I’ve often referred to myself as shark attack lucky rather than lottery lucky. I’ve been oh so close to a couple of $10,000+ wins in Draftkings or Fanduel just to be a player or two away. Players I even had in a lineup and swapped out. I’ve been a seat away from catching a live home-run ball. A seat away from a game used Udonis Haslem jersey he once threw into the crowd after an ejection. Right girl; wrong time. I could write a novel based on incidents of close calls and near misses where I wound up the unlucky one.
Don’t get me wrong; I am blessed. I never confused the two. Blessings and luck are two totally separate things. You look around the world and see people and their struggles that they have no control over while the majority of us cry over a cracked phone screen. But I couldn’t help but feel as if I was just unlucky, until 08/14/17 that is.
Me and my brother were on the way back down to South Florida from Pensacola. He was driving his truck and I was passenger along I-10. Not even an hour into the drive we both experienced the luckiest moments of our life.
We were in the left lane when a lady merged over without seeing us, nearly side swiping us. Hindsight, it would of been smartest for my brother to stay in his lane and let her graze us. We all probably would’ve left the incident with a couple scratches on the vehicles but that would more than likely be it. But who knows, by staying in our lane and allowing that to happen the event could’ve been catastrophic for everyone nearby.
I’m sure everyone who has been driving for sometime has been in an incident where they were almost side-swiped. Or maybe you were the one who didn’t see the other vehicle in your blind spot and you nearly side-swiped someone. The point is, it happens and it’s rather common. And most of the time you swerve, instinctively to avoid a car collision.
My brother swerved to the left and veered slightly off of the road to avoid the collision. The lady noticed and quickly got back in her lane. And for that moment everything seemed okay. He attempted to get back into his lane and it felt like we would get back to driving smoothly. However, the roads were a little wet and fate had other plans for our drive.
We began to hydroplane, rather quickly at that. As we got back into the highway it became apparent that we had lost control of the vehicle. Being a day and half removed from the incident some of it becomes a blur. The next thing I remember is being in the median drifting uncontrollably for what felt like an eternity.
It’s hard to explain but from the time we first veered off road to the time in which we stopped the car it was maybe ten seconds tops. But as we hydroplaned across the median time slowed down. To us it felt like we were sliding for at least a minute. An eternity at that. All of our senses were heightened and aware. The best way I can explain it is that moment when a super hero first gets his powers and the world around him slows down.
We were driving at least seventy when we first veered off the road and began to descend in speed. But to us were moving in slow motion. Every turn felt extremely slow. As we began gliding in the median we almost flipped nearly four different times. And even though I saw everything in slow motion, it was as if my brain didn’t have to time to fully react or complete a thought. With each and every turn of the wheel I could feel our wheels lift off.
How the vehicle did not flip is beyond me. But the next thing I notice is we began to drift into the other lane into oncoming traffic. How the road wasn’t filled with traffic is another blessing. There was only one vehicle on the other side of the road; a semi truck. An eighteen wheeler. We drift into the lane and I can feel our wheels lift off again, within a split second of death and getting annihilated by this semi truck.
An in this moment as we drift off the median and into the gravel, time is at a complete stand still. B.o.B’s “Lovelier Than You” plays so equolently in the background as we approach death. And all I can think is, “holy shit. We are gonna die. This is how it ends.” And somehow as the adrenaline flows through my body and I see time freezing slower and slower, I’m at peace.
Death has always scared me. It’s where all of my anxiety occurs. And somehow in this moment I felt so calm and tranquil. Just in disbelief that it would end this way.
My brother said the driver was able to swerve enough to where we just narrowly missed him. I didn’t notice the driver swerve. But point being, we avoided contact. Within feet, and I mean maybe two or three of getting crushed. We swerved back into the median and very shortly after stopped the vehicle. I let out the biggest sigh of relief. My eyes welled with tears as I feel the purest form of elation that I have ever felt. We look at each other in total and utter disbelief. We made it.
Now death is unavoidable but on this day we defeated it. Here I am all my life thinking that I am shark attack lucky due to how many close calls I’ve had that didn’t go my way. But a day and a half ago I had the best close call ever happen to me. We avoided death in that instance. And as I write this I still can’t even stress how close we were. I am lucky. So amazingly lucky I still can’t believe it. Who knows? I might still get bitten by a shark but…
I am certainly counting my blessings and not taking things for granted. I wrote this for me as a way to remember my near death experience but if you can use it to realize how valuable life truly is than by all means that works for me. Things get taken for granted all of the time and I’m not going to pretend like this incident won’t change that for me. I know somedays I will still take things for granted but here’s to hoping that happens less.
I am very spiritual. I don’t necessarily believe in religion but I believe in God. A god. My God. And I pray everyday and communicate with God. As we stopped a witness came who happened to be a pastor. He watched the incident from a far and said he was praying the whole time. Take that for what it is. I’m not into pushing my spiritual beliefs upon you. I don’t feel as if that’s my job. However, if you take one thing away from this just remember how truly special and amazing life is and any day alive is a gift.
Sidenote: I broke down last week in Gainesville at mile marker 418. Six days later I nearly died on the date of 8/14. I haven’t even thought of what that means and the coincidences. Just thought that it was wicked cool and I had to share it. Here’s the picture I took after I broke down.