Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story?

I was driving south on Rt 95 yesterday, in the left lane, singing aloud to Hamilton, when all of a sudden there was dirt spraying and this Jeep tumbling madly. Right in front of me.

It landed upside down, its wheels spinning.

Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, I kept saying. I stopped my car, put on my hazards, and got out –  the first person to get to the crumpled, upside down Jeep. I had no idea what I was going to see.

There was a guy in it, hanging upside down, held into his seat by his seat belt. He responded to me through the window when I asked, Yes, I’m okay. He was alone. He managed to wrench the door open, told me again, I’m okay, then released himself from the seat belt – falling on his head, groaning, then crawled out of the car with the help of another man who had also stopped. And he sat in the dirt, next to his smashed, upside down car.

Like a true Massachusetts driver, his first question was, Did you see the asshole who cut me off? Did he bail? I hadn’t seen anything but dirt and tumbling car, but the man who helped him out of the car had, and the other car did stop and was waiting on the shoulder across the highway.

Then, from the other side of the median, an unmarked police car pulled up with his lights on and started walking across the median. And I felt like there wasn’t much I could do, so I walked back, got into my car, and drove away, a little shaky from adrenaline.

Thank goodness he was okay.

It happened right in front of me.

It could have been me.

I work really hard at staying alive. I exercise every day, prepare healthy foods for my family and eat very little junk food. I always match my carbohydrates with protein to avoid the diabetes that is so prevalent in my family. I see a therapist and meditate and write.

Thing is? It could have been me yesterday, and I could have walked away from it like the guy did, or I could have been really, really hurt. Or I could have died.

You have no control who lives, who dies, who tells your story.

I’m sitting with this today.

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2 Responses to Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story?

  1. Turia says:

    I have sat with this since my father’s accident in February and it never gets easier. We’re not meant, as humans, to be always conscious of the random nature of the universe and our lives. It’s really really hard.

    Glad you are ok, and glad he is too.

  2. torthuil says:

    Oh, wow. I have had moments like this too (most memorably when a car ran a red light a couple of seconds before I made a left turn : there was no accident but there could have been. I don’t like driving (though I’m grateful for the privilege) and arrange my life so I can do as little as possible most days. But you’re right there’s no guarantees–with anything–and it cab be overwhelming to consider.

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