CURVE

I’ve been thinking about something that happened a very long time ago.   And no matter how many times I play it out, I have no explanation as to how I am still alive today.  I question how some moments played out.

Many years ago I lived in a different life.  I was married to someone else.  This someone else had a motorcycle.  And a car.   I don’t remember the circumstances but the motorcycle, a 550 Yamaha (or something like that) was “in the shop”.   We had to pick it up and it was in another town.   We drove the car over but this someone else could not ride the motorcycle.   He was having problems with his eyes and contacts.  We knew he couldn’t ride the bike home.  So it was decided I would.  I could ride a motorcycle.  In theory.  I had ridden motorcycles for years.  On the farm, on trails.  But the only road riding I had done was a brief hop from the top of the lane to the school house long before I had a driver’s license.  And I wasn’t even suppose to do that.  So I knew how to “ride” but I did not have a license to ride a motorcycle on the roads.  With no real road riding experience.

But that day I did anyway.

I don’t know where decision making comes from sometimes, obviously not our brains.

After paying the bill and getting the bike out of the shop, I put on the helmet.  Glasses.   Headed towards home.   About seven miles from home it looked like rain.  So at one point I sped up, to try and beat the rain.  I did okay for most of the ride.   Until I headed in to town.   Home town.   The road goes around the fairgrounds.   It curves at a 90 degree angle to my right as I headed in town.  For some reason I was terrified of the rain getting me while I was on the bike.  I didn’t want to wipe out.  So in a very short stretch I got that bike going faster than I had the entire way home.  And I hit the curve.  There were cars coming from the other direction.  I was going too fast.

When I hit that curve  I am sure something intervened.

An angel?

God Himself?

Because it surely was not skill.  I had none.

I hit the brakes as I hit the curve.   I can still see the first car approaching the bend of the curve from the other direction.  I wonder if that driver remembers that moment like I do.  Well, probably not.  He probably wonders who the hell the idiot on the bike was and why don’t I ride like I have some sense.   I hope he knows I totally agree with him. In that second of total terror, I know time was suspended.  There is no way I could see all that I saw, think all that I thought, and register any of it in that fraction of time.

I hit that curve without having a clue how fast I was going.

I hit that curve and that second freezes in my head just like it did at that moment.  I can see the speedometer at almost 70.  I had no idea I was going that fast.   I can see the car that I am staring in to as they stare out at me.  That second is frozen.    I hit that curve without any idea on how I did not plow, and I mean T-bone,  in to that car.   Or how I did not lay that bike flat and roll or slide  under any of the vehicles.

I just don’t know.

I know I hit the curve, hit the brakes, laid to my right and somehow am still living.   By rights I should have:

  1. Hit that car
  2. Wiped out totally
  3. Been run over by the other cars coming

There is no explanation.  Not to me.  Maybe motorcycle experts can explain what I did as perfect.   But I know it wasn’t.   I think of that moment often enough.  I replay it.  I wonder about it.  I should have been implanted in to that car.  Or under another one.

I never spoke of this to my husband at the time.  I couldn’t speak of it. I couldn’t explain it.  And it scared me.

When I think about it I get a very uneasy feeling.   Like I know that was not how it should have played out.

But it did.

Why?

I don’t know.

But I’m grateful.

I have no explanation for this happening the way it did.  I still don’t.  But from that time I think of all of the moments of my life that followed.  The changes I made in who I was/am, the people I’ve met since then, the people who exist now because I survived then.

I obviously don’t know the plan for me.  Because even at my stupidest I can’t undo what is suppose to be.

69 thoughts on “CURVE

  1. I understand your story, having had something similar happen to me when I was in college. Mine involved my Dad’s brand new car, stoplights that had been flipped on just a few days earlier, and a big construction truck that didn’t know that on a 55 mph road. He came around a curve, I was about ten cars back from the light, and when he hit me, the rear tailgate got pushed up to the backseat of the car. I had on a seat belt (no harness, no airbags) so I didn’t eject or hit the windshield. My Dad looked at the car, asked if I was sure I was okay and that’s when I realized how bad the damage was because he wasn’t mad at me.

    So many things could have happened differently that night and didn’t. Oh, and the light had changed so all the cars ahead of me were moving up when I got hit, so I went straight and hit nothing and no one else.

    God alone knows why we walk away from things and He saves us. It’s scary though to go back and realize how fortunate we were at the time.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy

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  2. Goosebumps reading this account, Colleen! I’ve experienced a couple of moments when I KNOW that angels intervened. That you return to this moment at times and can relive and review so clearly tells me that it was a pivotal moment that probably contributed to some changes in your perspective on life and what and whom you hold dear. I think you were trusted to continue to share your story and be a bright light and influence to others–as you are. And what a story you have to share! 🙂

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    • Why thank you Debra. What a beautiful thing to say. I will say that I have certainly grown, changed and been given a lot more blessings. I’d like to think I was a benefit to someone in all of that time since. Thank YOU for thinking I am/was.

