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Spread for upcoming book – The Pelican Who Couldn’t, by Neil Griffiths
I am here today.
I very nearly wasn’t. It was a bad, bad day on the roads on Thursday and I had to drive home on the 401. I hit a patch of black ice and spun off the road. I totally lost control. I was terrified. I chanted, ‘please don’t flip, please don’t flip’ as I headed toward a ditch. There were cars all around me, it was 4:30 pm and snowing. I was paying attention. I was driving what I thought was a safe speed, people were passing me. I have snow tires. I have never had an accident in my whole life. My backside started to sway and I was in trouble. I saw the cars around me avoid me, nearly sliding out themselves. I steered myself off the road – there was no traction to be had on the road. I spun once, twice, three times before stopping. I had the images of my kids faces running though my head. But, I stopped. No airbag, no impact. Soft, fluffy snow. Less than one foot behind me – a deep ditch, and a giant concrete casing for the culvert. I could not see anything but the ditch on the other side of my car.
I was insanely lucky.
I have a theory, and I don’t wish to test it anymore really – but I do know I have a guardian angel.
My Opa, who never got the chance to meet my kids or my husband, has done this before. In college I spun out (3x) after a sneeze on an icy road on the QEW and nothing happened. It’s like I was picked up and carried to safety. I often wish he could meet Mo, who would think he was amazing, and I am sure he’d get a kick out of Zaley too. But I just know he’s watching me, and he wanted me to get home.
Enter OnStar. The dispatcher stayed with me until the police arrived. They called a tow truck. I was out of the ditch in under an hour and for $250 I had a ride – with my car to Napanee. Our friends picke dup Zaley at the daycare and the garage where I dropped my car at happened to be open and gave me a loaner car. That drive from the dealership to my house – though only 9kms was terrifying.
But, I made it home for dinner (late). I got to put my kids to bed that night.
For that, and all the other blessings in my life – I am grateful.