Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Things I Learned from Almost Dying

All right, I mentioned this in passing a couple of weeks ago, but figure it's time to expound on my experience. I was driving back to Erie on Rt. 85 near Greenville, SC by myself. It was about 5:30 PM, during rush hour on a very busy highway. I was going about 75 mph along with everyone else - it was a fast moving bumper to bumper traffic pattern. I passed out and ran into a guard rail in the median. I regained consciousness as my head and shoulder were being slammed into the driver side door and window. Here are three things I learned.
  1. The way I laugh can actually make me pass out. If you know me, you know I love to laugh - sometimes hysterically. Something funny came on the radio in the car and I laughed at the same time I was yawning - and bam! I was out. I have felt the sensation of being light-headed before while laughing - but I've never actually passed out - until now.
  2. Close calls lead to a lot of personal reflection. After crashing there was nothing for me to do and no where to go other than to get back on the road and keep driving. The car was drivable although the driver's side was pretty demolished. I drove the remaining 11 hours home and had a lot of time to take inventory of my life. Thinking about Kim without a husband and my kids without a dad messed me up for a few days. My mood was a bit more somber in the days following the crash. I wasn't even aware of it until people started commenting. I have made some life commitments with myself since.
  3. God has something left for me here. There were two things that allowed me to narrowly avoid death. If I had regained consciousness any sooner than I did - I am certain I would have tried to jerk the car back onto the road - I would have been obliterated. I had also fortunately just taken off the cruise control. If the cruise had been on - I would have hit the rail and carromed back into traffic. It would have been ugly. There is more for me to accomplish on this earth - and I'm pretty committed to chasing whatever it is that God has for me next.

Carpe Deim... life is a gift... may God be pleased with how we use our moments. Anybody else have a brush with death?


jasonpauli said...

This is a little different but still a brush...

I had a problem with my intestines when I was about 5 months old. My mom noticed something was going on and took me to the doctor.

The doc told her he'd only seen the condition I had in autopsies on infants.

I've always considered that a miracle.

j*amy said...

nice post. i've been in like 7 car accidents...several i'd say were pretty serious...when dad hit black ice and our car spun around and landed on it's side. people who witnessed it said that it looked almost like a hand moved stopped us from going off a guardrail [at least thats what i remember].

i also was hit on my driver side by an elderly woman. i had my window down a crack and the car hit my side view mirror which skidded against the window and the mirror glass was all over me. if my window had been fully down...i could have had serious face damage.

so glad you're ok!!!!!!!

bobick said...

Wow! I'm guessing this was on your way back from our coaching network-glad you are safe. See you in a couple of days.

Derek said...

yes - that's when it happened Bob about an hour or hour and a half after I left - it was nuts! See you down there.

the Jennings secede from the South said...

I know this is a serious post but I cannot believe you passed out from laughing and yawning. The mental image is too much.

Jinelle said...

I'm just glad you're alive.. Kim without a husband, kids without you and your sister living without you too.. God is amazing. I love you.