accident on Monday morning, carpooling to nursing school with two of her friends. Even though I knew everyone was fine before even hearing the details, I find myself very “what if”y. Her tire blew, pulling the car from the left lane of the freeway into the median and someone it rolled three times! Then it landed in the lanes of opposing traffic and was hit by a semi-truck!!! All of their backpacks flew out the shattered windows, but thankfully all three occupants were wearing seatbelts. She has a black eye and swelling to her head but otherwise is fine. There are so many elements, that if only slightly different, would have made a much different outcome and it scares me. I don’t have a huge family and I’m very close to her and the idea of losing a 24-year-old in general, and her in specific, freaked me out! Years ago I also had a similar incident as the one that happened to you and since then, if I’m the first car at a light, I always wait a few seconds to accelerate, looking both ways for people running lights… NOT that that would necessarily help because 1) people do dumb things and 2) a crazy driver could be coming out of any direction and it really only takes a second… but it makes me feel better. Thinking of you!

    Thanks Monica. I am so glad you niece and her friends were okay, except for some minor injuries. We take it for granted that all the drivers on the road are paying attention and will do what they are supposed to do. What a leap of faith that is. We all need to be extra super careful at all times.
    Frances

  26. Sweet Bay says:

    Thank goodness for your husband’s fast reflexes, and how frightening. Driving is such a common everyday occurance and yet so dangerous.

    It’s painful that traumatic experiences get replayed over and over again in our minds, yet it seems to be part of the healing process. The only way it can be justified is that the mind is trying to reconcile that experience with what has happened before.

    I am glad you are OK! if shaken.

    Thanks Sweet Bay. There is danger all around, we need to be on our toes, yet not get bogged down in too much worry. It is a fine line.
    Frances

  27. Barbarapc says:

    An excellent reminder to all of us to treasure the moments we get to spend above ground; love those around us; and concentrate at the task at hand to really be alive in the moment. (I guess we have to take back that it’s a bad thing that men don’t really listen) And, to show that inattention is rampant on this side of the border…when I went to the gym, I missed my door and walked into the mens locker room. They were all dressed and did invite me to stay, but it just gave me that nudge that maybe I really wasn’t doing as well as I thought after my buddy’s death. Oh, and it looked exactly the same as ours, except there were men there….can you imagine if I hadn’t had those visual cues…if you want to switch a near death experience to a near death of embarrassment experience – I would be more than happy to share my moment of foolishness.

    Thanks Barbara, for sharing that. I am so sorry about your friend’s death, please accept my condolences. Those things remind us of the delicate dimension between here and gone. Glad the men were fully clothed. :-)
    Frances

  28. Kate says:

    Oh, my gosh. How frightening. I kept racing ahead as I read your story, hoping to see this ended well and that everyone was okay. I am happy and relieved to hear that you are. I imagine it would take anyone a little while to ‘recover’ from such a close call.

    Hi Kate, thanks. It seemed somehow wrong to just go on like nothing had happened. I needed time to digest it and reflect. Writing about it, and the comments of dear readers like you, has really helped me to be able to move forward. I appreciate that.
    Frances

  29. nancybond says:

    Having worked as a Paramedic, I have, sadly, seen the horrific results of just such a collision. Life can be snatched away from us in a heartbeat, a blink of an eye. I am so happy that you are all safe and well — your honest post may just save a life, Frances. (((Frances)))

    Thanks so much, Nancy. I cannot imagine having to see that sort of thing everyday. You and the other emergency providers are angels on earth. I wrote the post to maybe help people take the time to be more alert to what is going on around them, hug their loved ones and look out for distracted drivers.
    Frances

  30. Catherine says:

    I’m also so glad to read that you are both okay. I was just telling my daughter the other day the importance of making sure no one is trying to make it through the light before proceeding through the intersection (she’s only 11 but I’m trying to get these things in her head before she’s driving). Life can change in the blink of an eye, so glad yours didn’t!

    Hi Catherine, thanks. They are never too young to be told those sorts of things. Good for you, and her. Driving becomes habitual and we might let down our guard. The blink of an eye is too slow for how fast this happened. Scary.
    Frances

  31. Lona says:

    It is times and moments like that that makes us so thankful. In the blink of an eye our whole lives can change. I am so glad that no one was hurt by the mishap. We really should enjoy each day and live it to the fullest.
    Have a wonderful weekend. You make quite the cute little Halloween lady.;-)

    Thanks Lona. It is difficult to think in terms of life ending in such a short amount of time. Our minds just aren’t geared to that, or we would never leave the house. Glad you liked the getup for Halloween. We did get some stares while shopping.
    Frances

  32. Tatyana says:

    I am speechless. Not everyone is able to react so fast. I am so happy you both are safe.

