“But no matter how much planning you do, one tiny miscalculation, one moment of distraction, can end it all in an instant.”  Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses

I never make new year’s resolutions, don’t believe in them.  All my life I’ve listened to people say they were going to do this or that in the new year and most of the time they never do.  I believe in living my life everyday, it’s  that simple. I don’t live in the past, I try hard not to live in the future and I try equally hard to stay in the present.

I ended last year with severe back pain and started the new year with the same back pain.  I’ve been slowly getting myself back into the gym, walking, running and playing hockey.  The other night I decided to see if I could run, I couldn’t run without some pain, so I took it slowly walking a bit, power walking a short distance and then walking again.  Every day I walk my dog, Kaos, at least twice a day.  He is a beauty and Kaos is my solid companion when I’m walking and running.  He was with me that night when the two of us innocently stepped into a crosswalk without the slightest inclination how that simple act could lead to a life turning event.

It was dark and I’m always careful crossing any street in the dark, we were on a busy street but the cross street was quiet and not many cars turn into that area.  There  were no cars in sight when I stepped into the lit cross walk but halfway across the street I noticed a vehicle turning left and the vehicle appeared to be turning slowly towards me giving me the space I needed to cross with the dog.  I was in front of the vehicle when the driver stepped on the gas and crashed into me and the dog.  I managed to jump out of the way in the nick of time but I realized at that point that Kaos was behind me and there was nothing I could do to protect him.  I instintively let go of his leash hoping he’d drop and roll with the force of the vehicle.  As the suv hit Kaos, the terrible sound of a body hitting a car echoed in the darkness, I still shudder when I think of that thud as the vehicle rolled over him.

Miraculously, Kaos managed to free himself and came shooting out from under the truck and ran down the street.  He was completely spooked, so I dropped to the ground and remained calm as I quietly called him back.  It took me a good 15 minutes to get him back and he was terrified.  Meanwhile the truck drove by where I was sitting and parked in an adjacent church parking lot.   My initial thought was that he was getting himself together and then coming over to make sure I was ok. How wrong I was, he never got out of his car.

I checked Kaos over thoroughly and he seemed good, no broken bones not even a scratch.  I then headed to the man’s truck.  As I was walking toward his vehicle he looked my way and mouthed “fuck” as he furiously texted on his phone.  As I approached his side of the vehicle, he was already rolling down his window.  He stared at me for a few seconds and I said to him “the dog is fine, I’m fine but I’m floored you never got out of your car to check and see if we were ok.”  He looked at me straight in the eye and said in a very withdrawn tone “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”  I said “you just about ran me over and you hit my dog.”  The man then says “I didn’t see a dog, ” and then he says ” I came from the other way.”  If he didn’t know what I was talking about then how did he know which way I was coming from?   He was denying it but he wasn’t, every time he said something he was digging his own grave.  I was talking to him calmly because I was happy that both the dog and I were ok.  I said to him, “look I’m just happy the dog and I are ok and I’m not looking to report you because shit happens, but I have to admit it upsets me that you are denying your part in this.”  Again in a submissive tone he says to me “I’m here to pick up my daughter, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”  I look over at the church where he’s parked way over at the back of the parking lot, parallel to the location of the accident, where I was sitting on the ground calming the dog and his vehicle was the only car in the parking lot.   I said, “there’s no one in the building, it was you, you are the one who hit me, it was this vehicle, you are the guy.”  He continued to deny it and I said to him, “I know it was you because right now you are shitting your pants, I can feel the fear radiating from your body.”   I was completely bewildered that he would continue to deny his actions.

I decided to leave the situation behind as there were no witnesses and to be honest if the police said to me did you see the make of the car, or the person driving, I would have to say no because after the accident I was so focused on getting Kaos back and calming him down.  I was not directly focused on the driver or the car, I just instinctively knew it was him who drove by me slowly and parked in the church parking lot watching him from my peripheral vision as I was calming Kaos.  Before I walked from the scene, I looked at the man straight in the eyes and stared at him for a long time making him very uncomfortable and I said, “I’m going to leave you in your thoughts and I suggest you go home and examine your conscious because you are the poorest excuse for a human being I’ve ever met.”  As I walked out of the parking lot, I ducked behind a row of trees planted at the edge of the property and within seconds the man started his car and slowly drove out of the parking lot not waiting for his daughter!

It took me a long time to get Kaos home as he was dropping to the ground every time a car came any where near us or made a loud noise driving by and each time I stopped to console him and assured him it was ok.  Each time I thought of the driver and the reasons why he denied; was he in shock, did he have some kind of record, was he scared or could he simply not admit to his mistake.  The incident renewed my simple philosophy of living for today and not living in the past, or the future.  The time is now to connect with your love ones, live healthy and stay true to yourself.   You just never know when a miscalculation, a moment of distraction or an error will be your last thought. I hope the experience wasn’t lost on the man driving, I hope he is living his life more in the moment and not lost in his phone or thoughts while driving.








