It all began on a Friday. I was in the thick of 8:45 a.m., rush-hour traffic… en route to my Community College. The light falling snow was just beginning to taper off. Still harboring my “I’m invincible” delusion of youth… I asked myself, “Eh… how dangerous could a couple of inches be?”
Well… I was paying way too much attention to the rock music blasting out of my car radio speakers and far too little attention to my speedometer. Little did I realize… road conditions were deteriorating with each passing minute and mile.
But I sure did notice after I had crossed over the US-23 overpass. A thin layer of ice had turned that short stretch of highway into a skating rink. I started to fishtail… then overcorrected.
As a nineteen-year-old, with virtually no hands on winter driving experience to draw on, and with there being insufficient time to mentally flip through the “pages” of some virtual reality, Driver’s Ed manual for advice… I panicked… which only made matters worse.
Car and driver’s mind were both starting to go into a spinout. Barreling down on me was the sea of oncoming headlights. Leading that vehicular “parade” was a massive, take no prisoners, 18-wheeler.
My last minute Hail Mary (words and actions) made me quickly jerk on the steering wheel… and before I could finish saying… “pray for us sinners… now and at the hour of our death”… my last ditch effort had prevented my crossing over the center line.
What happened next, only a veteran Hollywood stunt driver could’ve pulled off in “one take”… for his or her film director. The path my car took was akin to threading a needle. I jumped the curb and came to rest… neatly perpendicular “parked” between two, closely spaced road signs.
As my level of adrenaline ebbed, I realized that I had totally avoided a head on with that semi tractor-trailer rig… that all the other drivers in the vicinity were totally unscathed, as well. I, too, had emerged from that scene with nary a scratch to either my own body or car.
Though not an exact match to the events I’ve just described, the following video will give you a general idea of what could’ve easily happened to me. And since I had been driving a 1972 Chevy Nova at the time… colliding with that semi would’ve created a whole new meaning for the phrase, “compact car”.
A note to my more sensitive readers… you may not want to view this.
Returning to my story… the other drivers, out of consideration for me (or perhaps out of fear that I’d do some further boneheaded driving) had all brought their vehicles to a dead stop, which had allowed me to shift into reverse to get back onto the highway.
Albeit with frayed nerves, bruised ego and my car’s newly acquired, minor front-end wheel alignment problems, I did make it to my 9 a.m. class, safe and unsound, a mere two or three minutes late.
Only afterwards, did the significance of my near fatal accident start to fully sink in. November 9, 1973 could’ve easily been chiseled beneath my tombstone’s D.O.B. This had been nothing short of my first, ever, actual brush with death.
Since my driving skills that morning had been so lousy… I wondered… whose hands had guided my own on the steering wheel? Who had, just in the nick of time, saved my very life? Was it Lady Luck or the Good Lord?
True… those who are secularists and/or chivalrous would say, “Ladies first”. But, as much as I am a gentleman, in this case I’d have to disagree. I do believe there was one and ONLY ONE reason that I am here to blog my story on this day…
Now… to tie up a few loose ends, which I neglected to mention… I had no sooner resumed my commute than sunbeams broke through the dark blue/grey cloud deck and a song recorded by the British band, Badfinger… “Carry On Till Tomorrow”… broke through the crackling static of my car radio.
On that day… Carry On Till Tomorrow had taken on a whole new significance… the almost angelic / choir-like chorus reminding me of how close I had come to being fitted with my own “pair of wings.”
It was as if God had taken on the role of DJ to cue up and dedicate that song to me… to remind me that I should carry on… that He still had more for me to do in this world… in all the tomorrows, which His Divine Intervention had so graciously salvaged for me.
Why God had spared me from near certain death would only start to become apparent with the passage of time.
All, which had occurred on that nearly fatal winter day was just one of several other instances of Divine Intervention, which I’ve experienced in my lifetime.
These have been the events, which have further strengthened my already rock solid faith in God.
The Good Lord willing… I’ll share more of my experiences with you in the days ahead… stay tuned…