    Thanks Tatyana. I certainly would not have reacted that fast. A warning for us all to be extra careful and observant.
    Frances

  33. Goodness Frances! What a scary thing to have happen. I hate driving on highways … your story is exactly why… there are so many people out there in such a hurry to get from one point to another that they forget there are other people with lives of their own along the way. So glad you are here to tell it all. Sweet family portrait… not so scary though as your story. Take good care. Carol

    Hi Carol, thanks. I have to not think about all the things that can go wrong while driving, or I would never be able to go anywhere. Glad you liked the photo of us. We were not smiling so as to be scary. :-)
    Frances

  34. Yes, look both ways! Always, even when the light says you can go. Those near misses can really shake a person up, as they seem to have shaken you. Good for the Financier to be so quick!

    Thank Carol. You are so right. Always check the intersections. The Financier saved us that day. I don’t think I would have seen it coming, that is what shakes me up so.
    Frances

  35. Nicole says:

    I am so thankful you are all fine. My brother was in a car accident two weeks ago , the car was totaled but all I am is thankful that he is all right, with only minor injuries.

    Thanks Nicole. I am so glad your brother is okay too. Accidents can occur when we least expect them.
    Frances

  36. As I was reading I was thinking, “I’m so grateful to be getting this report from Frances, instead of a report about her.” Too close to that edge. Be kind to yourselves; I imagine it will take a few weeks for this shock to wear off. Glad you are both still with us!

    Thanks so much, DP. I appreciate your concern. I had to drive to Knoxville yesterday and came home a different way, avoiding that intersection.
    Frances

  37. Jenny B says:

    Bless your heart! I can tell just how shaken you were by your post. I hope that by now, you are feeling a little more calm. That was very wise advice to journal about the experience to help make sense of it. You have two (at least 2) guardian angels working overtime helping the two of you through that experience. Life is a precious gift. What a reminder!

    Thanks Jenny. I am better now, writing about it and the interaction of the comments has really helped air out those feelings of dread. The guardian angels have saved us several times before, that we know of. Probably way more than we want to imagine.
    Frances

  38. Reading your account of something that very likely has happened to a number of us – it reaffirms that we need to be so thankful for all the moments we have on this earth… the opportunities, the joys, sorrows, friendships, and the experiences that make us each more caring, empathetic and appreciative of where we are, what we have, and of the people in our lives.

    Thank you for this reminder, Frances. I am so grateful that you and your husband were not hit.

    Thanks Shady. It is something that we have probably all experienced if we do a lot driving especially. It helps remind us to not take anything for granted, love and distracted drivers.
    Frances

  39. What a precious reminder that we all need to hear from time to time. I lost my father suddenly a couple of years and it taught me a similar lesson. Cherish those you love because you never know what can happen.

    I am thankful that you and your husband were not involved in a terrible accident.

    Thanks Noelle. I am so sorry for the loss of your father. Please accept my sincere condolences. Losses of our loved ones, suddenly or not are so very painful. Life is so precious and precarious at the same time.
    Frances

  40. Frances you are scaring me. Just the thought of you and the Financier in a bad accident is too much to bear. It would be like losing a family member for me now. I always practice defensive driving because I don’t trust other people on the road. The intersectin leaving Client # 1’s in particular, I look and wait two beats before proceeding because I have seen and heard many cars come to a screeching stop at that light because they are not paying attention after coming off an interstate type highway.

    Dear Christopher, you are so sweet, thank you. You and yours are like family to us as well. Amazing how blogging turned into such a social network. Some intersections are really bad, and being close to the interstate is a big influence on people driving on autopilot. Going faster without having to stop become habitual and an attitude adjustment is needed when one exits the interstate. The intersection in my story was just that type as well. :-)
    Frances

  41. vwgarden says:

    I’m glad you and your husband are safe. After such an experience, I would surely replay it again and again and worry. But you are a glass-half-full person. I bet that after your mind has time to work through the terror of the close miss, you’ll feel mostly gratitude for the experience that has reminded you to savor all the good things in your life. Then the coming holidays and little, happy moments will be all the sweeter.

