Understand the road we travel (Q23)

 “Always look before you drive through the intersection…even if it’s your light.” “You never know if someone will not stop”

NonnaAbout three years ago, when my lease had run out on my car it was time to go shopping. I settled on a new vehicle and was quick to drive it from the dealer to my parents’ house to show them. After hanging around for a while it was time to drop my fiancé off at home. As we turned the corner to leave she and I were talking and laughing as we approached the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard (an 8 lane main roadway in the neighborhood). The light was green for us to go and I drove through as we continued to talk. I was focused on the left hand turn I was making. Suddenly I slammed full force on the brakes without reason. As my fiancé let out a scream a white Mercedes-Benz flew past the front of our car without slowing down. He had blown the light going at least 50 mph. Our car slid and stopped just in time. Three feather light scratches on the front bumper showed just how close we had come to a tragic collision. The other vehicle never stopped.

I had no reason to hit the brakes because I did not see the vehicle coming, but I was grateful that I had. Just thinking about that moment gives me a lump in my throat.

“Always look before you drive through the intersection…even if it’s your light.” “You never know if someone will not stop”

A few days following the incident I heard those words play back in my head. It took me a moment to recall the scene in my memory. A half-smile crept across my face as the fog settled in my head and I saw my great grandmothers face. I had picked her up to bring her over to my grandparents’ house for Sunday dinner. We didn’t talk all that much during the drive. I was always nervous to speak, thinking I would butcher the language… even though I understand everything. We were a couple of blocks away from my grandparents’ house when she turned to me with a serious look and said those words… pointing at me to emphasize the advice. I smiled… “Si, si, Nonna.”

I could not help but think that my great-grandmother had made me hit the brake that day. I would never have had enough time to react by the time I would have seen the other vehicle coming.

We are all on a path going somewhere. At some point we will discover what road we have been driving on, determine where we are heading, or figure out which way we should turn when we arrive at a fork in the road. I have to believe that we travel that road with people, both alive and long gone, who want to see us arrive. Be thankful to have had them by your side.



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