The boys and I are on Spring Break and we decided to visit my mother-in-law and stay with her at her cabin in the mountains and go skiing at the local hill.   My husband couldn’t go up with us because he was working so the boys and I were on our own.   We haven’t skied in a year and a half and it felt good being back up on the mountain top breathing in the good mountain air.  It was an interesting experience to watch the boys as they are constantly changing as they get older.  Matthew, my youngest, was always a fearless skier.  He has been scaring the crap out of me since he’s been five years old – no regard for fear just goes.  Brendan on the other hand was always a little timid and very cautious skier.  This trip proved to be different, Matthew was a little nervous and Brendan just took off.  We had fun and even though the boys can go now ski on their own we all skied together.  Thought I would have lots of time in the evening to finish reading the book I’m reading but I was so tired every night  after a day of skiing I was in bed early and sleeping.  Amazing what mountain air and down time can do for your sleep! We left the cabin yesterday morning by 9:00 am as Matthew was playing in a hockey tournament at 2:00 in the afternoon.  Typical me as I was packing up I was making  a  mental checklist in my head as to what I was going to do when I got home.  I gathered we would be home by 11:30 am and I would get some laundry done, get everything unpacked and away, finish dusting the house, go to my son’s hockey game, get dinner, and back out for another hockey game that evening.  The thing with planning is that you think you can control everything until something big comes along and you realize you have absolutely no control over your planning and for that matter your destiny!  As I said we left the cabin at 9:00 am, stopped at the local station for gas and started down the highway.  It snowed heavily the night before but the roads were good and seemed clear.  Just a few kilometres down the road I noticed the highway was compact snow but everything felt good and I didn’t think much of it.  I had slowed down to at least 40 kilometres under the speed limit just to be cautious because of the compact snow, you never know.  We were heading around a corner when this feeling came over me.  I’m not sure how to explain it because it was like a voice in my head told me that everything would be ok but something bad was going to happen.  Just then either my tire on the driver’s side hit something or I hit ice I’m not sure but the car started to swerve left into the oncoming lane.  I released the gas and made sure I didn’t touch the brakes as I tried to gently guide the car away from the oncoming traffic lane.  The car then started gliding to the right and then veered to the left again.  I was very calm and each time the car veered in a different direction I went with the flow and gently guided the car back.  The car seemed to be straightening out and I remember thinking, “all is ok” when all of a sudden it veered to the right, hit the snow bank and flipped up and over.  The car ended up lying on its side, the driver’s side, with the front of the car facing the highway and we were trapped.  I quickly checked to see if the kids were all right and they were fine.  Matthew’s eyes were as big as saucers but he was ok.  I didn’t want to freak them out but sitting at the bottom of the car looking up into the sky I couldn’t tell where we were, I figured we were off the road but I wasn’t sure.  I also wasn’t sure if behind us was a big drop down a ridge.  Brendan started kicking the door and saying mom we can’t get out.  I was still very calm and I turned off the car, unlocked the door and calmly told Brendan to undo his seat belt, carefully drop out of his seat and stand on the ridge of my chair, push open the door and look outside to see where we were sitting.  Are we on the road? Is there a big drop behind us?   He  pushed the door open, looked out and said we are off the road.   I thought thank God because all I need is for us to survive this wreck only to be hit by an oncoming car.  We all got out and I took a look around and saw that there was not a big drop behind us but there was a slope and a water filled ditch, we landed in the perfect spot.   I then checked on the boys again and Matthew was shaking from head to toe and I asked him if he was cold, he said “no mom I’m very scared.”  Brendan who insists on wearing shorts everywhere we go and just before we left I told him that he should be wearing something warmer as you never know if we get stuck because of car failure or an accident.  Spoken like a true mom here he was in his shorts, sweat top and van runners standing in knee deep snow.  Also spoken like a true mother I said “I told you to put on warmer clothes.”  I saw that  a trucker had gone by us and was in the process of backing down the hill to assist us.  Just then a woman drove by going the opposite direction and said she would put a call in to get us assistance.  The trucker by this point couldn’t back the truck up anymore and started  walking down the hill to get to us.  The woman picked him up and drove him down.  God was with me, I knew for sure, because  I had warning, I knew we were going to have an accident and as the car was sliding something or somebody kept telling me to be calm and all would be well. Even as the car was flipping over I was calm and I was sure all would be well.  There were hardly any cars on the highway and somehow two very nice people were there within minutes of the crash helping me.  We were five kilometres from the ski resort so the woman drove us to the resort and from there I was able to call a tow truck and get something to eat while we were waiting.  My mother-in-law came to meet us and spoken like a true mother she barked at me ” I told you not to leave the cabin early, I told you to leave later, do you know how bloody lucky you are?”  Of course she had just driven by the accident and saw the car lying on its side and she was upset.  My mother-in-law doesn’t show emotion very often and when she yells at me in tense situations I know it’s her way of showing how scared and how much she loves us.  I just gave her a hug and said “I know Nonna you were right, for now on I’m always listening to you!”  The tow truck driver came in a very big truck and we all got to ride to the scene of the accident and watch the car pulled out of the embankment.  Interesting as I’m not sure how the car ended up driver’s side down and the front of the car facing the highway because the direction we were driving it made more sense for the car to land on the opposite side and facing the opposite direction.  Matthew was sitting in the back passenger side and I noticed when the car was pulled upright – the back driver’s side window was blown out.  If we landed on the opposite side Matthew would have taken most of the blunt force.    The tow truck driver drove us all the way to Hope where we met Drew at Tim Horton’s,  ate lunch and counted our blessings.  I didn’t get my housework done, nor did Matthew make his afternoon game but we were able to make his 8:00 pm game where he played the best I’ve seen him play scoring two goals and several assists.  The car – well it’s trashed and I don’t care.  The car can be replaced, my family can’t.  As much as I know you can’t control life and that God has other plans – I speak like a true human as I will most likely continue to plan my days and my life only to be re-directed at any given moment.  I thank God for his direction yesterday and for the angel and angels he sent my way.

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