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  3. You are ONE real lucky lady… Seventy miles an hour?? My go_, Chatter Master. Not you… That is something that I would’ve done…

    I can imagine that split second but I am glad I do not have to…

    Old Man Jack told me (and corroborated by Mr. Johnson) he wanted an Indian (now a vintage motorcycle) “real bad”. So he bought one without Carol finding out about it until the guy dropped it off at his house. He said, “Whoo-ee!” referring to Carol’s “emotions”.

    Like you, he had ridden bikes. He hopped on, kick-started it, and in typical fashion, gunned it down the street; it T’s at the end. Well, he spilled it…with Carol up the street watching. He had remarked, “if you think that first whoo-ee was bad, you should’ve heard the second.”

    He got rid of it the next day…because that’s what Carol wanted.

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  4. Wow! I am glad you made it through that too. That is one of those moments I do not think anyone would ever forget, and life is never the same after. Just…wow…happy you are here. 🙂

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  5. Times like that remind me we are not all there is on this level of existence too. I vote angels or something because…well, miracle. My brother had a similar how did he avoid the propane tank when he misjudged a hill on a mountain road…makes you wonder about so much we do not seem

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  6. Colleen, I was holding my breath the entire time I was reading. And yes, God clearly had/has a plan for your life. By all accounts, it sounds like a PURE miracle. We’re so thankful that you’re here . . . Alive and kicking!!

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  7. Yikes! I understand (know!) this: “In that second of total terror, I know time was suspended. There is no way I could see all that I saw, think all that I thought, and register any of it in that fraction of time.” I had a similar incident.” I was falling down a long set of metal stairs in a castle ruin in Scotland. My husband said he experienced a similar suspension of time as he watched and thought he’d be taking me home in a body bag. We both have no idea how I not only survived the fall, but survived with only a cut on my finger and partial loss of a fingernail. Something happened in the middle of that fall, something that slowed everything, and I have never been able to explain it. Or explain why. Perhaps there is still something for me to do, just as there is still something for you to do in life. 🙂

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    • Oh Robin! My husband can relate to your husband’s experience! That’s another story entirely. But I’m glad someone understands what I mean about the second freezing and time stopping.

      I’m glad YOU’RE okay!

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  8. Somebody had your back, Colleen, because plans for you were not finished yet.

    That’s my explanation, and I’m sticking to it.

    I am really, really, really thrilled it worked out so perfectly that day, dumb decisions and all.

    It reminds me of when I was 18, driving my mother’s Chevy Nova, not a good nor confident driver yet, coming home on a twisty and busy Long Island two-lane road after a summer’s day of painting my aunt and uncle’s house. I was famished from working so hard physically and had to stop to buy an egg roll for some reason. And eat it while I was driving home so I wouldn’t be late for dinner. Yup, 18 and starving. So I’m eating this egg roll and driving and decide I need to change the radio station, too. When I look up this truck in front of me had stopped to turn left. I was going too fast, like you. I stomped on that brake as hard as my right foot could stomp. That Chevy Nova stopped faster than physically possible, I am quite certain, one inch short of that truck, my eyes looking through the windshield in horror at the metal that would have taken my head off.

    Thank you for reminding me of that day long ago when what couldn’t have happened happened.

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  9. Wow just wow! I like that “At my stupidest I can’t undo what is supposed to be.” That should be on a T-Shirt! lol

    Reading this reminded me of the close call you and Hubby had with the transport truck on the windy road.

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  10. Some things in life never make sense. Life is short and we escape the hand of death many times and you can’t help but wonder why. In your case, I’m sure it was so you could meet me.

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  11. wonderful article, chatter. I have dropped and been dropped a few times, I have had close calls, I still ride motorcycle. I was in a very bad car wreck about ten years ago, on my way to work someone ran the red light, I can relate completely to the frozen moment, when eyes meet eyes and you know it is coming. I don’t believe in fate, I just think “things happen” as a result of actions and whether there is a good or bad outcome is luck. Enjoyed this text very much!

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  12. “Someone watching over you,” Colleen. This lesson was one to hold on to, remember and treasure. Angels protecting you, travel mercies, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. All of those and more. There is no reason why some people, babies and other living things die, before their time, but I have a belief you have been following the Plan. You are a giver, you are someone passing on the word to others… xoxo so glad you lived, colleen!

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