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 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!