Posted by: alegra22 | January 29, 2012


This is how it almost happened…

I type and put my head down. Forehead against the bones of my hands. My skin is sun-weathered, growing darker as the summer days progress. Ribs, breasts, belly press against the woven carpet. Belicia sighs and adjusts her positioning so that her head rests on the bottom, my bottom, my butt, the backside I’ve watched grow and shrink with scrutiny over the years.

This is how it almost happened…

Once again, I put my head down and think about walking alongside Charlotte. I can see it in my mind. I was paying attention to what she was saying. She was saying, “Another night.” She was saying “another night” because I was feeling shy of being unable to return her generosity. It’d been a long day, a long week, and she was taking me out to the movies, the two of us. We were in the mood to eat and talk, to sit in the dark and think our thoughts while images flashed at us across the screen.

I was laughing, feeling that jittery nervous energy spread through my limbs, and trying to figure out if it was okay to just receive this gift of food and a movie, when Charlotte said, “another night” and I stepped off or on the curb and a bus caming tearing around the corner and brushed against my shoulder.

Charlotte stopped. I stepped up on the curb, still laughing, I think.

“You were just almost hit. That bus almost hit you.”

And I nodded, Yes! That did almost happen, didn’t it?

“Another night almost didn’t happen,” she said, or something like that. Her eyes were glancing up at the sky. She was considering God.

“I’m not really going to get this for awhile,” I told her. “We’ll be sitting in the movies and I’ll get it. I’ll turn to you and say: I almost died. But then I’ll go back to watching the movie. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and it’ll be another wave of this almost happened.

I meant to blog a few nights ago, as I’d committed to doing, but I’d almost been hit by a bus and I didn’t really know what to say. I didn’t know what to say the next day or the one after that, but I continued to make jokes about the metaphor of it all, of how many times people say, “Who knows, tomorrow I might step off the curb and be hit by a bus.”

Charlotte told me that all of my hair lifted up around my face. We worked out that if I’d been hit, she would have been taken along with me on some level. I would’ve been knocked into her or swept away or thrown up, up, up into the air. We didn’t talk about these specifics. These are the things I think about now, crouched in front of the laptop, searching for my next line.

I went home and fell asleep reading the bible. I woke up a little different. Not big different but important different. I didn’t go running naked beneath the blue sky declaring that I was alive, truly alive! I didn’t make an outrageous bucket list. I looked at my children, my husband, my family, my friends, my well-lived in body, and I said:

Thank you

I almost understand what was given to me in that moment when all of that steel and moment and out-of-control life brushed up against me.

I almost understand but not quite.

I’m grateful for this, too.



  1. Now three people very, very close to me have had encounters with moving traffic…AND luckily I have no terrible sad stories to share about either of them.

    I too have been pondering about a possible message to all this?!?

    God has often given me slaps in the face and kicks in the you know where. I have always translated them as ‘wake up’ calls from the big man. I try and reflect back on what my life had been like before these calls. To be honest I have no idea why he would want to send you one of these. I remember sharing this idea with you a couple of days ago. In the past few days in NZ there has been some kind of traffic accident everyday! BUT yours has not created any fatalities. Thank God.

    I know that when things have settled down for you, you will no doubt figure out the message that he’s sending you. And we are ALL blessed that you and charlotte are all good!!


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