Tag Archives: walking

Brush with death while reflecting upon death

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.

crosswalk

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.

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A slow walk, a small gain

Today Mom and I went for a short walk after a doctor’s appointment. Mom did quite well, as I hovered around her like a mother hen, scanning the sidewalk for cracks and gravel that could cause her problems.

It reminded me of last summer, when I held on to Dad’s arm and walked around the nursing home. There was an outdoor area that he liked to spend time in. I was constantly worried he would go down on the pavement, and Mom and I would not be able to support his frail frame. Even though he was skinny, he was still more than Mom and I could manage easily.

He would also try to take off without us by his side, and had a hard time getting in and out of chairs on his own. I remember those slow, painful walks, with Dad on a search for something he could never find.

The walk with Mom was also painfully slow, but she finished with a boost in self-confidence, and an increased hope that she could return to independent living in the near future.

A simple little walk can reveal more than meets the eye.

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