It has been a strange time for me lately. Wonderful things have been happening, like finding this beautiful house in Florida to buy, just when I needed to find it. There have also been loving moments that warm the heart: an unexpected kiss, and a long-lost friend, found.
However, bad things too, have made their way into my life, in addition to some just plain frightening moments. Let me tell you about one such scary incident that happened last week, because no matter how terrifying it was, there is an upside.
Last Wednesday, I was nearly killed on I-75 halfway through Georgia on my way to Florida. There the speed limit is 70 miles per hour; I was in the middle lane, and moving well with traffic. Suddenly, I could see there was something wrong up ahead; cars started moving to either the right or the left very quickly. I reacted instantly, knowing there had to be a reason for abandoning the middle lane, but with no room at either side for me to move into, I could not, without smashing into another vehicle.
Then I saw the reason for all the maneuvering and sudden lane changing; a big, red wingback chair obstructed the middle lane. It was the most surreal thing I’ve ever seen. Resting in the middle lane of a busy interstate, it was tilted at a jaunty angle as if inviting someone to sit and relax.
A quick look in all directions told me I couldn’t avoid the red wing chair. I slammed down on the brakes hard. In that instant there was no doubt in my mind I was about to die.
I was terrified, not totally because of the chair; while it would smash my Honda Insight, I would survive the impact. I was terrified because the automobiles following me on that middle lane were traveling at 70 miles per hour unaware of the wing chair blocking the road. They would hit me hard.
I wish I could say I prayed, but there was no time for prayer. With my foot still pressing hard on the brake, I yielded to what I thought was my fate.
Like in the movies, I experienced everything that followed as if in slow motion.
Inexplicably, my Honda rolled gently to a stop: no screeching of tires, no sharp movements or skids—stopping just a fraction of an inch from the chair.
Instinctively, I readied myself for the impact of the vehicles following me, expecting they would smash into my car, but it never happened. The miracle was that there was no pile-up.
Suddenly, a space large enough for my Honda appeared to my left, and very quickly, I eased the car to that lane. Traffic started to move, like a powerful ocean current, seemingly carrying me along with them. There was no time to think; I couldn’t get away from that chair fast enough.
Looking back on the incident, I hope someone called the highway police to report the red-menace on I-75. As for me, I was too shaken to do anything but drive to the next rest stop. And there I gave thanks.
There is just a little more to this story. Earlier that morning an old man had walked over to me at the hotel’s parking lot. He looked over my hybrid Insight and told me that soon I would know I was loved and being taken care of.
Weird old guy. I was polite, but I paid him little mind. You can imagine how impatient I was—eager to get started on my drive, yet cornered by some crazy and probably senile man. Everyone within earshot, even his wife seemed amused by his prediction.
Coincidence? Most likely. But viewing this incident along with all the other coincidences I’ve experienced lately and I can’t help but wonder…
I feel like a child again standing in awe at the sight of something inexplicable and beautiful. I am so grateful to be alive and in this beautiful place.
Most important of all, the old man was right; I feel loved and cared for.
- Tailgating ‘worst motorway habit’ (confused.com)