I, along with hundreds, if not thousands of others was stuck in the lineup of traffic last Friday because of the accident on Highway 3 near Sparwood. In almost four hours we moved approximately 10 km. In the van with my mom and children I sat, and thought about that time, and when in a few moments I felt unfortunate to be in that traffic or inpatient because I had somewhere to be, I felt guilty. I knew that I was not unfortunate, I was lucky. For it was not that far ahead that people who had been involved in, or witnessed the terrible accident were having a far worse day than anyone. In fact, being stuck in traffic was not a bad thing, but a reminder of how fragile life is and how blessed we all are to make it home safe, even if we are a few hours late. I felt fortunate to spend time chatting with my mom and the kids were happy to have animal crackers and snacks for dinner, read books and draw several of their best renditions of their grandma and myself. Out the window I watched people walk their dogs, skateboard, go fishing and make the best of their delay.
As I waited, I wondered if these stops are meant to slow us down, teach us a lesson and remind us to cherish every day and every moment because in a single second, on what would seem to be a typical busy day, it can all be taken away.
When I arrived home, I hugged my husband a little tighter and gave the kids an extra kiss goodnight. I thought about the people involved in the accident and how horrific their day must have been. The next day I vacuumed crushed crackers and cleaned up construction paper off the floor of the vehicle and it didn’t seem like such a chore. I know for sure, that no matter how bad our day may seem, to be surrounded by safe and healthy friends and family is the best gift a person could have. I know for sure, there are people out there, whether only kilometers up the road or much farther, that today may be the day, that in the simplicity of going for a drive, they could be no more. I know for sure, I will try to be more thankful and conscious of not taking a day for granted.