The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

Thankful for the things that don’t happen

on May 1, 2014

A couple of days ago, I took #1, 2 and 3 to visit friends for an afternoon play date. We parked in the outdoor visitors parking bay just a few steps from where they lived. As I was gathering children and bags together, I heard the security guards shout something and then an almighty thud just behind us and felt a slight impact.

A branch from the tree just a car space away had fallen down from up above.

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I turned around to see that we had been brushed by the outer branches with the heavier part landing right in between #1 and 2.

I don’t want to make it out to be anything other than what it was. We missed being hit by a falling branch by seconds. An awful accident could have happened. But it didn’t.

There’s something to be said about when a small child falls over and we shouldn’t make a big fuss of it if they’re not hurt because if you do then you’re just going to make them react accordingly.

There was a group of five people stood a car space to the other side who heard and saw what happened but didn’t bat an eyelid and carried on their conversation. So I guess because neither #1, 2 or myself were hurt, I just hugged #2 to soothe her tears, picked up our bag, got #3 out of the car and carried on with what we were doing.

I’m quite sure that had someone rushed over and made a big fuss over what could have happened had we been stood just a few inches in the wrong way, I might have felt more shaken up immediately. As it happens I probably was in a bit of shock at the time.

It was only when I got home and could tell Husband about what happened and how narrowly we escaped some degree of injury that I could tell myself just how lucky we had been.

A branch from a tree fell down right beside us but didn’t hit any of us. It could have done. But it didn’t. Just one second of time can make all the difference.

I find that thought quite amazing. The things that happen and don’t happen. The decision to move this way or that. The choice of infinite options leading to infinite outcomes but only following one.

How many times have I bumped into someone by happy coincidence and thought about how I wouldn’t have done because I was going to go that way instead.

Things like a branch falling from a tree is an act of nature.

People driving like idiots is not. I’m in the car a lot most days doing school runs and ferrying children here and there. Perhaps it’s because I’m in the car more frequently than I have ever been that I seem to notice dangerous, irresponsible and arrogant driving more than before.

Or perhaps it’s because I have small children in the car that makes me so rageful when the idiocy of other people behind the wheel puts the lives of my children at risk. The way cars cut in, weaving in and out of lanes, drive too fast, taxis stopping suddenly for a fare. Every one of these actions causes a reaction.

Thankfully most do react in time. I’ve seen countless accidents avoided on many occasion. Most drivers are oblivious. It makes me so mad when I’ve had to slam on brakes because some nob has changed lanes without indicating.

I’m mad not because I think I’m a better driver. I’m mad because I felt fear. Whenever I honk my car horn which never gets across how I truly feel, I’m telling you, ‘How f-ing dare you put the lives of others at risk like that’.

I may sound overly dramatic but it is quite true that a split second makes all the difference.

Sometimes it really is down to chance and sometimes it’s down to the chances we take.

So I’m thankful for the things that don’t happen. Goodness knows how many times that may have been or will be but I am truly thankful for all of them.

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