Last year I had a close call while driving, one that’s significantly impacted the way I wish to live my life. I wrote about that day a few months ago (How Listening Can Be a Path to Healing), but something else happened that night after I got home.
Just hours after the accident, I stood outside on the porch as it grew dark. I felt like I was standing alone, in isolation, in a place where there were no other people. Time stood completely still as if I were on the moon, or in the middle of the desert. Everything was quiet and my brain was barely functioning. I didn’t even feel capable of processing my own thoughts.
I looked up into the dark inky sky, full of stars, sparkling as always, but I couldn’t see their beauty that night. I just felt stunned, like an empty human body or a zombie, a feeling that would frequent me in the months to come. I thought about how if I had reacted differently, John would be having a very different evening right now. He would be getting a call or a visit from the RCMP telling him that sadly and tragically his wife and daughter were killed in a fatal car accident.
How am I still alive? How am I still here? I can’t believe I’m still here. I AM HERE. Is this my life? Have I been living the live I wanted to live? Didn’t I want to travel? I wanted to travel with my kids. Why aren’t I travelling with my kids? If I die tomorrow, will I have lived MY life, and not someone else’s? What am I waiting for?
I went inside and sat down at the computer. I logged into my online banking information to see how many travel points I had. Hmmm, not enough for a flight, let alone 4. Then I logged into John’s bank account. I checked his account. He had 350,000 points, enough for 4 international flights and a week of hotels. We had used his VISA to build much of our house 5 years ago, and we were saving the points to go a big family trip together. We had talked about the Pacific Ocean and Australia / New Zealand but we still didn’t have enough points to get to there.
What are we waiting for? How long will it take us to save enough points? Another year? Maybe two years? What if I die? What if he dies? What if these points just sit here and we never get to use them? What are we waiting for?
I called out to John. “Sweetheart?” He was reading by the fire. “Yah?” he replied.
“How much vacation do you have left this year?” I asked.
“Maybe 4 weeks, why?” he replied.
“Let’s go to Hawaii. In January. With the kids.” Then I waited.
I often suggest random, sporadic, money-spending ideas that can be met with scepticism. John prefers to play life a bit safer, where as I tend to thrive on the edge, with adrenaline rushing through me. If we have money, I want to spend it. If we have money, he’d prefer to save it. So I am used to the silence, waiting for him to respond rationally, for him to ask me the questions, to see if I have thought my idea through yet.
I heard him get up. He walked over and stood next to me by the computer. He didn’t look like he was about to give me the usual spiel, where he tries to reason with me. “Why Hawaii?” was all he said. I shrugged my shoulders. I didn’t want to have to give him my usual passionate plea where I try to wittily convince him of something I want. “It’s warm, not super far, and neither of us have ever been there. And there’s surf.” That was as much of a case as I could muster.
“You really want to go?” he said.
“Yah, I really do,” I replied.
There was another pause and I stared at him, trying to reach into the depths of his soul, past his eyes, past his brain, to the place inside of him that makes him tick. My voice got quiet. “I want to live John. I just want to live. I don’t want to wait anymore. I’m so tired of always waiting.”
My eyes started to well up and my throat got tight. He looked back at me, and I saw something. This little spark, this little jolt of fire, where my soul met his on a level that cannot be explained. “Ok, let’s go.”
A couple of weeks before we left for Hawaii, I went to see Shawn Leonard, a psychic medium (http://www.shawn-leonard.com). He brought up the car accident and said, “You know Becky, it wasn’t an accident, there are no accidents in life. It was a wake up call for you. So you could see the life you were meant to live and so you would finally have the guts to step into it.”
I believed Shawn when he said that, and on an intellectual level I knew he was right. But now? Now, I KNOW he was right.
Stay tuned for my next post, where I share some of the soul stirring events that happened to us while we were there!