As the dawn approaches, the silhouette of many branches surround me.
The street lamps glow orange, illuminating the rough wood from which they are held in their secure place. They light up the road, and embrace it in the early morn, and a white and full moon shines down from the far away heavens as the greatest street lamp of all.
The light… how welcome it is to observe it slice through the darkness.. “Let there be light…” and He spoke it into being. From the darkness, and the void, like a dimmer switch, the objects once obscured by midnight like a black ink, come back into focus, and the day beckons me forward into the promise of the gift.. just today..and that is enough.
It is my Mother’s 81’st birthday today. The years say that this is her age, but when I informed her that her birthday was on Sunday, she looked at me questioningly.
” How old will I be,” she inquired..
”21,” I responded with a giggle.. We were sitting at her residence, with a group of ladies, enjoying their lunch, and their tea.
She said, “no…”
I said …” you will be 81 on Sunday.”
Her eyes nearly bugged clear out of her head.
” 81!”… She was shocked, and somewhat dismayed..
I responded, probably indelicately with..” at least you are not 101..”
She retorted with the fact that she had no idea that she was that old.
Its interesting to see that as someone ages in their bodies and minds, there is a gift somehow in the forgetting of their age. Maybe, you begin to feel younger in spirit, and yet when she looks in the mirror, she says..” I am so wrinkled..”
” Wrinkles are beautiful to me Mum”
She listens, but does not have a response to this statement.
I do believe this.. as are your scars.. It’s taken me a long time to get to this place, and I still struggle with acceptance of them. They do serve a purpose though.
I am far more forgiving and admiring of others wrinkles and scars, than of my own… I wonder why it’s so challenging to accept these things in ourselves? We see them as imperfections that should be hidden, rather than simply acknowledging that these are the fragments that make up the life that is uniquely our own. Nobody else in the entire universe will ever bear the same life marks as we do individually.
It was over a week ago now that the accident occurred, and yet, thinking about it, even just right after, it did not seem like an accident, but gracious mercy, and provision.
We pushed the heavy rough hewn wooden door forward, and looking through the glass of the window, I was astounded to see that while we had been enjoying chicken fajitas at a Mexican restaurant, heavy snow was falling.
We had been oblivious to this change in the weather, all safe and secure, filling our tummies full of chips and salsa, and yet outside our cozy oasis, there was a snow storm raging.
When we had entered the eatery, there was no sign of snow.. How quickly our weather can change.
We had enjoyed our meal with Mum’s caregiver, Amy, and her Father Garth, who is a doppelgänger, startling resemblance to Albert Einstein.
Garth was kind enough to be willing to hook up a third sump pump in my basement, in case of the Spring flood season, for which I am so grateful.
The heavy flakes of snow filled the windshield of the car, and the wipers were working furiously to remove them, but it was obvious this was going to be a tricky, and harrowing drive home.
Mum mentioned to me, “ why don’t we just go back to your house? I’m nervous about you driving in all of this.”
My inner thoughts were swirling, as I battled with what would be the right decision. Traffic was moving seemingly in reverse, as motorists crawled along the slick and sloppy road.
I ultimately decided it would be best to return her to her residence, even though the drive took me out of my way, there was a sense of it being the right thing to do.
I ended up driving up to the curb of her senior residence, and I walked her slowly inside. Thankfully there was a PSW right there at the desk, and I asked her if she would be willing to walk Mum back to her apartment, as I wanted to get back to my house as soon as possible.
Mum was in tears as I departed, which always tugs at my heart big time. She said, “ I’ll be praying, please be careful, and call me when you get home.” The caregiver gently took her by the shoulders and turned her the other direction, and they slowly walked away down the hall.
I needed her prayers…
The country road was obliterated by the white stuff, and I gripped the steering wheel tightly in both hands. On the radio I was listening to Ravi Zacharius speak on what it means to believe in Jesus, and He was also sharing his personal story of when he was 17 years old, and wanted to take his own life.. before he met Jesus. It was an inspiring, and encouraging account, and I listened intently.
It was almost as if I knew it was going to happen, seconds before it did, and so I prayed for my own safety on the road.
A moment later, my right front tire caught the edge of the road.. and I began fish tailing instantly. I must have applied the brakes, which made it worse, then I do remember just taking my hands off the wheel, and waiting expectedly for what I was going to hit… I’m not sure if I braced myaelf for impact or not.
I was not in control… not even in the slightest..
A tractor blurred into view, and a house, and then I hit the frozen snow bank with a thud. My right rear side finally sliding to a halt against the icy bank. I looked up to see that I had landed in someones’ driveway. In the middle of the countryside where only a few sporadic houses were placed, I had crashed in a driveway.. Are you kidding me?.. Not in a ditch, an oncoming car, or a building, a driveway.
I sat for a few seconds, then realized I was unharmed, and intact.
I opened the door, and looked around… in stunned silence.
I heard a voice say,” Are you ok?”
There stood a man outside of his red pickup , across the road from where I had landed.
” I think so?….”
He walked over to me, and said” I saw the whole thing, I was a few cars behind you.”
” I think I’m stuck, “
I walked around the right side of the car, and began kicking snow out from around my tires, thankful that for once in my life, I was wearing appropriate footwear.
He checked out where I had come to rest, and said, “ I think you will be ok, if you turn your wheels straight, and just drive forward.
That seemed like a way to easy suggestion to this dilemma, but it also made sense, and I immediately trusted this person. It’s amazing to me how you do that, when you know you are completely helpless in that moment.
I turned my wheels, and inquired out the window if they looked straight? He gave be the thumbs up signal, and out I drove, and then was able to turn my car around, and head back out into the road.
Where I had landed was in a driveway, which had a car and a big tractor in it. I did not hit those. I hit an icy snow bank, which was softened by the freshly covered snow.
This was incredible to me.
Once I got back out onto the road, I said to the man twice,” thank you so much for stopping.”
“ You are most welcome.”
” I’ll probably go home and have a nice cry.”
He retorted,” and a nice glass of wine,” and smiled.
Driving slowly away from the scene, the tears soundlessly flowed down my cheeks, as I realized how things could have gone so differently, and how I might not have been breathing after that accident, and yet, here I was.
The decision to not bring my Mum home with me, had saved her from this harrowing experience, as she would have been on that passenger side which hit the snow bank.
I was so grateful that she was not with me. I had been protected, as had she.
Her prayers had been answered.
I called her later on when I reached my home, and relayed to her that her prayers were heard, and that I was safe. I didn’t tell her right then what had happened.. I did not want to upset her before she was going to bed.
On her birthday I told her, because she told me that she does a lot of praying for people. I said,” don’t stop, your prayers are heard.”
When I recounted my story, she was stunned , and shocked.
I told her that I got the car fixed the next day, because I knew it was not driving right. The steering wheel was shaking erratically, especially on the highway. It felt like the right rear tire might fly off… which was rather unsettling..
Turns out, it was undriveable, even though I had driven it the 20 minutes home, then 20 minutes back to Canadian Tire the next morning.
I had been protected by my Mother’s prayers.