I have known love. Real love. The granite-busting kind. And it never came from where I thought it would. It came from strangers. People of no blood relation. 

I’m watching a sunrise through tall Southern pines. It’s making its heavenly climb, and I’m looking right at it, sitting on the hood of my truck.

Last night, I was almost killed. I’m not joking. I was nearly hit head-on by a red truck that was driving in the wrong lane.

It was dark. I was the only one on the road. I saw headlights speeding toward me. And I mean speeding.

I expected the vehicle would get out of my way. It didn’t. I almost swerved for the ditch.

I closed my eyes. I expected a loud sound, followed by pain, maybe the voice of Charlton Heston.

What I heard was a vehicle scream by fast enough to suck the rust off my hitch.

I pulled over. My heart beat hard enough to crack my sternum. And I cried.

It’s funny, what you think about in your final moments.

I thought about the old woman from my childhood church. She was white-haired, and balding. She claimed that on the night my father died, she had a vision. She said she saw him laughing in heaven.

For years, I was not happy about her unsolicited remarks. I don’t know why.

I don’t feel that way anymore. I’m glad she told me.

During my brief encounter, I also wondered if I’d wake up to abelone gates. Would I see Granny? My uncles, my aunts? My father?

Or: would I wake up as a baby squirrel, high up in a longleaf pine. A mockingbird, tweeting in a nest. A newborn hound, in someone’s barn. A hungry raccoon, nosing through garbage for loaded diapers.

I thought about my wife.

When we first married, I once told her I didn’t want her to remarry if I died. I joked, saying I wanted her to grieve me as a lonely widow. We’d laugh about that.

But last night, I was sorry I ever joked like that. My best friend deserves to be happy, whether I’m breathing or not. When the speeding truck was only inches from my bumper, I said a prayer.

The prayer only lasted a nanosecond, but it was a prayer nonetheless. I prayed for her happiness.

I’m lucky. My God. I am lucky.

I’m lucky to be writing this. I’m lucky to be right here. Right now.

Certainly, I have known bad days, I have known heartache, and I have known sadness—so have you.

But I’ve also known love. Real love. The granite-busting kind. And it never came from where I thought it would. It came from strangers. People of no blood relation.

I have had good moments in this life. I’ve walked the woods during spring, with a dog and a woman beside me. I’ve floated the Suwannee in a canoe with my wife on her birthday.

I’ve seen my widowed mother learn to love again. I’ve held my redheaded niece and heard her say my name.

I have watched more sunrises than I can count. I never get tired of them. I hope you get to see one today. A good one.

I really do.

We don’t get nearly enough of them.

28 comments

  1. Connie - October 10, 2017 6:16 pm

    ❤️ That’s all.

    Reply
  2. Sandra Marrar - October 10, 2017 6:18 pm

    Thank God you’re ok. I thought today about how short life is and we never know when our time comes. I’m sure glad you’re still around.

    Reply
  3. Sandi in FL - October 10, 2017 6:18 pm

    Sean, thank God you and that other truck did not collide. Here’s hoping you live to see MANY more sunsets.

    Reply
  4. Catherine - October 10, 2017 6:25 pm

    I am thankful you are ok and can tell us about this near miss. This is such a good message. Made me remember to tell my kids how much I love them and cherish each moment I have been able to spend with them and their families.

    Reply
  5. Linda - October 10, 2017 6:26 pm

    Thank you for this one , as always, Sean…you make us all think….
    For me, I stopped saying I was lucky years ago….as I feel so blessed and grateful for all I have been given in this life…my family….
    Thank you again for continuing to use your special gift of writing…

    Reply
  6. Gwen McGill - October 10, 2017 6:26 pm

    FYI, in the future, I am not going to comment on the posts that touch me deeply or make me cry like this one.

    Reply
    • TN Lizzie - October 11, 2017 3:45 am

      If Sean’s posts don’t touch you deeply or make you cry or light your fire, your wood just might be wet! 😉 Please keep commenting?

      Reply
  7. Jack Quanstrum - October 10, 2017 7:03 pm

    Perfect Story for today. Glad your still hear. Glad you shared your thoughts and feelings. Very enlightening. Thank you. Shalom!

    Reply
  8. Lucretia - October 10, 2017 7:11 pm

    I am so thankful that Heavenly Father has blessed you to see another sunrise. . .yes I truly am thankful.

    Reply
  9. Barbara J Schweck - October 10, 2017 7:39 pm

    Live is indeed precious!!! B e thankful each and every day for each and every little thing. Thanks for the daily reminders, Sean!

