Coll Writes

You know how I do.

642 Things to Write About Challenge: Week 25

Written By: Colleen - Jun• 23•13

I was inspired to do this one by the most recent episode of the Mysterious Universe Podcast.  I’m a subscriber to their PLUS feed (it’s awesome, do it!), so I’m not sure if it was on a regular episode or a Plus episode.  A few episodes back, they were discussing whether or not guardian angels exist.  During the segment, they read a story from a woman who swore she felt someone shove her while crossing the street, but when she turned around, no one was there.  A split second later, a car sped through the intersection she was crossing and she would’ve been hit had she not felt the phantom shove.  Listeners wrote in sharing their own similar stories.  When I saw this topic in the book, I immediately knew what I wanted to write about.

“What can happen in a second.”

I know that a lot can happen in a second.  After all, it only takes a second for us to say “yes” or “no” on a decision that could change our entire lives.  It only takes a second to decide to run a red light or give away a secret with our eyes or even take a last breath.  I Tweeted about this particular incident back when it happened late last October, but it still shakes me up when I think about it and it’s all because of a second’s hesitation.

I was going for a walk last fall.  I have several “regular” routes and most of them have me crossing a road, though not always a busy road.  On this particular day, I was walking along, minding my own business, when I came to an intersection that is only moderately busy between, say, 5-6 p.m. because it’s a back route to the highway.  It was probably about 5:30 p.m. at this point.  I waited until the light was red to begin to cross the street.  As I was about to cross, I felt my phone buzz, like I had gotten a text message.  If I remember correctly, I had actually been waiting for a response to a snarky comment I had sent to Kolkie, so I paused for a moment to check my phone to see if it was from him.  Phantom vibration.  Just as I looked back up to cross, some guy in a car ran the red light.  He was probably trying to beat it while it was still yellow & rather than breaking just went for it.  The car barreled right past where I would’ve been walking had I not stopped to check my phone.  The surprise and fear must’ve registered in my face as a pissed off look because he merely waved to me, as though to thank me for letting him have the right of way.

I really think that had I not stopped to check my phone, I would’ve been hit by the car.  It all happened so quickly, that from me feeling the vibration to stopping to look at the front screen of my iPhone for a notification to the car running the light couldn’t have been more than 5 seconds total.  That one second that I decided to look at my phone before crossing the street saved my life.  I could’ve taken the opportunity to cross as soon as the light turned red and checked my phone 15 seconds later after I was on the other side, but I didn’t.  My stomach still churns when I think about it.  So that’s what can happen in a second.

I’m sure everyone interrupted this topic differently than I did, so please feel free to share your answer to “What can happen in a second” in the comments section.  Thanks!  I love reading everyone else’s response to these topics…

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  1. Carol says:

    I’ve had some weird moments like that, the one that stands out the most is when my children were really young. I dropped my son off at pre-school and my daughter was an infant in her seat in the back. I looked and didn’t see any cars. I put the car in reverse and started backing out and it stopped for no reason (it was a new car too) and I didn’t know what was wrong, Just then a car came bombing by out of nowhere. Had I pulled out, it would have hit the car right where my daughter was seated. After the car went by the car started up with no problem.

  2. I love this topic. And I am so glad that you listened to your inner voice and checked your phone.

    The experience that came to mind for me also involved a car. I had stopped at a Starbucks after shopping with my son when he was a baby. I’ll put him at about 9 or 10 months old. Still in a car seat. As I was bundling him up in the car, I put my cup of coffee on top of my car. I don’t recall it being windy, but as I was leaning over my son, getting him all buckled in, the coffee careened down the hood of my car, and exploded onto the sidewalk.

    I never stop for coffee, and I really needed some, so I unbuckled my son from his seat and went back inside. The Starbucks folks saw the whole thing and made me a second cup.

    As I took my usual route, I came upon a car accident at the last intersection I turn at to get home. It didn’t look serious. Someone turned in front of someone, and got hit in the side. It had just happened not more than 5 or 10 minutes previous. No one was hurt.

    Had I not had to go back in for a second cup, that’s exactly when I’d have been coming through this intersection, and the hit would have also been back on the side where my son was in his little car seat.

    I’m a huge believer in the something that is aware of things we are not. Whether it’s ourselves and we don’t know it, or guardian angels. For me, it doesn’t matter. The end result is the same. We just have to listen.

    Thanks for asking this one.

    Thinking of you and your family.

    • Colleen says:

      @Melissa, thanks for your thoughts. 🙂 It’s funny how we all have stories that involve being spared from something involving a car. So glad your coffee dropped!

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