You know sometimes things happen that have a pretty big impact on us at the time but then for one reason or another we might forget about them. This is something that I haven't thought about in literally years, but then a talk I read this morning reminded me of it. I thought I'd better write it down now, before I forget again, because it made such an impression on me at the time and at least for a little while afterward.
I went out one day to see my friend Patty, who worked at a scrapbook store in North Logan that was owned by her mother-in-law. Somehow I missed Patty and she had already gone home, so I bought what I had gone in for and got ready to leave and finish up the last of my errands as quickly as possible.
As I was walking out I asked her mother-in-law a quick question, just to be polite. Well, either she is a talker by nature (like my mother-in-law) or was lonely, because she didn't give me a quick answer, she just went on and on.
Now, to be honest, I am not much of a "shoot the breeze" type of person. I'm not fond of small talk or filling up space and time with non-essential words. That said, if you see me in person and I talk to you for quite a while it means that either A - I enjoy talking to you as a person more than I enjoy talking to the average person, or B - I am putting off doing something else that I really don't want to do. Or, thinking back on this particular day, C - that I get trapped into talking to you and don't know how to end the conversation.
Anyway, I must have stood there a good 20 minutes trying to figure out how to gracefully exit the premises to get on my way. I think it might have been a school day, so I probably needed to get home before the girls got out of school and I wanted to enjoy those few minutes of peace and quiet that I would have to myself before they came home.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity, I was able to get on my way. I jumped into my car to do a last quick errand before heading home. I pulled onto the highway and headed toward Smithfield.
Less than a block later I realized that things were not looking good traffic-wise. Cars were backed up pretty tight, with nowhere at all to pull off or turn around. I was not happy.
We crawled along for quite a while, taking at least 20 minutes to get to the site of the accident, only a couple blocks away. I was surprised to see that it was very recent and that emergency vehicles were just then arriving on the scene.
Again, I was frustrated at the amount of time I had wasted, both in talking to Patty's mother-in-law and then waiting all that time to get up to and past the accident. I thought about it all the way up to Smithfield and all the way home. I kept thinking how annoyed I was that I wouldn't get my free time and how inconvenienced I was.
Well, luckily something started turning around in my head and I started thinking how inconvenienced the poor people in the accident were. It looked pretty bad, not just a little fender bender, and with the amount of emergency personnel and multiple ambulances that showed up I'm pretty sure the injuries were extensive. One thought led to another and then it dawned on me.
I was truly blessed that day. When I started adding up the timeline of everything, I realized that had I not been talking to Betty (Patty's mother-in-law) for that extra 20 minutes, I might very possibly have been one of the vehicles IN the accident.
I'm not one to think too much about guardian angels or even believe that I have any - at least not specific ones like some people do, but I feel pretty certain that I was saved from something pretty awful that day. I don't know why, but I really do feel that if I hadn't been detained that extra time, things would have turned out very differently for me that day.
For that inconvenient delay, I am truly grateful.