    Reply
  10. Pamela McEachern - October 10, 2017 7:55 pm

    God Bless your Guardian Angels, you are still here and your destiny I believe is what you are now living. So many people believe in you and the wonderful stories you share each day with us. Thank you Sean
    Peace and Love from Birmingham

    Reply
  11. Samanthemofthesun - October 10, 2017 8:20 pm

    Lucky all of us. <3

    Reply
  12. gary - October 10, 2017 8:32 pm

    I don’t have the moji thing happening, but I’m with Connie (and the rest) on this one. blessings all around…

    Reply
  13. Dolores Fort - October 10, 2017 8:33 pm

    God is good all the time. Each of us has a purpose and I believe we are going to stay here until we have fulfilled that purpose. We may not know what it is, but God does, and that’s what’s important!.

    Reply
  14. Betty Higdon - October 10, 2017 9:30 pm

    So thankful you are OK. I know the feeling.. I have had two accidents (not my fault) and my car was totaled both times, I didn’t get a scratch!!! But I did cry!! I am not a lucky lady, I am a very blessed lady!!

    Reply
    • Kathryn - October 11, 2017 9:15 pm

      I agree with you Betty – not luck… blessings!

      Reply
  15. Cheryl Williams - October 10, 2017 10:50 pm

    So glad you are okay! Thanks for sharing your life with us.
    I am a widow and my husband teased me in that same way too. He wasn’t ever able to tell me differently.
    But it is very lonely losing him after being married 39 years, it’s been over 5 years so I would welcome love and companionship now.
    I think he would want me to be happy.

    Reply
  16. muthahun - October 11, 2017 2:27 am

    Whew! So glad you’re still with us and not in the hospital with a heart attack… that’s what happened to my dad back in ’66 when a car pulled out from behind a semi right into our face and eyes as we were barreling North in GA at about 70mph on a 2-barrel highway through a swamp. If Pop hadn’t been quick, and if there hadn’t been a huge culvert which allowed an ever so brief side-step, we’d’ve been gator snacks. But there was a price. The next 3 weeks were spent in Marion, SC while Pop recovered from a massive coronary and I recovered from measles… not fun. The sunny side of the situation was being adopted by doctor’s families and nurses, and being exposed to the Blue Plate Specials at the 76 Diner. Luckily this Yankee gal had grown up on dandelion greens, so the collards were right up my ally!

    Reply
  17. Kathy Smith Phillips - October 11, 2017 2:48 am

    Same thing happened to me. He ran a red light that I was going through. He was travelling about 70 in a 45. 2 inches away from my car. I screamed and could only think about my precious grand children and daughters. I thank Jesus for letting me type this and share the sunsets everyday. I have many pictures of sunsets if you would like to see them. I wake up everyday thanking Jesus for another beautiful sunny day.

    Reply
  18. TN Lizzie - October 11, 2017 4:14 am

    Sean, I am grateful that you got to see another sunrise.

    As for your unasked question, I can assure you that you will never wake up as a baby squirrel, a mockingbird, a newborn hound, or a hungry raccoon. God created you human and gave you a soul. 2- and 4-legged creatures are not the same as you and will never be.

    Those tall Southern pines of yours will always be Southern pines, and will never wake up as Dogwoods or Southern Magnolias.

    God created you and loves you. He is the reason for sunrises. \O/ I praise Him for your life!

    Reply
  19. Melodie - October 11, 2017 5:50 am

    Close calls can make one grateful for a lot. The hubz and I experienced a near miss a couple of years ago on a 2 lane road. We realized, almost too late, that the headlights we were glaring at, were passing the semi truck going in the opposite direction we were going. I heard the air brakes of the truck as my husband veered carefully to the right. All I saw were a couple of road and speed signs, not much room, as the car was speeding in between the truck, and us. No way, 3 vehicles, especially one being a big rig, can fit on a country, 2 lane road, but, they did. Someone was definitely looking out for us that night. I recently had rotator cuff surgery on my right arm and being tossed into the door, didn’t help the pain. We were thankful to be alive, so the pain was the last thing on my mind. Like you, I though of many things, in just seconds. Important things. ♥

    Reply
  20. MJ Bennett - October 11, 2017 4:10 pm

    Thank God you are safe. My Guardian Angel has saved me twice in the last 6 months from cars heading right for us. It felt like there was a shield protecting us.

    Reply
  21. LARRY WALL - October 11, 2017 6:11 pm

    Why does this story make me think of the somewhat older song “HE’s got the whole world in HIS hands”. Confirmed with me a couple of times, also.

    Reply
    • Kathy Burgess - October 12, 2017 5:13 am

      wow…just wow. So glad you are ok.

      Reply
  22. Kathy Burgess - October 12, 2017 5:05 am

    Wow…just wow. So glad you are ok

    Reply
  23. Kathy Daum - October 15, 2017 1:09 am

    Praise God, you’re all right.

    Reply
  24. Marlene Willis - November 14, 2017 3:00 pm

    God rules time and space. I have been driving down the road suddenly facing a tractor pulling discs in my lane and a fourteen wheeler bearing down in the oncoming lane. I was certain my time had come. Suddenly I was on the other side of both continuing on my way. No one had swerved on taken to the ditch. Time warped; space moved. God blessed you with that moment for a reason.

    Reply

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