Far too often, we go about everyday life complaining about what we don’t have; “I don’t have this, I don’t have that“, ever said that to yourself? Of course you have, we all have. Also, far too often, we fail to be thankful for the little things that we take for granted everyday, like simply waking up in the morning, having a car to drive, clothes on your back, food on your table, etc… Well, I want to share with you two personal and very true experiences in my life that taught me to not only recognize my blessings, but to be thankful for them as well. Oh yeah. . .just like the title says–I should’ve died twice.
THE FIRST TIME I SHOULD’VE DIED. . .
I was in my early to mid 20s, and it was during the mid to late 90s. I was downtown with a friend that I worked with, Lewis, I had something to take care of that day, I can’t remember what exactly, so I had drove my car. Just like the downtown area of any major city, downtown St. Louis, MO could be get pretty busy, and this incident occurred at one of the busiest intersections; Tucker and Washington Ave. I had taken care of whatever it was I needed to do and was on my way back to my car where Lewis was waiting. Well, I saw this girl get off the bus, and immediately went into ‘hound’ mode (yeah, I was skirt-chasing when this happened). Now the girl was a lil’ ways ahead of me, but eventually I catch up to her, introduce myself, and we chat for a couple minutes then go our separate ways. So, I’m practically back at my car, all I have to do is cross the street (Washington Ave), and there’s four lanes; two in each direction. I get one lane away from the other side of the street and. . . .WHAM!. . .A black Ford Mustang hits me at 30mph while I’m walking across the street!
I saw the car coming just seconds before it hit me, and I tried to step back but it was too late. Whenever you hear someone talk about a big accident, you always hear them say. . .”Everything happened so fast“, that couldn’t be a more true statement because that’s exactly how I felt. Now you may be telling yourself, 30mph isn’t that fast. . .that’s only correct when you’re inside the car, but when you’re outside and on foot, its pretty damn fast! The car hits me on the right side of my body, and takes my legs clean from up under me. The impact tosses me onto the hood so hard that I left a dent in it, and the back of my head smashed and shattered over half the windshield before I was literally hurled into the air involuntarily performing several somersaults. I felt myself somersaulting, and wanted stop but I couldn’t, I was absolutely powerless. The only thing I can remember was. . .building, sky, ground. . .building, sky ground. . .That’s what I remember seeing during the somersaulting, and finally. . . .THUD!. . .I slam onto the ground, about 15 yards away from the point of impact, and landed right in the middle of again, one of the busiest downtown intersections at the busiest time of day. Oh yeah, Lewis saw it all!
So, I lay there, in the middle of the intersection a few seconds and eventually get back to my feet. My legs feel real wobbly, my favorite Nautica khaki pants are torn and forever scared with instantly-stained-in street pavement. By the time I get to the sidewalk, I can already hear nearing sirens, and I mean literally–within moments, the police and an ambulance was there! How were they there so quick? Remember, this is a very, very busy intersection–there had to be at least 100 witnesses with all the traffic that was around, so I suppose 9-1-1 got a lot of calls within seconds from each other. So a female paramedic is looking me over; touching here, rubbing there (yeah, that was nice!). . .and, removing glass from hair, from when my head hit the windshield, and ask she touch and rub certain spots, she’s asking me. . .”Does this hurt? Does that hurt?” Each time I tell her “No”. Then she says, “well, this should be broken–that should be fractured” Then she tells me that she can’t find or feel any blood in my hair, which means, as hard as I hit the windshield, my head and/or scalp didn’t receive a single cut! She goes on and starts asking me questions like; what year is it? Who’s the President? What day is it? I answer all the questions perfectly. Finally, she tells me I’m a lot tougher than I look–No! Being tough didn’t have anything to do with it. . .I WAS BLESSED! My guardian angel was definitely on the job that day! I am sooo thankful to have walked away practically injury free, and in my right state mind! Lewis later told me that when he saw me get hit, and taught I was killed right there on the spot, and would have to explain to my parents what happened. Again–I WAS BLESSED!
THE SECOND TIME I SHOULD’VE DIED. . .
It was almost 3 years ago to the day; it was Christmas Eve 2009. That was a snowy winter, and the roads were covered in snow, slush, and ice, and yeah–it was snowing. I was with another friend, Brandon, and it’s important that you know Brandon has been into weight lifting for a number of years and it shows. So I’m in the far right-hand lane of the highway, yes I was in the fast lane, and some people say I shouldn’t have been in that lane, but at the time it was the most clear lane, and seemed to have fewer slick spots than the other two lanes. We had already hit a couple of those slick spots, but I maintained control of the car just fine and didn’t worry about them, but I had grown a little annoyed with them. And just as I tell Brandon I’m tired of the slick spots. . .WAH-LOP!. . .I hit one!
The car instantly fishtails, and goes into 360 degree spins at 50mph. I’m fighting desperately to regain control, and for a split-second, I think I have but no. . . .CRASH!. . .I spin-out across all three lanes, plow into a guardrail, bending it back like a banana peeling! The impact seems to occur forever and jolts and tosses me around at will, and again, I’m left powerless to do anything about it. Finally, we stop moving, and I’m on top of the dashboard. The upper half of my body was laying across the top of the dashboard, with my head semi-wedged between the dashboard and windshield. . .on the passenger-side! My legs were draped over the steering wheel, and Brandon was holding me by the waist–In the midst of the accident, he saw me get ejected from the driver’s seat, and instantly grabbed and held me, to keep me from going through the windshield! Do I have to say it?. . .WE WERE BLESSED!
Other than a few bruises, neither one of us were seriously injured, but the car. . .The car was completely totaled. The hood was bent-in like an accordion with smoke billowing upward from it, and every fluid painting the fresh snow a different color. The front passenger-side tire and axle was also bent; the top of the tire was bent inward, and the bottom was bent outward. The front, passenger door, (Brandon’s door) was bent at the hinges and stuck wide open! Yes, at some point his door flew open, but he never flew out of the car! On the inside, the center console was torn out of place, and so was the dashboard, and the Pioneer radio I had just bought, was smashed in as well. Again, police and paramedics arrived and the paramedics confirmed that neither one of us had any serious injuries. Again, a paramedic said we were ‘lucky’, and again, I say “No”. . .WE WERE BLESSED! I could have been thrown through the windshield, Brandon could have been thrown from the car as well, and possibly onto the highway, there could have been other cars on the highway, but thank God, it wasn’t, and I mean that in the most literal form. . .Thank God!
Well, I told you those stories, to tell you one, simple thing. . .RECOGNIZE & BE THANKFUL FOR YOUR BLESSINGS!
Thank you again for reading.
— F. Kenneth Taylor
- Thankful Today and Everyday (misstolentino.wordpress.com)
- Grateful for Today! (cherokeebillie.wordpress.com)