A Guardian Angel?

The other day, on my way up to cover a Mount Saint Mary College basketball game in Newburgh, New York, I nearly died. I was driving northbound in the left lane on Rte. 9. Off to the left was a beat up blue mazda with an older man behind the wheel. He was stopped, waiting for traffic to clear before entering the northbound lane. I was driving along, listening to the Weepies, and for all intents and purposes, zoned out, when a white pick up truck next to me decided to shift into the left lane- the lane I was driving in. I slammed on the brakes and laid my hand on the horn. My car skidded and fishtailed. The white pick up truck kept coming. The man stopped in the blue mazda threw his arms up in the air and his eyes widened in fear. We made eye contact for a moment, my car flying past between him and the white pick up truck.

All of this happened in a matter of a second, or two, at most, but it felt like super slow motion. I remember thinking that I didn't want that man's pale face and wide eyes to be the last image I see.

Turns out, everything was fine. The white pick up truck continued on its way, oblivious to the damage that driver nearly caused. I continued onto Mount Saint Mary College, but for the next five minutes, I could feel tingling in my fingers and toes as the adrenaline rush left me a little shaky.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened to me. Every time I somehow avert an accident, I always think that there is someone out there looking out for me. I'm reminded that when my great grandmother was dying, my mother (her granddaughter) asked her to be my guardian angel, and I'm told she nodded in agreement. I was only 4 or 5 at the time and have no recollection of this woman at all. All these years later, there are times I feel someone unseen looking out for me, putting an invisible hand on my shoulder when I need it, pushing down the brakes of my car before my reflexes kick in, keeping me from crossing a busy intersection, and so on.

I'm not the kind of person who believes necessarily in angels or demons, in ghosts or guardian angels, but I can't say I disbelieve either. Who am I to make judgements on things I have not seen with my own eyes? Who am I to assume anything?

I've never thought of myself as a lucky person, per se. I don't win prizes or scratch off lottery tickets. I rarely win at Bingo. I really don't think luck has much to do with anything. Maybe that's why it's easier for me to consider the fact that I might have a guardian angel. It's comforting to imagine this old, Italian woman with a beautiful smile somehow there at the very moment I could use a helping hand.

After all, the older I get, the more I realize we could all use a helping hand every now and again, no matter what form that helping hand comes in.


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