Lucky to be alive

When a brush with death happens, people often say they’re lucky to be alive.

I don’t think luck has anything to do with it.

We’ll go back to my senior year in high school for this story — Spring Break of my senior year as a matter of fact.

One of those glorious spring days before I was to graduate and begin my pursuit of higher education, my family decided we’d ride horses.

When I was a boy I had a Shetland pony, because apparently horses are pretty good cerebral palsy therapy.

Her name was Ladybug, and she’s another story for another day.

I was excited for our Spring Break trip, because I hadn’t been on horseback since we’d sold Ladybug, but before I left I agreed to follow a friend to put his truck in the shop.

My friend got stranded, because I got flipped upside down in a ditch.

I had made my way to the middle of the four-lane highway, and rolled through the median after I glanced to make sure it was clear.

It wasn’t clear.

I never saw the car, since it ducked around a curve or dropped to the bottom of a hill the second I’d looked.

I heard a loud crash, which happened when the car met my Nissan Frontier right behind the passenger door, and then all was slow motion.

I think the truck flipped three times.

I was alone, thank God.

I remember, in the middle of one of the barrel rolls, one of my sister’s volleyball shoes kicked me in the head.

The truck came to rest on its roof, in the ditch.

I sat there for what seemed like a while, upside down, but the first responders did their jobs.

They shattered the driver’s side window, and helped me crawl out of my mangled vehicle.

Shards from the window cut my hands, but those were the only scratches I received.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more grateful for a seatbelt.

I stayed in the ditch for a few minutes, stared at the sky and thought about what a blessing life is every day.

They cut my shirt off, the same one I wore for one of my senior pictures, and hauled me to the hospital in an ambulance.

Soon after I arrived I was told the people who were in the car I pulled out in front of were all right, which was wonderful news.

It was a hard hit.

It was a wild ride.

It was one of those moments I realized I wasn’t lucky to be alive.

I was blessed God saw fit to let me see another day.

I got a new lease on life, and luck had nothing to do with it.

Like everybody else, I’m here for a purpose.

This post is a response to Sue’s prompt, which is “luck.”

3 Comments

  1. I”m grateful you made it to pursue your purpose, which I’d say is to bring enjoyment and insight to many through your eloquent writing. And a chuckle or two.

  2. Casey: So very true! In my years as a military cop and a Vietnam vet I had some close ones. Furthermore, driving on some of the world’s worst highways ( Japan, Germany, England etc.) it is only the Grace of God that has carried me for 85 years. Like you said
    He had a purpose for my life. A good Post. Keep it up.

  3. Wow, what a story! So glad that everything turned out ok.
    My husband was in a bad accident in his mid-twenties, it was a wake-up call. He says a lot changed for him in that moment. More grateful than before, for sure!

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