58: My Last Whisper

58: My Last Whisper

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles Happen

My Last Whisper

Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.

~Victor Hugo

“What the heck!” I screamed, trying to fathom what was wrong with my car. I didn’t have much time as my car raced toward the twenty or so cars lined up at the stop sign, waiting for their turn to get on the main road. The traffic was always horrendous this time of day when the daycare center—on the main road—dismissed the morning classes and took in the afternoon kids.

I had put my foot on my brake as I approached the stopped cars, but instead of slowing down I raced faster than ever. When I tried the brake again, it sent the car speeding as if I had floored the gas pedal. I tried to reach down to feel what was wrong, but it was impossible. My car was going too fast and I started swerving into oncoming traffic, causing a few horns to honk. There was bumper-to-bumper traffic on the main road ahead, and the oncoming traffic was heavy too. I couldn’t veer off the road because there was a fence and a ditch next to it. Therefore, not only was I going to crash, I was going to take other cars with me—maybe even kill someone.

My children’s faces flashed in front of me. “Please don’t let me kill any kids, please,” I mumbled to myself. I knew the preschool was the reason for the traffic jam, and many of the cars would be carrying children. As I watched the cars in front of me grow closer, I pictured my sixty-mile-an-hour car smashing them accordion style. There was no way out and no way not to hit someone.

I was seconds away from impact when I whispered, “I need a miracle,” and then turned the wheel hard to the right. The car flew into the air, bounced, and was about to hit those bumper-to-bumper cars on the main road.

Then, suddenly, my car came to a complete stop. I was shaking so violently it took me a minute to realize that not only had I not hit anyone on the main road, I’d come to rest far from the traffic jam. In fact, there wasn’t one car around me. I was far up the road and couldn’t even see the intersection I’d just been at. How I got so far away from the cars on the main road made no sense at all. I don’t know why or how, but I was okay and so were the other cars.

Trying to pull myself together, I reached down to find that someone had tossed some empty pop cans under the driver’s seat, which had wedged under my brake. When I stepped on the brake the cans molded to the edge and hit the gas pedal, sticking in place. Each time I stepped on the brake the cans pressed the gas pedal down more. It took me a few minutes before I could get the twisted cans off the pedals.

Taking a deep breath, I started the car and turned around to head home. As I passed by the children playing outside at the daycare facility my tears flowed freely. The sight before me was a miracle. No smashed cars, no ambulances waiting; business carried on as usual. The last words I had uttered flashed in my mind, and I knew that when I said I needed a miracle I truly got one. I will never ever forget the terror of that day or how it miraculously ended safely. But I am forever grateful that my last whisper was heard and answered.

~Jill Burns

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