1/31/09

I Have Been A Thinking......

A very close friend of mine and I were talking just last week about our mortality. He is several years younger than me,but he said as he gets older (fastly appoaching 40!!) he has notice he thinks more and more about the end of his life. I had to tell him that I was about his age when it first struck me that I was getting older and I wasn't going to live forever. I know for me, when I was in my 20s and early 30's, I never thought much about that fact that I would die one day. I was too busy starting out my life in my 20's and too busy having fun and enjoying life in my early 30's (not that I don't enjoy life and have fun now,I really do) to really think about it.
But as I approached 40, I too noticed it was on my mind more and more. During my 30's the AIDS epidemic was in full swing and I was busy taking care of friends who were sick and dying. At one point I stopped and realized I had lost 19 friends in a year and half to HIV/AIDS, and that did not count people I just knew, these were guys I was close to. Most of them I had physically taken care of while they were sick and many of them I was with when they passed on. But still, it did not hit me about ME until I was approaching 40.

Now I am almost 56 and the thought of me not being here one day has again crept into my thinking. I think we all know in the back of our minds that one day we are not going to be here anymore, it is just a fact of life. But I bet not a one of gets up in the morning with the thought "that today could be my last day'.

What really got me thinking about this I think was the car accident Patrick and I were in last month. Now I am not gonna get all Drama Queen on you here, but the swiftness of the accident really scared me. Patrick and I had just left the home of some of our very dear friends and were on our way to a Christmas Concert we both really enjoy each year and alway look forward to. We were both in great spirits and had been talking and laughing together when out of no where, the car coming up behind us way too fast on the freeway, hit us and sent us spinning around on the freeway. From the time of impact until we stopped spinning, it seemed everything was happening in slow motion. The freeway was super packed that night in all lanes in the direction we were traveling. Just a very short distance ahead, we would have exited the freeway. Just before the impact I had checked my rearview mirror and saw that the closet car behind us was 4 or 5 car lengths behind us. Neither of us in our wildest dreams ever thought we would be in a car accident that night.

When the car hit us from behind, the main point of impact was just behind the rear wheel on the driver's side. It was not a full rear end contact, But the passenger side of her front bumper made contact with the driver's side of my bumper. When she hit us, she actually pushed us for a few feet before her bumper fell off and sent us spinning..away from the main traffic and onto the exit ramp we had just passed.
Had she hit us full force in the center of the bumper, Patrick and I both would have probably sustained some serious injuries AND had she hit us more on the passenger side of our bumper, it would had sent us spinning to the left and directly into the main flow of traffic on the freeway, which just would not have been a good thing.
Thankfully, after it was all over, we were ok. Shaken up, o yes! But we were ok.
Thinking about what could have possibly happened, really had me shaken up for several days. Either one of us or both of us might not be here today if things had worked out differently.

Today here in LA was a very beautiful day. Clear skies, warm temptatures,just really a gorgeous day. Patrick and I went to have Dim Sum with some friends we have not seen in long time. After Dim Sum Patrick and I went over to Circiut City in Pasadena to see what kind of sale they were having since they are closing all their stores.
After we left there we decided to drive home by going through Pasaenda instead of taking the freeway back. We were driving down Colorado Blvd with the windows down, enjoying the day and listening to some music. As we drove down Colorado Blvd we passed a guy riding his bike on the side of the road, in our lane going the same direction we were. Ever since I have met and become good friends with my work buddy, Jill, I tend to notice bike riders more because Jill in an avid bike rider herself and we have discussed bike safety several times. I noticed the guy had on his helmet and had the correct reflectors on his bike and he was riding in the bike lane as we passed him. As we passed him I admired him for being out there riding his bike and getting his excerise.

Patrick and I went on our way and were several blocks ahead of the biker when I checked the traffic in my rear view mirror, just in time to see a car run
the light and slam into the biker we had just passed. I was speechless, I saw the bike go up in the air along with the rider. When the guy hit the pavement he rolled some, laid there and then tried to sit up. I told Patrick what I had just seen as we were sitting there waiting for out own light to change. I was not sure what we should do since we were several blocks away but as I watched several people jumped into action, one woman jumped out of her car and stopped all the traffic while several other people ran to help him. The police were just a block ahead of us and they headed back in the direction of the accident. The thought that kept racing though my mind was how sudden it had all happened. The biker surely had not thought someone would hit him today. He had taken all the safety precautions he was suppose to and was doing just what he was suppose to do.

I guess what I would like for all of us to get out of this is, we really don't know when something could happen, and we will no longer be here to enjoy our lives. In the world we live in today, we all get bombared with all the negative stuff that is happening in our world everyday. We get so caught up in things going on in our lives and in the lives around us that we forget that the most important thing in our lives, is not all the "stuff" that is going on in our lives, but the most important thing in our lives are the people we love in our lives. We tend to forget how important they are to us and we are to them. We tend to forget to let them know how imporant they are to us and how much we care about them and love them. We get so caught up trying to make a living that we forget about making a life for ourselves and the ones we love.

If just for today, tell the people who are important to you in your life, that they are important to you. Maybe you just take it for granted that they know. It is always so awesome when someone tells me they care about me and I am special to them.
Every morning when I leave for work, I hug and kiss Patrick and tell him I love him. I do this not out of habit, but because I am afraid something could happen to me on my commute to and from work, and I may not get to tell him again. You just never know.

later

ps. they did find the person who hit us and left the scene. It is a woman who lives in Van Nuys. They have made several attempts to contact her by going to her house but when I last checked, they had not been able to speak to her. They have sent her a certified letter and there will be a warrant out on her, so sooner or later she will show up.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Assumed they found the person who hit you and you weren't being sexist with the "her" references. :o)

Have told you recently, but will tell you again, as it always bear repeating.

I love you!

LB

Jonah said...

Life and death have been on my mind a lot lately, too, as I’m in the approaching-40 category (well, approaching-36 anyway.) Accidents are very scary events. Makes me want to stay at home all day forever. But then we’d miss out on so much. I guess it’s a risk and reward kind of thing. Glad you guys are okay. Hope that biker’s okay, too.

RambleRedhead said...

Wow a very touching post. I am so glad the two of you are ok and can see how something like this can scare you.

I drive all over Indiana, Illinois and Michigan and it is a big fear of mine as well. I have some close calls and my guardian angel must be working overtime at times.

Your message of telling the ones you love in your life is so right on and that is why whenever I see someone I give them a hug before and after and tell them thanks for being in my life.

Thank YOU for being in MINE!!