It's the "little things", really...

It's the "little things", really...

No, my title does not refer to the song. For me, today was like any other un-eventful Friday. Typically, how I like them. But this is how it started for my wife and how it could have ended up for me...

You See, What Had Happened Was...

My wonderfully awesome wife (no, I didn't get hacked) arose early like most other weekdays and got our four children, ages 4, 6, 8, and 9, up and dressed, fed, and out the door by 7:30 this morning for our eldest-daughter's swim team practice. This isn't abnormal for her, just another reason why she's the bee's knees and why I don't qualify for her job. The +Campo YMCA is only a few miles from the house so the drive is relatively uneventful. This morning she had all the kids loaded up in the Expedition and rather than her usual jug of water she decided to make herself a cup of coffee. About a mile from the house she came to the only major intersection between here and there; a four lane road separated by a simple traffic light with opposing turn-signals. Relatively well controlled and no reason for any unfamiliarity. But in this story it was the little things that saved her; her and everything precious in my life... in that instant.

As she approached the light she was practically the only person on the road in all directions. For her, in the turn lane, the light was red. She stopped and amidst all the chatter from the kids, music blasting, and God-only knows what other distractions, her turn signal turned green. Looking down to grab her coffee she noticed that the lid was a little off-kilter. It was at this moment that I can be glad for her OCD. She looked in her rearview mirror again and didn't see anyone coming so sitting at the green turn signal wasn't going to kill anyone, literally. She looked down to fidget with the lid again and one more check in the rearview to snap the lid down. This whole process took about two or three seconds and as she lifts her foot off of the brake the large, steel-framed +Ford Expedition began to lurch towards the still-green turn signal.

So far this story is boring and uneventful, just how you'd want any morning to start. But this is where the little things added up to one grateful, and not fateful, ending. It was at that moment when she lifted her foot off the brake and began to gain speed towards her green turn signal that a construction dump-truck, freshly loaded with dirt and gravel, ran his red light going the speed limit plus some, and crossed her path from right to left, just missing her. Had she gone on her green light like I always nag her about not doing, she and everyone in the truck would be dead. My wife and best-friend for over a decade along with my four children whom I pray over and pour into everyday would have been killed instantly by the fast-moving truck that would have struck the passenger-side rear quarter panel killing the kids first before moving the twisted mass of metal and flesh towards its eventual end.

I'm not looking forward to the realistic possibility of having to go in to work this weekend but it sure beats going to your kids' funerals and putting your wife into the ground. I couldn't wish that on even my worst enemy.

IF, the Middle Word in 'LIFE'

IF that had happened I wouldn't have known until after I got home. I can't carry my phone all the time at work and it's not abnormal not to get a text if she's having a busy day. I would've gotten home to an empty home and not done much about it until close to dinner time. At least she would've invited me out to dinner... right? Unfortunately, the +Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office probably would've been waiting in my driveway IF this had happened.

IF she would've had water like she usually does instead of coffee, IF she would've gone on green and not waited at that light like I always nag her about, IF she wouldn't have fidgeted with her lid and let her OCD get the best of her, IF she would've left the house one second later.... I'd be alone. If any one of these ingredients was removed from the recipe the outcome would have been fatal. I'm sure there are other contributors that held her up at the house, too. I'm sure there was another discussion about why the girls have to brush her hair and why the boys had to go to her swim practice and on and on.

But praise God that the "little things" interfered with her life. I don't know whom this blessing was for; her for being alive or for me not being alone.

Lesson Learned, I Swear
 
So what did we learn today?
  • I've always looked both ways, even on green lights, before going through intersections. Now, you can bet I'm going to look AND wait!
  • Be grateful for the little interruptions during the day. They give you that extra second you may need to say goodbye to someone.
  • Rejoice in the trials and victories through life! I don't know where I'd be right now if "IF" would have happened.
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