Friday, September 17, 2010

cravings or His plans?

i'll clear any confusion by starting off saying that i was not injured in a car accident this afternoon. i made it safely home, though quite shaken by the events of the drive.

my friday commute home involves driving on 2 major atlanta highways, 285 and 85. at 2:15ish on a friday, there is a good amount of volume and most cars go well over the 55 mph speed limit. after i left work, i had to run an errand that was actually about 30 minutes in the opposite direction from the house. a kind friend is letting us borrow some great baby gear and i had promised i would pick it up today. while on the way to her house, i decided that i absolutely had to have a frosty float. i just had to. so after picking up the gear, i went through the drive thru at the next wendy's i passed, happy to have my craving satisfied.

so i'm driving along 285. the radio is on, but i'm not on the phone. just looking forward to picking up the kids for our new tradition of "froyo fridays". about 2 miles from spaghetti junction (a huge interchange where i would have switched highways), i suddenly noticed 2 cars driving erratically. and very close to each other. at first i thought it was just a near accident. maybe one car had almost merged into the other. but as i slowed a little and continued to watch, i noticed the green SUV was purposely chasing the white sedan. reckless and aggressive are understatements in describing what i was witnessing. by this point, i had just stopped. so had the rest of traffic around me, as we all watched and waited for the chase to end. one or both cars would inevitably crash and be forced to stop.

that was only half the case. the green SUV did succeed in hitting the white sedan, causing the sedan to spin. but i noticed that neither car was stopping. it was at this point i started to panic. after all, they weren't very far in front of me. less than 50 yards. i just kept repeating "please stop, please stop, make it stop".

but it didn't. the white sedan got control and apparently decided its best chance for escape was to drive in the opposite direction on the highway.

right. towards. me.

the 2 cars were literally driving at me head on in my lane. i looked to my right, there was a huge blue and yellow semi in the lane next to me. i looked to my left, more cars and not much room. so there i was, a sitting duck with 2 cars coming straight at me. i'm full out sobbing by now, holding my almost 27 week pregnant belly, crying, "no, no, please no". the white sedan's rear bumper flew off the back of his car with less than 10 yards to go. i'm watching the man driving the car: a grown man, white shirt, mustache, gray hair. there were others in the car but i didn't look past the driver. i wonder if they saw the panic and fear in my face amidst my tears. at what seemed like the last moment, he swerved to my left and both cars passed me and continued in the opposite direction.

i don't know how and when i started driving again, but there was an off ramp less than a quarter mile from where i had been stopped. even as i was on the ramp, i saw the white car go zooming past in the right direction on the highway. i didn't wait to look for the green car. i pulled into a gas station at the top of the ramp and there i sat, shaking and crying, terrified to drive any further. what if the chase continued? what if i came across them again? no less than 4 police cars went zooming past and got on 285 from the very exit at which i had parked.

after about 45 minutes, i summed up the courage to just go home. it was probably the longest drive home ever. i struggled not to vomit. i felt my neck and back tensing, knowing i would be sore by the evening. when i finally made it the daycare provider's house, i again broke into tears as antonio and julia belén wrapped their little arms around me. her house is less than 2 miles from mine, and no interstate driving required. it was a short drive to the house from there, and i was never happier to make it home.

it's been a long afternoon and evening as i try not to rehash and relive the events of the drive home. easier said than done. all the "what ifs" racing through my mind:

- what if andres and the kids had been in the car...
- what if i had not gone to pick up the stuff...
- what if had tried to change lanes to my left at the last minute...
- what if i had written one more e-mail before leaving work...
- what if i had not gotten a little lost on the way to pick up the baby gear...
- what if i had not stopped to fulfill my pregnancy craving...
- what if...

could doing/not doing any one of these things have been what saved me and the baby from a far worse outcome? as i try to move past what happened today (without developing a crippling fear of driving on the interstate), i tell myself God knew what He was doing. it was His grace alone that protected us today. i have no doubt. every single "what if" that i can come up with doesn't matter, because God was on top of things. there are no "what ifs", there are just God's plans.

and apparently, He even has plans that include frosty floats.

Friday, September 10, 2010

end of summer

between the world cup and all our travels, the summer quickly flew by. i tried to make the most of this summer and really just enjoy spending time with the kids as i knew at the end of the summer i would be going back to work full time.

we had a great summer.

we went to the fountains, spent time time at the library, played in the sprinklers in the backyard. not to mention some fun trips to visit family. my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in june. us kids organized a wonderful brunch to honor their love and celebrate together. 40 years. the best gift my parents could ever have given me is their example, their love for each other all these years. it's a gift that keeps on giving and helps me in my marriage and family daily. of course the kids were just delighted to celebrate and spend time with all their little cousins and their abuelos. and talk about finding a silver lining, we got to spend an extra couple days visiting thanks to julia belen suffering a slight concussion a few hours before we were supposed to leave for the airport. it was very scary, and the 2 trips to the ER and the CT scan were no fun, but antonio certainly didn't complain about the extra time with abuelo and abuela. and in the end, julia belen was fine. and almost just as soon as we got back from DC, we were off again. this time to colorado to visit the other abuelos. we had a wonderful week out in denver and delighted in meeting the kids' newest little cousin. even extended family were able to make the drive/flight from el paso and LA to come visit. it was a week full of visiting the mountains, going swimming, going to the zoo. we all had a lot of fun and were sad to come home.

but good things often come to an end. and so came the end of summer. i like to think back that we kept it focused on the family. this is a big year for us: new job for me, new baby, potentially a move if we can sell our house. i wanted this summer to be about family and the stability of it. i don't know how much the kids will remember about this summer. but i will hold so much of it in my heart forever.