Thursday, January 26, 2017

As I Live and Die

Well, I almost died yesterday. 

I tried to soften the melodramatic tone of that statement, but that just about sums it up. I ran a red light during busy, rush hour traffic. Totally my fault. I was second in line at a congested intersection. Tired from a day's work, I sat waiting my turn and reviewing my mental "to do" list for when I got home. The car in front of me suddenly went (a right turn, as it turned out) and the car across the intersection scooted up a bit, giving me the idea that our light had turned green. I proceeded to drive across and, as I passed under the traffic light, I looked up. A couple of things happened, all within a millisecond. 

  • I noticed the light was still red. 
  • I looked and saw a car stopped in the intersection where I had just driven in front of them and they had to brake quickly. 
  • I heard a horn blaring and realized another car from the other direction had to do the same thing (except they took the time to honk and wave at me with one finger).

And I sailed right through that intersection unscathed. (I'm sending my guardian angel a gift basket today.)

But something else happened that I hadn't really experienced before and am maybe OK never doing so again -- my life flashed before my eyes. You hear about it. You see it depicted in movies. But it actually happened, like a quick little Facebook "your life in pictures slideshow, dummy, 'cause you weren't paying attention back there."

It seemed like a lot of images, but these are the ones I remember vividly. Note, these are still photos I possess. The actual images during my near-death experience were moving, like the pictures in Harry Potter or little snippets from home movies.

I saw a younger Daddy, smiling and waving at me.

I saw this little girl, whom I barely remember.

I saw a young and healthy Mom, laughing.

And I saw a young Jason, waiting anxiously at the altar as Daddy and I made our way down the aisle.

So, the morale of the story? I guess pay attention at red lights and live each day to its fullest. Be careful out there. Especially if you see me at an intersection.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

In with the new

I’m excited about inauguration day tomorrow. There, I said it. Not because of the changing of the proverbial guard, not because “my team” won, not because it’s the closest thing we have to a royal wedding with all of the red carpet pageantry and the “what is she wearing?” comments, although all of those things are good reasons. 

I’m excited because it’s a great opportunity for all of us. It’s Day One. It’s a beginning. There’s something comforting about tabula rasa - a blank slate - that allows you to take a deep breath and restart. You may not agree with President Trump’s election, his viewpoints, or comments he made 11 years ago. That’s OK. I’m probably not, either. But, like it or not, as of tomorrow, he’s the leader of the greatest country in the world for the next four years.

My prayer for him will be the same that it was for Obama:  Lord, please watch over this man and his family. Please don’t let anyone hurt him or his children. Be with him each day, in his words and actions, and let us see You in him. Let his decisions please You and better us.

Mr. Trump has chosen to take the oath upon two different Bibles:  his personal one and President Lincoln’s. How appropriate that he chose the Bible of another leader not liked by everyone and who lived (and died) trying to unify a fractured nation?

For a good piece about the choice of these two Bibles, check out this Post article.

A Facebook friend posted this meme a while back:

Indeed, we are all on the same plane and the pilot has crazy hair but he also has some pretty exciting plans and ideas. So, let's all try to enjoy the ride and behave. That means you, guy with the stinky sub sandwich shoveling chips in your mouth like you're loading coal on a locomotive. That means you, mother with two little kids screaming and crying. That means you, Chatty Cathy. See my headphones and book and slightly bothered look on my face and know I don't want to hear about your grandchildren, your destination, or the rash on your elbow. That means you, flight attendant. Yes, you already look bothered and we're still on the ground and the lady in front of me hasn't summoned you with the call button 8 times yet. Go get in your little jump seat and buckle up, sister. And, yes, it means you dude in front of me who reclines while we're still on the tarmac only to have to be told to return your seat to its upright position before we can take off. If those three centimeters actually provide you some comfort or solace, go for it. I guess I don't need my tray table.