Sorry, not a school post, just something about which I have to write…
At 12:20 p.m. yesterday, I was driving south on the 405, headed for the Bristol offramp to meet a client at Seasons 52 restaurant.
The car in front of me was a Toyota 4Runner, an SUV-type vehicle.
In a flash, a large metal object was hurtling toward my windshield, straight for my face. The object was big and I could tell it was heavy because of the way it was moving through the air.
I had no time to dodge the object and time only for one thought, which was, “Is this how I am going to die?”
Strangely, there was no fear. In fact, there was a brief sense of closure because I was about to learn what many people anticipate with deep dread. I was about to learn how I was going to die.
Then the heavy object hit my windshield with a tremendous thud. My wndshield suffered damage so bad that I could barely see out of it. But my low, heavy car did not budge – not a millimeter – and I was able to safely pull over to the shoulder. The Toyota driver pulled over, too. Turns out that the object was flying because he managed to drive over it – whatever it was – at just right angle to make it airborne.
Tomorrow, I will be participating with close friends and family in the annual Orange County Brain Tumor Walk, which has been part of our lives since my late wife, Cay, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2010. Cay passed away in June, 2012.
Cay set the standard for dealing with a terminal illness, something she was told many times by the staff at Hoag Hospital where she received much of her care.
I am reminded of Cay’s strength today and of my mother’s who told me repeatedly, “Don’t take yourself too seriously.”
Was my life in danger on the freeway yesterday? Maybe, maybe not, but at the time, I believed it was. And if it was, what am I to do with that information? Do I just go about my business as usual as though nothing happened? Or should I take a moment to offer that almost all of what we think is important is not really important at all?
I choose the latter. I choose to remind everyone that life is short, that death is often unexpected, and that there is no better time than right now to reach out to the key people in your life – all of your life – and thank them or tell them they are loved, whichever is appropriate. And equally important: Let the little things go.