Fourteen years ago next month, Interstate 10 tried to kill me.
It had an accomplice: my own stupidity.
Fortunately, God is greater than even that. He decided he wasn’t finished with my earthly sojourn, and this week, I stand in gratitude of what he did that day. For it could only have been him.
Many of us speak of our first car with fondness. I am foremost among them. It was the day after Christmas, 2002. I was driving south in my Dodge Intrepid from Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, where I was stationed, to visit my grandfather in Tucson. A nap attack arrived – I swear it’s always around 1:35pm – and being an inexperienced driver, I figured I could fight through the fatigue and keep driving. Older and wiser now, I give you this advice for such a situation: for Pete’s sake, pull over and nap. It only takes twenty minutes to reset your body.
That day, somewhere north of Casa Grande, I nodded off. The freeway curved to the right; I did not. The rumble strips on the road’s left side woke me up and I swerved hard right to correct – too hard. The back end of my Intrepid swung out left and took the rest with it. I remember only skidding into the median thinking “This is like a really loud, really fast, really big bike accident multiplied by ten.” It remains the most terrifying 1.5 seconds of my life’s memory.
I don’t remember hitting the median. The next thing I remember was lying face up on the ground, outside my car, blood streaming down my face as I stared up at the sky, scared, wondering what had happened.