Today, while walking to the park, I was almost hit by a car. I had for the first time in my life the overwhelming fear at facing my own sudden demise.
The street I was crossing is a major road in my neighborhood, with one side being the beginning of the park. I was approaching from the other side, and was crossing at the crosswalk, which has a flashing light that by law requires cars to stop for any pedestrians.
Sadly, very few Atlanta drivers obey this law.
On top of that, all of the metal barriers were left up from the marathon that had been run the day before. I positioned myself in front of one of these barriers, and waited for the cars to either stop or clear the intersection before crossing.
Finally, a large SUV stopped for me. I could not see around it, but waved thanks to the driver and began crossing. That’s when I heard a horn honk, and the car behind the SUV pulled out and suddenly was barreling straight at me.
I froze, fully expecting to be struck by the car. I put my hand out, I guess hoping to launch myself on the hood instead of going under the wheels.
Fortunately, the impatient driver had good brakes. My hand landed on the hood of the car as it came to a halt.
To say the least, I was shaken. I had wanted to go for a long walk and brainstorm some of the ideas I have for essays about taking care of my mother. Instead I spent most of the time shaking off that brush with death.
I guess the takeaway is that you never know when you are leaving this world. It could be crossing a street you’ve crossed safely a hundred times in your neighborhood. Try to make each day as satisfying as possible.