It was an odd trip from the start ... Samantha was driving and the roads were mostly clear, even though it was the middle of winter. We were taking an unplanned and longer-than-usual trip that evening, but the extra distance seemed strangely calming rather than a nuisance. It was almost like right from the time we left there was something strange about to happen, although strange in a good way.
Sam crested a hill out on the backroads out in the woods and suddenly hit a patch of ice. The car started to slide, and as she corrected her steering the car slid even more treacherously in the other direction. Suddenly, we were spinning out of control, speeding backwards down the steep icy hill.
I remember putting my left hand firmly on the steering wheel to keep it steady in a likely-futile attempt to right the car and save us from rolling over in the ditch. Then Sam said aloud that she was sorry.
The next thing we knew, we had come to a stop in a small snow bank near the bottom of the hill, facing forward with the car stalled out. Shifting into park, I had Sam restart the car and gently ease out of the snowbank to continue on, figuring to get her going again ASAP so she wouldn't lose her nerve about driving in the winter. I dropped her off, and then went back alone to look at the tracks in the snow where we spun out. I found we had crossed both lanes twice to then spin completely around before somehow ending up safe in the snow.
This was a time God wasn't just our co-pilot -- He actually climbed into the driver's seat!
Oddly, when I got home I was scheduled to write my previous blog, the one about the ghost hunters. I was a little scared when I was thinking about the belief that ghosts don't know they are dead, so I called Sam to ponder whether we might have only thought we survived the crash. Even more scary was that she said she was thinking the same thing. Of course, it didn't take long to get back into the normal routine of work and to realize that if this was the afterlife I'm really going to be ticked.
Reflecting on what could easily have been a destructive if not fatal crash, it's hard to rationalize why this happened. I asked Sam what she remembered about the incident and she recalled the same as I did -- spinning around backwards and speeding up as we came down the hill. Then opening her eyes to find ourselves in the snow facing forward. Neither of us remembered any moment of actual contact, and if it hadn't been for the tracks in the snow and the place where the snowbank was disturbed I might have thought we hallucinated the whole thing.
Obviously, death was not meant to be that evening. But I wonder why. Is there something I'm supposed to be doing with this new lease on life? What is the meaning of this whole experience? I keep looking for an explanation, but so far haven't really seen an answer, other than to be the herald of the Divine intervention that saved us from pain. That, plus the fact that Samantha got an invaluable lesson that will likely make her a safer driver for years to come...