I am constantly learning lessons through out my day. It has taught me to listen to my instincts, stop and realize what the lesson is and most of all, be grateful for it.
Two weeks ago, on a Monday morning, one such lesson showed itself to me on a familiar drive into Cuba, MO. An all too familiar drive. Shortly after the kids left for school, it was my turn to make an almost three hour trek through the rolling hills of Missouri to reach Marble Hill, where I would present to Woodland High School. I have mentioned that I always wear something to remind myself of how strong I am and that presenting about my recovery is important. This particular Monday I wore a special bracelet that I had just received from my Aunt Bertina.
She had mailed it to me and I did not open my mail until late Sunday evening. She had sent me a hand written note explaining that the bracelet was owned by my Great Aunt Irene who had recently passed. Explaining the importance she saw in the bracelet as it related to my life and experiences, she wanted me to have it. It was a beautiful, emotional letter and when waking Monday morning, it was an easy decision to pick up the bracelet and wrap it around my wrist as my reminder piece for the day.
My GPS refused to load as AT&T’s signal was not strong this day. Hoping it would connect by the time I reached the end of my drive way, I headed past our barn lot and came to a halt at the mail boxes, noticing there was still no connection. Turning onto the gravel road while messing with my phone had crossed my mind, but I chose to stay put, close the app and start over. All of which took a few measly seconds. Heading up the country highway, I knew it would be silly to turn onto the interstate when I could take a shorter route to my destination. Traveling down the South Outer road, also known as Route 66, I knew I would pass the site of our crash. I travel this stretch of highway often, never intentionally looking at “the spot”, but always knowing it’s there.
This morning was beautiful. The temperature was perfect, it was slightly overcast but still had the feeling of summer and I was excited to be speaking in this part of Missouri. Each time I present I think about the hour or so that I will spend with the audience, if there is an experience that I would like to add and who may be affected by my words. I soon found myself more involved in what was going on in my mind rather than what was happening in my surroundings.
That familiar section of blacktop, pine trees, railroad tracks and grassy ditch came into my view and jarred me back to reality, just in time to see a red SUV pop over that same small hill and travel half way into my lane. Slow motion began as I watched the weight of the vehicle lean into that curve as the wheels turned and grabbed the pavement to quickly jerk back to the correct side of the road. Spontaneously I was thrown into a flash back of a white truck in that exact same motion with huge white head lights heading straight towards me.
Instinctively pushing on the brakes with both feet our vehicles missed hitting each other by a moment. Not yelling, but loudly I said to that driver, “Dang you! Dang you for making me feel this way!” as my heart beat ferociously in my chest and my eyes were as wide as could be. Calming myself, I noted that it was a reminder to always be paying attention. Had I not trusted my instincts to stop at the end of my drive way to check my GPS, I would have come around the corner at the identical moment the other driver did and again I would be in a collision.
I wore my Great Aunt Irene’s bracelet because my intuition told me to.
I whole heartedly believe she was my guardian angel that Monday morning and that makes me smile.