formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just One Second Later...

I almost killed a kid yesterday. He rode his bicycle at breakneck speed into the intersection I was driving through on my way to Target to pick up dog food. About Ryan's age, he was clad in only a pair of shorts - no shoes, no helmet - and a 'deer caught in the headlights' look. I slammed on my brakes HARD and though I know my tires were no longer moving, my car was still being propelled forward by sheer momentum... it stopped a mere 6 inches from his sturdy little-boy body perched on his green mountain bike. He waved and hollered "I'm sorry" twice before continuing on his way. I had to pull over, to catch my breath and wait for my heart's rhythm to return to normal. I can't remember ever being so frightened. A hundred things ran through my head -- all the what if's... what if I'd been just one second later entering the intersection? What if I'd been looking down at the radio or adjusting the AC or looking in my rear view mirror? What if I hadn't had my brakes replaced recently? What if I'd been tired or my reflexes weren't so good? None of the scenarios my mind fabricated were positive... every one of them resulted in him being terribly (or fatally) injured. It didn't matter that it wouldn't have been my fault... I wasn't speeding; I was crossing the intersection at a green light; he didn't stop or look before he barrelled in front of me; he wasn't wearing any of the protective gear required by law (or common sense). All that would have mattered was that I hit a child with my car. My life as I know it would have been over. That's the sort of thing you don't move past, no matter how it happens or how it turns out. Luckily, I didn't have to move past it. I just had to take a deep breath and thank the Universe that everything fell into place so that little boy could make it, unharmed, to his friend's house or the playground or wherever he was going (hopefully a little bit wiser, a little more wary of intersections, and a lot more respectful of red lights). And after another deep breath, I thanked the Universe that all my problems and frustrations and the annoyances that plague this daily mess we call 'life' pale in comparison to what I COULD have had to deal with, had I been just one second later.

2 comments:

katy said...

Did I tell you that happened to friend of mine, although she was about to hit a woman with a pushchair, she was on her way to my house at the time,she missed the pushchair by like a cm or something, woman walked out without looking, my friend was hysterical by the time she got to my house - lucky kid, must have a guardian angel

Diane said...

He has one... or I do.