Last night, my boyfriend whisked me away for a romantic Valentine's day dinner. It combined 3 of my favorite things: Him, going out to eat, and surprises. I particularly loved the fact that I had NO idea where we were going.
Traffic seemed particularly bad from the moment we left the house. We were stuck sitting at lights for several cycles when we would normally breeze right through them. We joked around about all the unfortunate fools in relationships too new to just have their dinner on a Friday or Saturday before or after the ACTUAL commercial holiday which is VD. Then, things got even worse. We were at a dead stop. It was so bad that several people started doing U-turns on a 4 lane road to try to bypass the standstill. We started getting nervous that we weren't going to make it because the highway was backed up. So, I whipped out my phone and checked the traffic report by plugging in a fake destination. (Thank you, Google Maps!!!!)
Ahead of us was a car accident.
We've all passed traffic accidents what seems like a few hundred times in our lives. Usually, they don't amount to much, but this particular one will be indelibly inscribed in my memory. On this beautiful, blue-skied, 45-50 degree day I saw a man laid flat out on his back in nothing but his underwear and unbuttoned light blue dress shirt...getting CPR. The visual itself was gone in a flash, but it will live on to haunt me for years. (I've only seen one other accident in my life which was considerably more traumatizing, and I refuse to write about it in a public forum.)
I wonder how many people that day complained about the traffic and how late they'd be. Earlier, on that same road there was a person dangerously weaving in and out of traffic trying to get to his/her destination a few precious seconds earlier....but at what cost? And of course there were doubtlessly countless: "If we had left 5 minutes sooner" conversations going on for the rest of that evening.
At the most inopportune moments, I find myself wondering about that man. I wonder if he ultimately lived or died. I wonder if he had children and a family who are scared or miserable right now. I wonder if he had accomplished everything in life that he had hoped to. I wonder if he was happy with his choices, or if he had any regrets.
We only have one life to live, and sometimes that life can be mercilessly cut short - or significantly altered - in the blink of an eye. If something were to happen to you tomorrow would you have regrets or would you be happy because you had accomplished the things you had wanted to in life....or at least made a valiant attempt to?
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