I had to wait several weeks to write about what I have been incredibly thankful for the past few weeks-my life. I used to have a bad habit of checking my phone, texting, looking up information, all while I was driving. I had a couple of things happen, that should have been wake-up calls, but they were like the pain of childbirth; time erases everything.
Driving down the four lane road, I slowed down to 45 as I drove through a small town in ND; actually, it was the town Mom and Dad lived in, before her death and his move to assisted living. I made it through town, kicked my cruise control on and up to 75 and reached for my phone. I was taking a few pumpkins to town for the grandchildren and had my sister’s little dog in the back of the Subaru. Sassy, the dog had actually been Mom and Dad’s at one time. Mom loved Sassy.
You think you are going to look for a second, but it must have been more than that… I don’t know what made me look up, but directly in front of me was a highway truck, with a flashing arrow. It was stopped and I was not… I didn’t even think, just swerved….I got past the truck and pulled off to the side of the road. Sassy and the pumpkins had gone for a ride and I had to call her a couple of times before she looked around the seat at me. Her face clearly said, “What in the hell were you doing?” I held her and cried; I could barely drive the rest of the way to the city. I called my middle son and he said, “Mom, you’re too old to text and drive.” “I know,” I said. I kept seeing the arrow; for days I kept seeing the arrow. It wasn’t until the next morning, when I woke up and saw the orange cones flying in front of the car. It had happened so fast; what if my reactions had been slower, what if I had looked up one second later. My heart rate accelerates, my breath catches, and a tear leaks down my cheek, as I write about it.
All of the things we worry about, that I worry about; controlling my diabetes, having enough money to survive retirement, watching the grandkids graduate and grow in their own lives, writing things that matter in my blog; all of it didn’t matter in that one second.
I put my phone in my glove box now. I still catch myself reaching for it out of habit. My phone is an Apple and the new upgrade has an app, which I downloaded, so my phone sends a message out to anyone, who texts me, “I’m driving with Do Not Disturb While Driving turned on. I’ll see your message when I get where I’m going.” Surviving sometimes is just living.. keeping yourself alive. I have news for my son though, “If we want to live, we are all too old to be texting, while driving.” When I told my youngest daughter-in-law, I said that if Mom had a save in her, I appreciated her using it on me. Megan said, “She wasn’t saving you, she was probably saving Sassy.” I laughed because it would be true.
I am so grateful to be alive….I ate a cookie that day and did some shopping. One second more…..