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As an aspiring writer, I blog about whatever happens to move me at the moment -- though some posts contain serious content, my big-picture goal is to bring a little humor into an often humorless world! Welcome, y'all, and make yourself at home! Please make sure you update your bookmarks!

When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger...Epictetus

Monday, June 21, 2010

One moment

"One moment you're going about your daily business; the next, you're done."

That's what my husband said as we traveled this weekend to Asheville, North Carolina, to visit my aunt. We were going through Greenwood, South Carolina, and, as we approached a large intersection, we could see several emergency vehicles, lights flashing, up ahead. As we got closer, we could see peop
le standing on the side of the road, watching, as people do.

It was a big accident. A semi had apparently jack-knifed and another vehicle, a truck, was on its side.

Mark said, with the practice of someone who's seen a lot of emergencies, "Somebody died in that."

A policeman was directing traffic so we didn't have much time to take it all in.

My brain didn't quite process what it had seen until a few seconds later when my mother said, "I think I saw a leg." What I realized I'd seen was a white sheet covering a body in the cab of the pick-up, with the leg exposed.

It was one of those moments when, in absolute clarity, the full portrait of life and death gets painted right before your eyes. When we know that we're all on borrowed time and our next breath might well be our last.

It's not a pleasant picture, to be sure, but it's the way it is. But we can't dwell on it or we'd go crazy -- what we have to do is learn from it.

We have to live to the fullest, say I love you, say I'm sorry, make amends, tell someone they are important to you. We have to be ready just in case that semi has our name on it.

I don't know how many people's lives where shattered by that accident. There may have been more than one death, even. Most of the time, when someone dies, they leave behind people whose lives are changed by the loss. This person may have had a spouse, parents, children who will now have to get used to a new normal, to a life without that person.

I was just passing by but I got the message loud and clear.

Sometimes a normal day can change in a heartbeat.

And, sometimes, it is too late.


  1. humm, very strong thoughts. Very true...

  2. So true, Lynn. We don't always have the time to say goodbye.

  3. Hey, there, Ruth -- hope you're doing well!

    Yeah, this is something I need to remember -- it's so easy to get caught up in day-to-day living and forget just how fragile life really is. I don't mean to be morbid -- but it's just true. Several people we know (not close friends) have literally dropped dead lately -- at about the same age as we are. And here I am procrastinating about exercising and eating right when I know it's what I need to do.

  4. Oh, MAN, this rings SO true with me! Life is ridiculously precious...SEIZE it!! Thanks so much for the reminder!!

  5. Sometimes those reminders are painful -- and most of the time,they seem to come when you least expect them.