December 19, 2013, around 10 am, I was driving westbound on highway 528 towards Orlando. As usual, I was on the phone speaking with a client when all of a sudden I noticed the traffic in front of me swerving. I was about 200 feet away from the car in front of me and I thought there must be a tire or something people are trying to avoid. Even though I was still on the phone I decided to prepare for a shift and started moving towards the right lane. What happened next was nothing less than surreal!
All of a sudden, I noticed a small, white SUV driving in the wrong direction at 70+ mph coming towards me. Although I could see the car and knew something was off, it did not register until seconds later, that this was what people were trying to avoid.
Finally, all my senses started to come together as I noticed this car was getting closer to me. I started to move towards the right lane, out of her path while exclaiming “OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD!” (Needless to say, my professionalism turned into “survival mode”. The person I was speaking to became aware that something was wrong.) I began to describe what was happening as I continued to pray aloud “OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD!”
At this point, I could see the driver… an older woman with short blond hair looking at me as if I was going the wrong way. Her car barely missed my car! As she continued to move past me, my vision turned to my rear view mirror. The car behind me did not make the necessary adjustments and the white SUV slammed head on into them! It was horrifying to see and hear metal on metal at 70 plus miles per hour as the car behind me seemed to explode, hit two other cars, rolled several times, and caught on fire.
Once safe and on the side of the road, I had a hard time trying to remember the number for 9-1-1! This all happened in an instant but time just seemed to slow down, like in a movie; frame by frame. (If you are interested, you can click here to see accident report. )
I am so grateful that nothing happened to me but my thoughts and prayers immediately go to all the people involved and injured in this accident. I cannot help wonder “what if?” How different would our Christmas be if I left the home less than a minute later?
Life is precious and we should not spend a single minute of that time harboring a grudge, anger or resentment. Every one of us is on a journey… It is time to come together, in gratitude and love, to discover the beauty in everything that happens in life!
Even though it is hard to imagine the gifts and lessons during a tragic moment, I predict they will quickly unfold. The trick is to find the purpose for the lesson! If we look for blame, fault or what went wrong; we will find blame, fault and what went wrong. If we look with the eyes and heart of gratitude, knowing things could have been worse, then we will find the blessing, acceptance, peace and joy. Either way, we will find what we seek! (As for this accident… the prayers said for these people united everyone involved in a common cause and a different dimension. Each will discover their own blessing as they seek purpose and meaning to what happened.)
As I write this, I realize that my gifts and lessons come from knowing that life is fragile, it can all end in an instant. Had I been distracted, the ending to this story would be different. I know firsthand how important it is to be alert and focused. There is no time for distractions or pettiness of any kind… I want to focus on abundance, acceptance, love and joyful celebration. It is a new day and it happens to be my father’s 83rd birthday… I am Thankful!
Are you feeling thankful? If yes, then share your gratitude with me. If you are not feeling thankful then share what’s keeping you from shifting into the “right lane” to avoid an accident. Be alert and focused… It is up to us/you to be the change!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year… May 2014 Bring YOU Love, Peace, Joy and Unexpected Abundance!
I am thankful to have friends such as yourself to remind me of the urgency of living in the present and staying alert and aware of all gifts and lessons in life’s events. I thank God you were chosen to share this gift and lesson in this tragic event, thankful you are safe, and grateful to call you FRIEND!!
I was allowed to remain on this earth, on your birthday. 😉 We are still so connected! I am grateful for you!