When Life Flashes Before Your Eyes
Today was an interesting day. It was going very well, until I began the journey home.
It didn’t feel right from the beginning.
From the hotel entrance, I got into the truck and headed for Toronto’s Pearson Airport en route to Victoria, BC. I thought to myself, “Did he just slur the word luggage?”
I looked past it. I chalked it up to his accent.
I pulled out my iPad and began reading, as I always do when making the 30-minute journey from downtown Toronto to the airport. I’ve done the trip so many times, there is nothing more to see. I prefer reading, via the iPad.
The head bobbing nearly concussed me as we literally stuttered toward the Gardiner Expressway, but I overlooked it at first.
Once on the Expressway, and heading for Highway 427, I became concerned.
“Is he swerving?” I asked myself.
I asked the driver,
“Are you tired? Have you been drinking?”
He replied, “No, I’m just tired. I need a coffee.”
By the time we hit Highway 427 , I was in full-on DEFCON 5 mode. He was asleep at the wheel, and we were headed for the concrete wall.
“WAKE UP!“, I screamed.
Thankfully, someone was looking out for me. (again)
He awoke, managed to swear, and somehow avoided the wall and the car in front of us. The brakes were slammed — and for whatever reason — the car came to a complete stop in the emergency lane, unscathed.
Do you know how difficult it is to hail a cab on the side of a highway?
Do you know what it feels like to put your life in the hands of a drunk driver?
Nevertheless, I was alive. (again)
When life flashes before your eyes, one is instantly reminded of mortality, love and unconquered dreams.
As an 18 year-old, I once was ditched from a white water river raft, sucked into an underwater Grade 6 cyclone that trapped me for what felt like hours. Imagine an underwater washing machine where your body is magnetized to the rim — the lid is closed — and there is no way to get out. It eventually spit me back up to the surface, where friends took over from there, saving my life.
As a 26 year-old, a driver lost control of his car around a stretch of road in Vancouver while speeding at 80 km/h and was headed directly for the front of my trusty Saturn. With no time to think, I somehow managed to veer ever so slightly to the right. It saved three lives in the Saturn (including my own) but the entire driver-side of the trusty Saturn disappeared. The polyethylene dent-resistant plastic body panels of the trusty Saturn were no more. It was weird to see a car so naked, but it felt good to be alive. (again)
I now sit in the friendly confines of the Air Canada lounge in Toronto. Naturally, I’ve been reflecting.
Have I done everything possible to be the best human being possible? Have I conquered all of those dreams?
No, I haven’t.
But I will remedy the oversight, effective immediately.
Please, don’t drink and drive.