Almost changes everything

Today I almost died. I almost died with my entire family—my wife and three children including our ten-day old little girl. It is the second time we have avoided death in a car accident.

The first time it was a drunk, intoxicated BMW driver who almost killed us in a head on collision. The car was dead, but none of us was hurt except for a bump on my son’s head and a scratch on my back.

This time it was entirely my fault as I almost missed our exit on the motorway and suddenly swerved on a slippery road hitting one barrier and then the other before managing to regain control of the car.

Of course I’m being a little dramatic when I say we almost died. We certainly almost had a terrible car crash that turned into a seriously damaged car that I really don’t care about. As we calmly went on our way towards a family reunion that was sure to be joyful I asked my children if they were all right, I apologised to my wife for driving recklessly and I thanked God for our lives.

Even though I often tell her, I repeated the most hackneyed words in history. She has taught me not to use these words too often, she does not completely understand the meaning of this phrase and therefore uses it scarcely and I love her for that. You see, I said it again. I love her. I also love God and often thank him. I don’t talk to him just in moments of great distress or great need. I talk to him constantly and just like with my wife, I often tell him I love him. But it wouldn’t mean much if I didn’t act accordingly. God hates hypocrites and I must say I’m not particularly fond of them myself.

When I realised we could have died today I thought of all our friends, all the people we know, my colleagues, my students, all the members of my family and even my recent Twitter friends and I thought they would have been a bit sad if we had died. And yet death is to be expected. I often tell my students they’re going to die, I say it as a joke, in the middle of a literature class, and it usually makes them laugh. Funny isn’t it? We’re all going to die. Sooner or later. And if when I die it makes a few people sad then I have loved on this earth and have been loved and that’s what I call a life worth living.

Today I’m alive and I’m thankful for my life and for the life of those I love. I will not live forever, but as long as I live I will love and I will be thankful.

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Romy Saffron Szabo

Romy Saffron Szabo

A little forest animal,
that’s what you are.

Your eyes look
in all directions.

Your arms and legs move
in spurts.

Your fingers are long
and purple.

Your mouth opens in
unknown shapes.

At night I hear your
gasps and grunts.

You are not a monster,
You know nothing.

You do not love,
do not hate.

You do not give yet,
you receive.

And when you sleep,
everything stops.

And there is peace.

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