Earlier this week, I was going to write about the baby cardinals we’d been watching over the past few weeks. I had taken notes about things I’d like to tell you. How the mama sat on those eggs and didn’t move for what seemed like weeks. How the babies were born and were bright red at birth (seriously, cardinal red) but then quickly turned a brown color as they grew. I was going to tell you about Steve finding the nest as he was doing yard work and how he ran to tell me about it and we laughed that cardinals would choose our yard to make their nest. It was as if they knew how much I love these birds, and how if I believed in the whole “spirit animal” thing, mine would be the cardinal. I was going to tell you about watching the mom and the dad care for the babies – the dad was just as involved and there is as whole community of cardinals in our area, I suppose, as there were many, many others watching the three babies as they learned to fly. I was going to write about how I watched a cardinal go through all the things I’ve gone through as a mom: pregnancy, birth, feeding and caring for my girls, teaching them to fly (metaphorically, you know) only, she did in a matter of weeks what it will take us humans a lifetime to accomplish. I was going to tell you all of those things. But then Thursday night happened and I might have died.
I am being overly dramatic, to be sure, but I have to tell you how close it could have been. I was in a car wreck, and all things considered I am fine. We all walked away and the worst thing that happened to me are a few amazingly purple bruises, a car that needs some fixing, and the part about the responsible driver not having insurance. Here’s the thing: if that woman had blown through the red light (at a high rate of speed no less) any later? I would have been hit directly on the driver’s side. Had she come through a few moments later still? I may have hit her directly and she or her 8-year-old daughter may have been very seriously injured. I have replayed the wreck over and over in my head and all the other scenarios are much worse. My children weren’t in the car, thank goodness. I hit her back bumper and all of our airbags deployed. Our cars did what they were supposed to do to keep us safe. If the worst part of this is paying our insurance deductible because this woman was driving a brand new car without insurance? I suppose it’s not really that big of a deal, all things considered.
What I can’t stop thinking about, though, is that I have to have someone looking out for me. You guys, these past few weeks have been pretty fucking awful, there is no better way to say that. My stove caught fire (no one was hurt) a tree fell on our house. Let me repeat that last one: a tree fell. On our house. No one was hurt, though Steve might argue that his grill was flattened. A woman blew through a red light at a high rate of speed and I never saw her coming. No one was hurt. Someone was looking out for me. Someone has looked out for me quite a bit in the past few weeks.
I don’t know. What I do know is that rather than thinking about how bad things could have been, I need to start counting the blessings I do have. A lovely woman and her husband stopped to help me after the accident. They had been behind me in their car and were nice enough to stop, wait for the police and give a statement. She bought me a bottle of water and stood with us while we waited. There are not enough people in this world kind enough to do what she did that night. Before she left, she said to me, “you are really blessed.” Her words have stuck with me these past few days. I believe she is right. How can I possibly believe otherwise after all that has transpired these past few weeks?
I will sound utterly insane when I write this, but since my grandparents died we have all seen more cardinals. My grandfather loved birds and my cousins and I have all agreed that we see them in random (sometimes downright weird) places since his death. My friends will tell you I can spot a cardinal anywhere, but they do tend to always be around me. I’m more apt to think that there are now more cardinals in this world (thanks to that hard working mama who sat outside my window for weeks) so that I am better looked after. So that when I catch glimpses of red or when I hear their pretty song, I can be reminded of my blessings.