I watched as the bus drove away. The year before, I’d insisted that I drive my daughter each way to school. I didn’t trust the bus drivers, or that there were no seatbelts on school busses! We’d moved to the country to give her a better childhood. We lived 12 miles out of town. That meant 12 miles each way, to and from school. What was I thinking?! After the first year, of driving almost 50 miles a day. I succumbed to my daughter’s wish to take the bus. But I enjoyed that first year driving her back and forth. We visited and bonded and talked about everything you could possibly imagine.

I remember commenting on how we couldn’t see cows on our way to school where we used to live and we laughed deciding that they might look out of place on Hawthorne Blvd. On the first day of school, all those years ago,  I argued with myself as I watched her wave as the bus drove out of sight. I knew she would be okay.  She was going into the fifth grade. So funny now when I hear stories of moms putting their kindergartners on the bus, and yet I still  felt as if she was just a baby.  Or maybe I wanted to keep her one for as long as possible because I knew the day would come when she would be driving away in her own car, far, far away from her old mama. Which kind of brings me to my ramblings on this subject. Time does pass us by so fast.

That was years ago. And yes, my baby has since moved four hours away and I am happy for her. In fact, I envy her life. She is right on the edge of new and exciting things just bursting to give birth.  Her life is filled with new pages to fill in books yet to be written, new relationships to be made and dreams to come true.

I remember once when I was nine. The little neighbor boy and I were playing at the beach. Our parents were visiting nearby on the sand in a little area where they had set up camp for the day.  Suddenly a huge wave pulled us out in an area where we could not reach the ground. I remember him grabbing my hand as we struggled to swim under the wave that had overcome us. Coughing and sputtering we looked at each other, amazed we had survived. Still holding hands, we suddenly let go~

I often wonder if he remembers that event. I always will. Our moms are still in touch. I barely think of him except for that time. Funny, what our minds store, isn’t it?

Back in those days, I didn’t have a lot of life to flash before my eyes but since then when I have had those life flashing before me moments, my mind always touches on those few seconds in my life when I knew I was in deep trouble, drowning with the boy across the street, my little friend who grabbed my hand and held on to me for dear life. I have felt that feeling lately. It reminds me of that bus driving away, my life flashing before my eyes, feeling the distance growing as I watched  it drive away with my baby in it, on that day so many years ago. I remember that memory of the near drowning flash through my mind as I was rushing around pregnant, trying to find my son the day he went to the wrong gate. And I remember it when my dad died, when my first husband died. It is something that I can’t make happen, it just does. Like one of those little books you flip through and it animates the drawings. And today I feel the pain of letting go of the past, of trying to grasp the future and hanging on for dear life, as if watching my life flash before my eyes.

Last night we were driving home from a church event, when a car flipped over and down a hill right in front of us. It all happened  in a split second. We live out in the country so it is pitch black except for the head lights. My husband swerved over to avoid the  car that had been in front of us as we all pulled over and stood frozen. My husband called 911 and  said “Someone has got to be dead down there” when in our amazement, we watched a young kid climb up the hill with only a cut on his hand.

I have felt like that in my life, all the way back as far as that drowning experience.   God has been there through all the moments. And last night was just another example. The way it happened, we all could have been killed.  Funny but it happened so fast.. I prayed a quick prayer and somehow I almost expected that kid to pop out of the dark and be okay. And if you follow my ramblings and read my blog… you know what I am talking about as I touch on a few more stories and blessings I have lived through as I think of them all in slow motion, unlike the flash before your eyes moments but blessings that I count daily.

I expected my family to not have been hurt by the earthquake. And I expected my best friend to survive her latest bout with stage four cancer. God is so good. But what about the times, when our prayers aren’t always answered the way we want them to be? Maybe in God’s infinite wisdom, He knows more than we do? Sometimes He answers our prayers the exact way we would like.  And at other times,  Well, I knew my dad was dead before we were officially told, I knew my first husband was going to die when he told me he was sick and somehow I knew he was going to go quick  and it would be on his birthday. Strange and yet, comforting to know that there is so much more to God we can tap into if we really go there. Sometimes I get a quick glimpse of understanding God is controlling things more than I ever imagine. And I could actually be more involved in it all. And then I get in the way and forget to get involved. Kind of like my life. I have been so stuck lately. On my own little island in my own little life.

God is a mystery. Our life is short. Some of us are done sooner than others with what we are given. Some of have longer lessons, some have more to learn, and others have more to teach. I have felt that drowning feeling lately, the life flashing before my eyes, kind of kick me in the butt kind of reminder and I am not going to waste it. Life is flashing before our eyes every single day. I am going to slow down the pages and jump back in the story and stop being stuck somewhere in the middle. I need to reboot and keep moving on.

I know now that I am going to write.

