30: It Was Not Our Time

30: It Was Not Our Time

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles

It Was Not Our Time

We all have a guardian angel, sent down from above. To keep us safe from harm and surround us with their love.

~Author Unknown

It was a dark, snowy and icy Saturday evening in December a number of years ago when my husband Richard and I were driving our SUV along Highway 53 in Ancaster, Ontario. We were on our way to his brother David’s house for the evening. Our three children were with their friends and we were on our own for the night.

The traffic moved slowly due to the slippery conditions, hampered by blowing snow. A good amount of icy snow was on the ground and it kept coming. It was a terrible stretch of road that was often a tricky drive in bad weather.

Suddenly a large transport truck left its lane and headed straight toward us. It was going to hit us head-on. The only thing we could do was drive off the road, so we veered to our right to avoid the truck. We were out of control and travelled into and out of a large gulley right toward a very large and old tree. It had a huge trunk. I was looking right at it and yelled, “Oh God, help us!” Something would have to happen or we were going to smash our car right into that enormous tree trunk. I could see it all coming at my face. Richard was trying to control the car and turn it away from the tree trunk, but it was coming way too fast. To make matters worse, we also needed to avoid a big red fire hydrant just to our left.

I am not sure what happened next, but I felt us climbing the tree trunk with our front wheels and then jerking to the left very hard. So much was going through my mind. Were we going to roll the car or land on our roof? Would we survive? It was all very crazy and it happened in seconds, but it appeared to be happening in slow motion.

Richard grabbed me and I grabbed onto him, so we were both leaning into the middle of the front seat together. Just as we were leaning in, the windows broke on either side of us. We then violently and miraculously landed on all four wheels. The front window then shattered all over us from the force. Fortunately, we had on winter coats, hats and gloves, but our faces were still exposed. After checking ourselves quickly, we didn’t find a single scratch, although we were both shaken and traumatized from our very close call.

We just sat for a couple of minutes to collect ourselves. We were shaking and I was in shock. I guess someone must have called the police, as they soon arrived. The officers looked around at our car and wondered how we survived being in a car with that much damage. They noticed the fire hydrant on the left and the huge old oak tree on the right and commented that it was impossible for a car to pass through the small space between them. We said we knew that and that is why we huddled in the middle of the car in case both sides of the car were sheered off. Our side windows certainly did shatter to pieces and our doors were smashed in on both sides.

The police officers saw bark missing from the tree trunk and also noticed a red paint streak along our roof from the front to the back. One officer pointed out that it matched the colour of the fire hydrant. Our roof must have scratched up against the hydrant when our vehicle was shooting by on its side, with two wheels in the air. We were so lucky that we landed upright on all four wheels instead of on the roof or side of the car.

Since we were only a few blocks from David’s house, we limped our car over there (amazingly it still drove slowly) on that snowy cold night, with all of the cold air coming through our broken windows. We just wanted to get to the closest home and pretty much collapse. We were immediately so thankful to God that we were alive and not hurt in any obvious way.

David and Francine opened their front door to find us getting out of a very battered vehicle. They were shocked at the sight of our car and could not believe we survived.

I tried to explain to them what happened, and could not really explain why we were not hurt given what we had just been through. I had seen that tree coming right at us, and for a moment I thought our lives were over. Sharing the story made me realize how lucky we were to survive and I thanked God over and over for taking care of us.

On the Monday after that awful Saturday night, Richard, a family physician, went to work at his medical office. One of his patients who made crafts of all kinds and had a beautiful store in a neighbouring town came in that day. She said that she did not know why, but a strong feeling had prompted her to bring Richard two white guardian angels to place on our Christmas tree for the upcoming holidays.

When Richard came through the front door of our house that evening, he pulled out those two guardian angels from inside some white tissue. He told me what his patient said and I cried tears of joy, thankfulness and gratitude. We did not say a word at that special moment, because we both knew! We had been saved by our guardian angels because it was not our time. And this gift of two beautiful angels from a patient who knew nothing of our accident was a sign that we are never alone in this world. I had screamed “Oh God, help us!” and He had. It was not our time.

~Karen Vincent Zizzo

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