It’s Pastor’s wife blog this time! Anita here, as he has been busy, so I decided to post this event as it’s had a profound impact on me.
I feel compelled to write these events, as I know so well, that memories of experiences in our lives, fade with time, and somehow I don’t ever want to forget what happened. I think too that it might be therapeutic for me to retell this story.
One of my favorite things to do is go to Nashville, Tennessee and visit our daughter, her husband and our granddaughter. We had the opportunity to make the trip, so Ralph and I took off for a 4 day ‘get-away’. After a wonderful time together, we left for home on Friday around noon. The weather was sunny and warm, and a great day for traveling home. Ralph was tired so I started driving the 7 hour trip home. It wasn’t long before Ralph was asleep and I was alone in my thoughts, cruising down I-65 heading for home. The events that unfolded are still becoming clearer, even as I write.
Everything happened so fast, but to my left, I saw in my peripheral vision, something white, pass by the window. Thinking it might have been a piece of plastic from a construction sight, I looked in my rear view mirror, expecting to see the plastic blowing across the road. To my shock, it was a white, SUV, “landing” crossways in the road, right behind me. I’ve tried to estimate how close it was to our car, by guessing the car lengths behind us, but one thing I know, this horrible sight was taking up the full size of my mirror, and I would have thought someone was ‘tale-gating’, if it was on the road properly.
The space between us and the SUV got longer as it rolled over then began sliding down the road on its roof. It continued sideways, with its tires facing upward, right toward the oncoming traffic. I was screaming to Ralph to wake up and look, but he was too tired to see much. I felt stunned as I watched a semi jack-knife as he tried to prevent hitting the car. I’m not sure exactly how many vehicles hit the SUV, but I heard crashing noises. As the distance widened, I could see less. The space between us and the accident began to look eerie, as I realized what had happened. It felt as if the “hand of God” came down behind our car, and said “No!” as we continued northward. We were the last vehicle “out”.
All we could do was pray for the people involved and continue cautiously on. I was shaken, but only as days have passed, am I aware of what happened. We searched the internet for a newspaper in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, to know more details. It was a 61 year old woman who was traveling south on I-65 with a year old boy. She was pronounced dead at the scene, the infant in serious condition at a local hospital, and the driver in the vehicle who hit her, was treated and released. The paper said she lost control of her car, crossed the medium, and was air-born, before landing on the north bound lane. Traffic was stopped for 3 hours as rescue and clean-up crews did their jobs.
So many ‘what ifs’ have come into my thoughts. What if we had left a bit later? What if I was cruising a bit slower? What if I had seen her coming across the medium and hit my brakes?
One thing I know, God isn’t finished with us yet. As I pondered this tragic experience, I am forced to think about the purpose of our lives. In an instant we could be with the Lord, and nothing we ‘have’ will be with us. Everything we work for, if for pleasure and comfort, will not last. What will last? It’s what we do with our lives and the people we encourage and help that is our heritage.
I want my life to matter for God, and His purposes. I want to affect others for Him and know it makes a difference. I am thrilled to be alive, and right now, everything else seems trivial. I’ve been starting to think so much about the Song of Solomon, when he, who was so full of wisdom, said, “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.” That used to seem stupid to me, but now it doesn’t. Life is full of so much vanity, and what really matters is yet to unfold.