I am going to open up my own empty book and begin a new chapter. I will not waste the life that  God spared in that wave so many years ago. I am going to begin to fill new pages and live this thing called life again!

26 thoughts on “Flashing Before My Eyes… This Thing Called Life!

  1. It would be nice if you would mention an approximate year when you write about the past.

    I’m going to throw out some thoughts and they are nothing more than my impressions as triggered by your writing, not suggesting or criticizing, just spouting what came to mind.

    I function best when I am neither caught up in the past or the future. I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about how all we have is our current mental and physical state and what is before us. When I am in the present moment and doing whatever I’m doing I seem to be most at peace and productive or relaxed all at the same time.

    I’m not at all religious and never really was but I can spout a few things that might amuse you along those lines anyway.

    God always answers every prayer, but all too frequently the answer is, “No.”

    In parochial school I remember a nun explaining to us that the very best devotional prayer we can make is to ask God to make us an instrument of his will. Tell us, or present us with what you want us to tend to and we will do our best. The second best, she said, is to pray for someone else’s well being. And third and most selfish and most common is to ask for things for ourselves.

    I remember while living in Thailand for 3 years we would invite a group of Mormon boys over each year for Thanksgiving. They were on their own in a strange country on their mission and my wife Cathy and myself felt they could use a good home-cooked meal. We also would fill our car full of healthy groceries and drop them off to them every month or so, again just because they were late teenage boys with limited money and probably not having the good sense to get the right things to eat. At one of those Thanksgiving dinners the “elder” of the group asked me if it was OK with me if he lead a prayer. I said that would be fine but since I am in a constant state of prayer I don’t see why I would stop praying in order to start again. I was playing with him, but that really gave him pause and he was sort of frozen until I asked him to please lead us in prayer.

    So far as my real attitude on all that goes, there is a series called Ancient Aliens on the H2 history channel that sums up my views. Some of the shows try too hard but others are rather compelling.

    My attitude toward religion is simply that if it guides you toward being a good person who helps others then I’m all for it, and if you use it as a tool for hate and controlling other people’s lives and taking away their God-given free will then I’m against it. I see you, Diane, as on the very best side of that equation. May you be blessed many times over as you so obviously deserve. I feel confident that come what may you will come out on top.

    1. Jim,
      I just NOW saw this. And funny how I totally needed it right NOW in my life. I have been just having the exact same ephifanies that you wrote about in your comment here. And talk about affirmation! Of course you know that I must attribute this to God using you as a vessel and that HIS timing is perfect and that HE must really agree with you because everything fit together too well to not just be a tiny miracle!

      Thank you my friend for this comment even if I am a few years late reading it! 😉

  2. I know now that I am going to write.

    I am going to open up my own empty book and begin a new chapter. I will not waste the life that God spared in that wave so many years ago. I am going to begin to fill new pages and live this thing called life again!
    These lines caught me. I too, had noticed my life slipping by and I suddenly decided that I am not going to waste it. I am losing weight and exercising. At 65 years old I am walking almost 20 miles a week. I suddenly have very little time for TV. Good memories are someting we all love, but I don’t want to waste a minute watching the past pass before my eyes. I am not ready for that.

    Thanking you for shareing, you encouraged me to keep on pressing forward.

    1. And you boomaranged me with a blessing just now! Re-reminding me and inspiring me! Good for you 20 miles! That is awesome! Wish we could be walking buddies! I am going to do my own 20 miles with you in spirit. (I mean I actually will walk it! lol but maybe we could check in with each other and be accountability cyber buddies?)

    1. Ahhh all I can say is it goes by soooo fast. Enjoy it all. Someday you will have time to work out or write to your heart’s content in peace… I remember always looking forward to the next stage, but THESE really are the good old days! Now I look forward to my baby coming home for visits! It is nice just having ME to get ready when I am running out the door but somehow I would trade it all for one more day of being the one who is the center of her world again… smile… But I am so glad she is where she is because that means she is following her dream. If she came home for good, it would mean she was giving up… I can handle missing her if she is really doing what she wants to do! But in the meantime, you my dear… enjoy!

  3. Your article was listed as a related article on Serendipity. So glad I decided to stop by for a visit. Life is so precious and yes, short, even in shortness filled with many blessings whether realized in moments of joy or sorrow. Cherish the moment for it is in the moment the most miraculous can occur.

    1. I posted a reply on your site, not sure it worked. I am stil new at replying! But just wanted to say that I am so touched that you took the time to read my stuff. I tend to be long winded. I know there is an art of just one sentence. Not sure that will ever be me! Glad you were my Serendipity of the day!

  4. Very well said. I put myself there many times. I have learned to live today as if it is my last. Love is the Greatest gift God has given each of us! Thank you for sharing, I loved your blog. 🙂

  5. “Life is flashing before our eyes every single day.”
    I love this thought, and that we need to fill those pages.

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