Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Heebie Jeebies

I woke up this morning with a killer headache and a feeling of dread. The headache I ignored but the feeling in the pit of my stomach wouldn't be hushed. As I readied things for our planned trip to Stanley Park, morbid and strange thoughts kept popping in my head. Is this my last day on earth? Please God, don't let that be the last leg hug from Keeley. Are we going to wish we had never decided to take this trip? Is this the last time I'll let the blasted dog out to pee on the sidewalk? (He's becoming incontinent. If he makes it to the sidewalk, it's a good thing.)

I did what I always do when thoughts such as these take over my mind. I stopped and prayed. I'll be the first to admit that, "Letting go and letting God" is a very difficult thing for me. I'm a work in progress when it comes to stopping my constant worrying, but some prayer pulled me down from code red to code amber.

And so I got on with readying the family for the day's adventure. Heath's parents and his brother and sister-in-law were meeting us at Stanley Park to celebrate a belated Mother's Day. Heath packed up the family truckster and I organized 4 children, one with a wardrobe crisis, into some semblance of order and away we went.

And as we turned onto Lougheed Highway, the feeling crept up into my throat again. That feeling of nerves on edge, that feeling of foreboding.....

I ignored it until we got onto the #1, and then it hit me like a wave, and all I could do was pray to St. Christopher for safety on our travels. And the thoughts whirled inside my head, "Patrick was wearing his St. Christopher medal when Heath and the kids were in that car accident in Vancouver," "God, we were so blessed that you protected them in that crash." "St. Christopher, protect my family."

I calmed down. Into Vancouver we drove, pointing out all the things of interest to the kids. "Look, there's Science World" (I refuse to call it the Telus World of Science). "Yes, Eilidh, that's another homeless person." You know, real life.

Then we drove through the intersection where the kids and Heath had been in their car accident. And I got the willies. But on we went and we arrived in Stanley Park without incident. We unpacked the van and started setting up. Great spot, great weather, didn't forget anything, everything's perfect. And then I started shaking. I felt like I had just downed 3 Red Bull. I even commented to Kaitlyn and Heath that I felt all weird and shaky. It stopped after 2 or 3 minutes and I forgot about it and got on with things. We'd been at the park for close to 30 minutes when Heath decided to call his dad to see how close they were. And we found out they'd been in a car accident.

They're ok! Shaken up and I'm sure they'll be sore tomorrow, and we're pretty sure their van is toast. But get this. They were t-boned, just like Heath was, IN THE EXACT INTERSECTION where Heath's accident happened.

And then I thought about my morning heebie jeebies. And the weird shaking feeling that seems to have occurred around the time they were hit.

Now do YOU have the heebie jeebies?

Today's events got me to, really....about the power of the human mind, how little of it we apparently use, and about how much of being human we do not understand. Just where do these 'premonitions' or 'feelings' come from? I get them often, those feelings of something's not right or something's going to happen. What use are they? If I listened to my gut all the time I'd have my family all wrapped in bubble wrap and living in the basement, so at what point does a person ignore the thoughts and get on with their day, and at what time do you listen to that voice?

I had another moment in my life where listening to that voice probably saved my life. It's a great story, because I get to start it with,

"It was a dark and stormy night...."

Really, it was! I was coming home from a late shift out in Qualicum Bay, driving down a dark and winding road. I was doing the speed limit, no more, but as I came up to an S curve in the road (a spot I'd driven many many many times before), a voice VERY CLEARLY said to me, "SLOW DOWN". When I say, "A voice said to me", I mean it. It was not my voice. It was like it was coming from directly behind my right shoulder, into my right ear. And I listened to that voice, and I slowed down. And as I came around the curve, there was a car's headlights, in MY lane, speeding around the corner directly at me. I had just enough time to swerve over onto the shoulder and missed getting hit by inches. If I had been going just a tad faster, I would have rounded that curve directly into the oncoming car. I wouldn't have seen it until it hit me. There's not a doubt in my mind. I cried all the way home, with the realization that apparently I had not yet accomplished all I was meant to on this earth.

It's been a long day. A great day. My headache is gone, Heath's parents are ok, there's a lot to be thankful for...gut feelings, prayers answered, amen.

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