There are few times in your life you catch a glimpse of an honest “could have been me” moment. I had one this morning.
My husband had a flight to catch this morning. Business trip. Something he does very often. So often, in fact, that he has a routine down based on the departure time since he takes this early morning Sunday flight every couple of months.
We had an unscheduled stop at a drug store before he caught his Uber to the airport. We said goodbye, gave hugs, said “I love you”s. I try and appreciate these moments because with a traveling husband, you never know if it’s the last one. As dramatic as this sounds, it’s true. I’ve never thought about it being the last time he sees me, though.
He transferred luggage, swapped keys and we each got into our cars. I had a moment where I felt the need to just rush off and get to the next stop. I was bringing home doughnuts for the kids and who wants to wait for a doughnut? But for whatever reason I thought, “just a second… i can wait until they drive off first.”
I leave the parking lot and head to the doughnut shop. My mind is switching from thought to thought, planning my day, trying to function on 5 hours of sleep and I am approaching my doughnut shop intersection. I have a green light, I’m 20 yards from the light when out of nowhere an older man in a sedan drives right through the intersection from my right.
I am stunned. I check my signal – still green. I look around at the vacant roads to see if anyone else witnessed this egregious lack of awareness on this man’s part. Apparently 6:30am on a Sunday only two people in Seattle need to get somewhere.
One of the things that sticks with me is his face and the complete and total lack of any awareness that he drove right through an intersection on a full on red light. Not even a sketchy run-a-yellow light change. The light was red when he approached the intersection and was still red his entire ride through, and even after he crossed. Zero reality registered on his face, and I was close enough to see the face of this man in the blue Toyota Camry.
Thankfully my stop was immediately after and I parked and took a few minutes to just digest what just happened. What the hell?!
I got the kid’s doughnuts, and headed home with trepidation. Every intersection was suspect of my death. Somewhere on the drive the realization dawns on me that if I had zoomed away from my husband in his Uber instead of waiting that extra minute, could I have been in front of that reckless car? Maybe I would have been ahead of the whole thing and missed this moment altogether. I definitely have a few angels looking out for me, and there has been more than one occasion a coincidental “just in time” escape, but I was 100% aware of what I escaped this morning.
It’s never occurred to me when saying goodbye to my husband it might be the last he sees me.
Once in a while the fragility of walking around on this planet with our family shows itself. It seems 6:30am on a Sunday morning road is a good location to catch a glimpse.