In my past Indigo Sea Press blogs, I have share some stories from my debut ISP book, “Not My Time to Go”. They have all been about angelic protection. This one is about me nearly losing my life as a teen.
I begin chapter six with a quote from Exodus 23:20 NIV: See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.
I was age 15, very involved in community orchestras as a violinist, but had no reliable transportation to take me to the four orchestra rehearsals I had per week. Age 15 can be an awkward age, particularly if you don’t have a car or a license. That was my case.
Mrs. Tyler treated me like one of her sons. She was a kind and generous person. She never complained nor grumbled. She was dedicated to her children and always made sure they were taken care of. Many times, Mrs. Tyler was available to transport me to and from orchestra rehearsals. But then there was Johnny, a 17-year-old cello player who played in the youth orchestra. He was kind enough to give me a ride to orchestra when Mrs. Tyler wasn’t available.
One Monday, Mrs. Tyler called my mom to tell her she couldn’t give me a ride because she had the flu. And Johnny was sick too. My mom scrambled to find a ride for me. After a dozen calls or so, my mom found Mrs. Boucher who agreed to transport me. She was one of the mothers of a friend in youth orchestra.
Tuesday arrived quickly. The last period bell at my high school rang at 3:30 p.m. It had been a ho-hum day at school. I ran out of the building with my backpack on my shoulder and violin in hand. I waved goodbye to my friend as I waited on the corner of Malvern and Augusta Avenues. My ride to youth orchestra would arrive any minute now. It was already 3:35 p.m. The student crowd was thinning out and the last bus left the school. I was bored waiting. I looked at my watch which read 3:55 p.m. Now I was worried. My rehearsal would start at 4:30 p.m. and it always took 40 minutes to get to the rehearsal hall. Back then, there were no cell phones to call or text to check on someone. Had I missed my ride? I feared that if I went to the school office to call, I might miss Mrs. Boucher. I continued to wait, pacing back and forth on the sidewalk. The time seemed like eternity. I grew more nervous. Visions of running in late for my rehearsal haunted me. I had a very strict orchestra director, Mr. Gustav Martine, a virtuoso conductor from France. I had worked hard auditioning for and preparing to hold the position of first-chair concert master in the orchestra, and I didn’t want to lost that. What if I ran in late and Mr. Martine became upset? What if Mr. Martine asked me to leave the orchestra and never come back. That happened to a friend of mine who played oboe. She was asked to leave because she was 15 minutes late.
The clock turned to 4:10 p.m. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a bright-blue Chevy Impala roared up. The front passenger door flew open.
A woman yelled, “Get in!”
It was Mrs. Boucher, moving at a frantic pace. Her son, who played in the orchestra, was screaming at her from the back seat to hurry up. I threw myself into the front seat and held on for dear life with my violin case in my lap.
Mrs. Boucher took off at lightning speed.
“I’m so sorry for being late,” she kept saying.
As she drove, she dug around in her large red purse and found some pretzels and cookies. She tossed a bag over the front seat to her son and a threw a bag of cookies at me. Next, she pulled out several cans of cola as she steered with one finger. Mrs. Boucher tossed the cans at her son and me, driving like a maniac. Her eyes were everywhere but on the road.
Mrs. Boucher was swerving all over the road as she picked up speed. It was a wonder the police didn’t stop her, as her careless driving gave her away. Mrs. Boucher cursed and screamed at the cars ahead to get out of her way and to move faster. Her son and I realized that we were going to be very late to the rehearsal, perhaps by as much as 20 minutes.
The school traffic turned into heavy rush-hour traffic. Mrs. Boucher continued speeding as fast as she could down the four-lane road.
All at once, the traffic light at a four-way intersection turned red in front of us. Mr. Boucher didn’t even slow down.
“Watch out for that car!” her son screamed.
Her car barreled right on through the intersection into oncoming traffic. Car horns blared all around us, followed by the deafening sound of metal scraping, glass breaking, and tires squealing.
Her blue impala had somehow escaped any damage as several other cars swerved to miss us, colliding with each other. We came to a screeching halt about two blocks past the scene of the accident. Mrs. Boucher, her son, and I climbed out of the car, shaking badly. People rushed to help, asking if we had been hurt. Mrs. Boucher sat on the curb. Someone threw a blanket on her, worried that she might be in shock. She didn’t say a word.
Traffic backed up for miles in all directions. The cars that swerved to dodge Mrs. Boucher’s car were totaled. People were rushing to their rescue and soon the police and ambulances arrived.
At the hospital, doctors examined Mrs. Boucher and our vital signs again and kept us in the hospital overnight. But the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with us. We had no cuts or scratches. The doctors couldn’t explain how Mrs. Boucher had avoided the collision at that intersection. But the angels knew how we were protected in the invisible spiritual world.
Turns out many miracles happened that day, they say. None of those drivers and passengers involved in the accident were hurt or killed, although their cars were badly mangled. Some people dismissed the miracle, however, brushing off the lack of injuries as lucky coincidence. I knew better. While I knew, God had spared my life, I later learned that it was also my guardian angels faithfully protecting me. Another reminder that it was not my time to go, that God had some great plans for me. The accident went on to change the lives of Mrs. Boucher, her son, and me in a positive way. We were forever grateful for the gift of life. We learned never to take life for granted.