    Thanks for those kind words, VW. I am much better about it now, although I will be avoiding that intersection for a while. We do look forward to hugging each family member especially tightly during the coming family reunion at Thanksgiving. :-)
    Frances

  42. Chickenpoet says:

    Do not fear “what if’s” of any yesterday
    be thankful for needing earplugs for another close of day
    appreciate karma’s mysterious fate
    that kept your precious love
    alive and well,
    still Penn State proud

    CRAP!!! I WASN’T DONE!!!

    …..being protected from above.
    Each day is a new beginning
    not to be lost in what could have been’s.
    So fear no more
    and feel secure
    for many years “since then”

    CP

    This was such a rough draft. I lost my rhythm when it posted my comment before I was done. Maybe the message will come to me later. Much Love to you and Finie (Financier). I miss you and can’t wait to visit again. You will have to e-mail me the plans.

    Much Love again, CP

    Dearest Chickenpoet, your poetry is still as moving as ever, then the comment published and your response totally cracked me up! I do appreciate your great gift of making something beautiful from words, we are so very fortunate to have you for a daughter. We can’t wait to see you again.
    Love,
    Frances

  43. Susie says:

    I had a very similar experience with my 2 oldest kids & a car full of teenagers about 15 years ago. We would have all been gone…Not our time, or yours I guess. Something is in store for us, we still have the gift of life & many things to do & share and people to love & cherish around us.

    Hi Susie, thanks for sharing your situation as well. I guess it was not our time to leave this earth. Like you say, there was more to do, including holding those we love even more tightly.
    Frances

  44. Cindy, MCOK says:

    MERCY, Frances, what a harrowing experience! When I’m first at a light, I do my best to look both ways before proceeding. You remind me of why it’s always an excellent idea to do so! Blessings be on both you and the Financier. I know you’ll hold each other a little closer for a while to come.

    Hi Cindy, so nice to see you, thanks for stopping by. Looking both ways, several times even is a good idea. I will certainly be doing many looks at every intersection. I appreciate your kind thoughts. :-)
    Frances

  45. That really does shake you up. I’ve lived with the awareness of how short life is for nearly 20 years now, since my sister died in a car accident. It is always a good idea to be cautious, but I truly believe that when it’s your time, it’s your time, and if it isn’t, it isn’t. The important thing is to live each day as if it were your last or the last of the people you love, not because it might be, but because you’ll live more fully in the time you’ve got.

    Dear MMD, I am so sorry about your sister. That must have been a terrible shock to your entire family. And so young. Your philosophy sounds wise. We mustn’t overthink how tenuous our time is, but hold tightly to those who are dear to us.
    Frances

  46. Life is indeed fragile, dear Frances. I am so glad the Financier was spared injury, and your car too. These sorts of musings are important for us to remember in the busy whirl of day to day. I sent Jim off this morning on a long trip. He is traveling north to Wisconsin to visit one of his Navy buddies. When I bid him farewell I was only too aware of how long a way he has to go and how many trucks and inattentive drivers there are between here and there.

    I never take my life for granted any more.

    Thanks Hands. I do hope your Jim has a safe and easy trip. The whole traffic set up relies on people doing what they are supposed to all the time. I often wonder that there are not more accidents with only little painted lines keeping us where we should be on the road. Glad to hear you make each moment count. :-)
    Frances

  47. Frances, what a shock to the psyche for you! My husband had a similar close call on his Vespa and thankfully came out of it only with bruises. Like you, I get ice in the veins just thinking of how close we came. By chance, today our son introduced me to the word “jetztzeit” which is German for “now-time” — but its meaning, I think, is “in the moment.” I’m trying to break myself of the bad habit of worrying about what might have been or what might be, and learning to focus on the here and now. In fact, I just went over and gave my hub a big kiss.

    Oh how frightening, Helen. Those scooters offer no protection at all. Thanks for the new word, it is something we need to work on as well.
    Frances

  48. commonweeder says:

    Yikes! What a story. I am grateful for your husband’s good protocols and good reflexes. We were in an accident once that totalled our car but left us unharmed – all because a driver – with children in the back seat – pulled out around a car stopping at a stop sign to drive out across the highway. You wouldn’t have believed anyone could do such a thing.

    Thanks Pat. That certainly is scary. Sometimes people are in such a hurry, late for something, that they lose all judgement. Glad you were okay.
    Frances

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