One week ago yesterday I found myself hanging upside down in my seat belt after rolling over twice in Mark’s truck. Mark was yelling my name and Ziggy’s name and my name and Ziggy’s name. We had been making our regular commute to work early, on a rainy Friday morning. We were discussing the latest craziness in the news. The next second we are hydroplaning on the water that was streaming down the freeway. Mark tries to correct and the momentum takes us head on into a concrete wall, sending the truck onto its roof, the wheels and landing on the roof again. I open my eyes and I hear Mark’s pleas for me to wake up, to move. I hear him calling for Ziggy. I tell him I’m alright. Four angels appear on their knees at the shattered car window telling me they will get me out, they will stay with me, they won’t leave me. They direct me out of the back window and pull me out. I’m standing, I’m walking, I’m not hurt. Today I have such a deep longing to know each of their names. I want to say Thank You over and over again. I want to call them by name from here on out in my prayers. For now, I just have to be satisfied with the knowledge that God knows them. He will bless them and embrace them for me and my pack.
One of the angels tells me that Mark has run down the freeway. “Why?” I ask in complete horror. “To get your dog.” he says. I have a shameful thought. “Ziggy is gone Sweetie. He has to be.” After all, he’s running in pandemonium, shear panic, on the freeway. The angels stay with me, until Mark returns, with Ziggy. They both are alive and OK. The California Highway Patrol, especially Officer Bennett, a young white officer was humanity personified. Given the times we are living in, you know why I mention his race. It’s important that these stories about our daily protectors are told too. He helped Mark corral Ziggy in a parking lot off of the freeway. He gave them a ride back to me and proceeded to personally take care of me and Ziggy until we were safe at the hospital. He was thoughtful and took care of me like I was family. It was a blessing to be a recipient of the officers’ service.
“A young white officer was humanity personified. He was thoughtful and took care of me like I was family.”
At the end of this day I lay in bed with Mark and Ziggy feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude! I knew we were lucky to be alive. I knew how wonderful it felt knowing that our loved ones would be able to hear us tell this story and not get bits and pieces from witnesses as they tried to make sense of our demise. A friend had called randomly that night, unaware of what had happened to us. She asked me, “How was your day?” I shocked myself when I spoke the words, “I had a great day!” I proceeded to share my story and the true and profound purpose of it all began to unfold for me, marking this as a life changing event. I got to witness a miracle in our survival and physical well being and we were gifted awe inspiring humanity at its finest. No one was hurt, no other cars were involved. I got so present to my badass band of angels and their undying love for me. It truly was a great day!
It wasn’t a near death experience but it was a realization that this life can be extinguished in a blink of an eye. One minute you’re here and the next minute you’re not. Every thing around me since then has felt exaggerated. My student’s hugs, the pressure from their arms permeates my bones; Mark’s voice, sounds clearer and more loving, our laughter, more rich and deep; Ziggy’s body pressing against me, warms me to my core; the look in the eyes of my friends, so glad that I’m still here, stills me and those emotions safely nestle in each embrace; the cool air I breathe in and out, on our pack walks feels fresh and full of life; and today, the Sun on my face, made me want to weep. I stopped and looked up, closed my eyes and let it bathe and embrace me. I whispered into the Universe, thank you, I’m so happy to be alive.
The fact that God saw fit to spare me and the ones I love so deeply is not lost on me. I got a second chance to step up my game and you watch, I WILL!