Alexa, Could You Please Undo My Car Crash?

Cade S

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I admit to having no control over time. But in that moment, time stopped for me. It may not have frozen for the entire world but for me… I can’t deny that it did. Sure, there have been times in my life that felt longer than others: like watching my favorite college team shoot a potential game-winning shot and seeing the ball make its way to the basket but by the time it finally gets there, realizing I’ve already began to sweat. Or there’s the time I scored my first touchdown in football, to realize only after the fact that my mom had been screaming so loud the cheerleaders had stopped to watch her. Or that instance where I reached my hand to touch the stove right before it burned me and my unsuspecting childhood innocence. In hindsight, these were moments that thrived beyond the limits of time and forever shifted my viewpoints and expectations of life. But the time I want to emphasize to you is a time that lives on today for me as the most helpless and frightening experience I’ve ever faced in my life. I believe it to be my closest encounter with death. Somehow, I saw the blue sky through my back windshield although I’m not quite sure how that happened considering I was in the driver’s seat looking forward. My car was in mid-flip. There was a moment before the I hit the ground where my stomach completely left my body. It seemed like I waited for an eternity, or maybe just long enough for the moment to permanently sketch itself into my brain. There was a strange sense of peace as if I was getting ready to accept the end. I didn’t see my life flash before my eyes but I also seemed to freeze. I said the quickest and most intimate prayer of my life: “God Help!” I was filled with a rare adrenaline I can only wish I had possessed on the football field. I’d be taking college football recruiting visits now for sure – no doubt about it. To describe what that time felt like and why I believe it froze might best be summed up like this: in that one moment, I feel I could’ve watched, understood, and processed an entire movie in just a few seconds. Yet, I had no control over it as if I was paralyzed in a nightmare. If someone had ever asked what I imagined God’s grace to be like… well, I’d let them experience that moment. It was truly a humbling and a learning experience for me; one that still scares me to this day. I am thankful that I survived and have the opportunity to share with you the reason it is so dangerous to not only text and drive but also the hazard of driving while not paying full attention. If I had that day to do over again, I would’ve never reached down to get my phone to change the song. I could’ve survived with a mediocre song playing. I almost didn’t with my instinct to change it. I write this to warn you that unless you want to be left in a helpless position at the surrender of circumstance, put down the phone and ignore the texts, aux, or social media alerts and focus on driving. You’ve probably heard to NOT text and drive before but far too many people ignore it. Let it be clear: This is said not because you’re a bad driver, but more than likely because you’re a good one when you choose to drive and a helpless one when you fail to pay attention to the road. I never dreamed it would happen to me, but now I find it in my nightmares. Just remember: Text and Drive and you may need an ambulance ride Take your eyes off the road and you may end up 6 feet below.