28: The Accident

28: The Accident

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

The Accident

The relationship between parents and children, but especially between mothers and daughters, is tremendously powerful, scarcely to be comprehended in any rational way.

~Joyce Carol Oates

“I just want to let you know that I’m running into town to pick up a few groceries. Will talk with you when I get back home.” It was not an uncommon message for Mom to leave on my recorder since she often kept me informed as to her comings and goings. So why did I feel so troubled at missing the chance to talk with her?

I grabbed the phone quickly and dialed her number, hoping to catch her before she left, but she must have hurried out the door after leaving the message.

Then I saw it in my mind as clearly as if it were happening directly in front of my eyes.

Mom made a left turn onto the main highway. She apparently hit a patch of icy pavement and slid into the guardrail on the opposite side of the road. Wham!

Mom lived just up the private gravel road from our home. My parents moved to the countryside to be closer to their five grandchildren. Sadly, Dad passed away a few years later, so we tended to keep a close eye on Mom.

Without giving it a second thought, I grabbed my purse and ran out the door. I don’t know whether I thought it was a premonition and I could save Mom from the crash, or if the accident had already taken place. Regardless, she needed me, and I had to go.

It was only about a five-mile drive to the highway from our house, and I made it in record time. As I pulled up to the stop sign and looked to the left, I saw Mom’s black Mercury Sable crashed into the guardrail exactly as I had seen it in my vision a few minutes earlier.

No other vehicles had stopped to help, so I must have reached her within seconds of the crash. Looking carefully both ways, I tried to remain calm so I wouldn’t fall victim to the same fate. I pulled slowly out onto the highway and parked directly behind the scrunched-up vehicle.

Mom looked at me strangely when I ran up and opened her door. “How did you know what happened?” she asked, somewhat baffled. I don’t think it even occurred to her that I could have simply been driving by at the same time.

Other vehicles began to stop to offer help, so I didn’t have the chance to explain how I happened to be there so quickly.

Later that afternoon, after dealing with the local towing company, the auto body shop and the insurance agent, Mom and I finally got a chance to sit down and chat about the accident. When I told her about my premonition, I was shocked and somewhat disappointed that she wasn’t in complete awe.

“Mom, why aren’t you more excited about me knowing you were in that accident?” I inquired with a bit of attitude.

“Honey,” she responded, “how do you think I always know when you need me?”

She was correct — there is an inexplicable bond between a mother and her child that transcends the toughest boundaries, and I was just beginning to grasp what she had known for years.

I felt blessed to have been privy to what had transpired that day — and so thankful that I could be there when Mom needed me.

~Connie Kaseweter Pullen

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