Minnesota Musing: Guardian Angels - Pushing the Limits of Safety
Time of Death
No one is able to predict the time of their death. No one knows exactly what time or what day this event is going to happen. When a person is at a funeral, there are remarks made about how
- they are in a better place
- was their time to go
- God knows the reason
- God has gained a nice person
- God needed them
- at least they are not suffering anymore
- It's a blessing
- was so hard to watch them suffer
Time to Go
Okay. So, people talk about how it was the deceased 'time to go'.
Which brings me to my point about how some daring individuals do daring things and scoff at the idea that they are being unsafe, doing unsafe things and pushing the limits and, when they come out of it, alive, simply say that it wasn't their time to go.
Sometimes, I feel sorry for guardian angels, because when they are having to work overtime to keep this particular person safe, they are not really appreciated at all. It compares to taking a pill for an ailment, and keeping up the behavior that causes what the pill cures, because you are taking the pill, so why change.
It's almost the same scenario. You hike in the mountains. You don't fall off a precipice. You make it back to your car, safely. You took many unnecessary chances, and you are still alive. Your guardian angel is exhausted, but, you... you are still okay.
Doesn't that make you smile?
One year, back in 1978, I had just gotten my driver's license and had gotten permission from my father to go to town and get a newspaper. I had gotten the car since I needed transportation to a new part time job that I was going to be doing.
At any rate, I was driving a Chevrolet Vega, one that my father had purchased second hand, and had gone through the motions of making it safe for me to drive. It was 10 years old and a suitable first car.
As I drove to town to get the Sunday paper, I was influenced by a television show that I had seen and wanted to slide my tires around an S curve. I was also influenced by my driver's education instructor's recent classes. Remember, I had just received my driver's license.
As I went around the S curve, I started to feel my car slide sideways, but, then I realized that my driving abilities did not include trick driving and since the voice in my memory said, 'when sliding sideways, return your steering wheel to center steer', I did just that.
Frankly, it was the wrong thing to do, because, remember I was on an S curve and while I returned to center steer, the road was still going to the left. So, off the road I went.
Lucky for me, there was an old, barbed wire fence that caught me like a baseball, and my car came to an abrupt stop on top of an old tree stump that just happened to be in that spot.
Good thing that fence was there, because, just five foot to the right of where my car had landed, was a drop off a bluff, and tree tops below. Trees that were a good 40 foot tall, and I was above them.
Crawling Out of the Window
My car was still running when I crashed, so I turned the ignition off. A fence post had broken my driver's side window, and I crawled out through it. I was unhurt, but as I climbed out, I scratched my arm on the barbed wire.
So, now, outside my car, I started looking around for a place to call home and get my dad so he could bring a means to get my car out of the ditch. I felt stupid, since I could have avoided the accident.
I was in a neighborhood, along the gravel road, so I started knocking on doors. No one was home. I suppose they were at church. It was Sunday.
Sheriff Drove By
As I was walking farther and farther from my car, going to the next house to call, a sheriff came driving by, in a hurry since he was responding to a crash.
So, I turned around and headed back to my car.
As I approached him, he looked at me, pointed to the car, and said, "do you know where the person was that was driving that car?"
I said, "Yes. It was me."
Sheriff Called my Dad
The sheriff called my dad for me.
My father showed up shortly with my brother. He was very glad that I was still alive. He looked at the car, and started to laugh. He made a few comments about how my guardian angel was sure watching me, since if my car would have gone over the bluff, I wouldn't have been in quite as good of shape. Then, he made the comment that the governor would probably send me a letter of commendation for taking another Chevy Vega off the streets.
The car was a mess. It was able to be pulled home behind my fathers car with a chain. He and my brother pulled it home and parked it in the field by our house. It wasn't overly smashed up, just the window was broken. You know, that fence somewhat protected the car from getting all bent up.
Anyways, as the car sat where they towed it to, shortly after it was pulled home, we heard a noise. A sharp, heavy crunching noise. At that moment, the motor fell down, onto the grass.
The motor was only held in the car by four tabs. According to my father, the tabs had been rusty and the impact was just enough to jar them loose.
Another laugh from my father, who exclaimed that I was extremely lucky to be alive. More of a nervous, hysterical laugh. Then, he said, "You sure had a guardian angel watching over you that time!"