This is my sister’s story to tell, but I’m going to tell it anyway.
Di was driving to work one day last week, south on I-435 in Kansas City, when she spotted a car pulled over on the shoulder ahead of her. Well, it was kind of pulled over, but not very well. She moved over as far as she could in her own lane. Then she noticed something laying in her lane. She couldn’t tell what it was, but since it’s never a good idea to hit unknown objects on the road at 65-70 MPH, her instinct was to get away from it. But she couldn’t change lanes. So she swerved as much as she could within her own lane… and lost control of her car.
(Note to self: A car is only as safe as the tires that are on it. Another note to self: My Goodyears have been good, but I think I liked my Michelins better.)
Now, I’ve lost control of my car a couple of times, and so has Di, but never like this. She did three 360s across I-435 in rush hour, followed by a 180. She ended up on the grassy median between northbound and southbound I-435, facing north. Somehow she did all that without hitting anybody or anything.
That’s what impressed me the most, I think. I-435 doesn’t get as clogged up as, say, I-270 in St. Louis, but it sees plenty of cars. I sure wouldn’t ever try to cross it, or, for that matter, cut all the way across it in my car with a series of quick lane changes.
So Di’s sitting there in her car, absolutely freaking out. I know she was freaking out, because that’s what my family does. Myself included. She never saw that big white van pull up. A lady walked over to her car.
“Did I hit you?” Di asked.
“Oh no, no, you didn’t hit me,” she said. “Are you OK?”
“I think so. I’m just really shaken up.”
“I know,” she said. “I’m praying for you.”
Di looked up at her. “Thank you,” she said.
“This is the second accident like this one that I’ve seen this morning,” she said.
It was early in the morning. Di hadn’t seen any other accidents.
“Are you a good driver? Do you need me to get your car out of here?”
“I used to think I was a pretty good driver,” Di said. “I think I can get it out of here.”
Di needed to get the car out of there herself. I’m the same way. When we get into jams, we don’t like having to rely on someone else to get us out of it.
“OK,” she said. “But let me help you.”
So Di started her car again and started turning the car around. Meanwhile, this kind stranger walked back over to the highway and started directing traffic. Pretty soon, she cleared enough space for Di to get back on the road and get going.
Di never saw what became of that big, white van.
“That was probably an angel,” I told Di when she told me that story.
“I know,” she said. “Mom said the same thing.”
Yes, it might well have just been a well-meaning individual who was in the right place at the right time. On TV, angels call attention to themselves. In reality they don’t do that. But I’m convinced Di’s guardian angels (and probably a handful of mine) kept her from hitting any other cars that morning. I won’t write that one off as luck.