Time’s up

I came upon an auto accident this morning just before arriving at work. An SUV had pulled out at an intersection with a 4-lane, and had been hit by a sedan. Traffic was stopped in the oncoming direction, but I was able to pass. Aside from visible damage to both vehicles, it appeared that the cabs were intact, and I assumed any injuries would be minor.

What I didn’t see was the white sheet covering the body in the middle of the road.

Apparently, neither driver or passenger in the SUV were wearing restraints, and both were thrown from the vehicle. The 60-year-old driver died at the scene, and the passenger has serious injuries. The pilot of the much smaller car had some injuries, but the seat belt obviously saved her life.

When I found out just how bad the accident was, I started feeling very anxious, and I have been thinking of it off and on all day. I wondered what made the driver of the SUV pull into crossing traffic what was traveling almost 70 mph. Was she distracted by a phone? Was she busy talking to her passenger? What were her last words? Did she even have time to think about what has happening before it was all over? As she went about getting ready early this morning, I’ll bet dying was the last thing on her mind. But a few hours later, she is gone forever.

We never know when our time is up. All we can do is try to make the best of what little time we have, and be as kind as we can. It isn’t always easy to live in the moment or to treat others with the respect and attention they deserve, but we owe it to ourselves to be as present as possible.

It could all be over in a second.