And yes I’ve changed this week’s publishing dates but not to worry, however I’m still visiting a famous Victorian cemetery this Thursday.
Now don’t go worrying yourselves on account of me, oh you mean you weren’t 😀 !!! No I haven’t recently cheated death and very much still alive thanks for caring, but I’m hoping my Post Title intrigues you?
The longer we live and the older we become, increases our chances of meeting our maker sooner than wished for or intended, yes contemplating ones own mortality is perhaps slightly macabre but I do find myself remembering back to ‘close-calls’ in my past, and often visions so crystal clear they’re all but photos in my mind, moments in time which I now appreciate were most definitely one of my nine lives lost!
(Tag this post late evening contemplation and NOT a wallowing in nostalgia for shock effect.)
There was the day I fell from a tall rock whilst on a Geography Field Trip as a teenage schoolboy, looking back I now realise I fell an awful long way but lucky for me Devonshire’s Bodmin moorland was spongy wet having soaked up a great deal of rain! I work alongside a disabled work colleague and I’m certain that fateful day was my own ‘there but for the grace of God’ moment, my lucky day not to be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of my life. The older I become, the closer to the end than beginning I’ll be and I’m more convinced than ever that life is little more than luck and chance. Do I believe in a preordained life’s journey mapped out by an all seeing, all knowing God? Jeez talking of Gods is a WHOLE different blog subject.
In the words of a famous British surgeon, “hug and kiss your family before they leave home in the morning and hug and kiss them before they go to bed at night.”
Anyways returning to my second brush with mortality.
There was the car accident I was involved in as a twenty-two year old man when one pitch black evening, driving a rain soaked road I turned a bend in the dual carriageway only to be faced by a line of stationary traffic halted by red traffic lights.
As I ploughed into the rear of an ‘Austin Montego’ but lucky for me everyone and anyone close by, I’d managed to decelerate to ten miles an hour? I’m unsure how fast I was travelling when I hit, but it’s true what they say my split second traffic accident happened in slow motion, why is that? A fear coping message from the brain warning a human being to be braced for imminent danger ahead?
(Everyone says accidents happen in slow motion, so it just has to be primitive man’s trigger signal for FEAR!!!)
I was both lucky and unlucky, lucky I avoided serious injury, perhaps unlucky that the sharp jolt to my neck, a whiplash of my spine perhaps causing an epileptic seizure months later, perhaps a mere coincidence or resultant brain injury.
Either way that was the second of my nine lives used up.
So that’s two close calls that have sharpened my mind tonight and moments I’ll most probably remember till the day I die, and without sifting my tired late evening brain still further, I’m sure there’ll be other close calls……………. only a shame I cannot remember being near suffocated to death with a knicker-less vagina sat on my face and me unable to breath, now if one’s time is up I can think of worse ways to die!
Alas not 😦 though I have a facesitting tale to tell.
Joking apart I have one overriding memory of one particular day where I know for certain I came close to dying, as an age twenty-nine year old man holidaying in the Greek Islands I suffered an epileptic seizure whilst swimming in the sea, and quite by luck and chance I recognised trigger warning signals secreted into my mind’s consciousness, dragged myself from the cold Mediterranean sea only to fall onto my back on the shorelines and experience a seizure laying in two inches of seawater.
Again I can recall this frantically panicked memory as if I was staring at photos clasped in my hand, I remember the bright sun in the sky, I remember being at all times lucidly conscious but most of all I remember cold seawater lapping around my two cheeks and thinking ‘if water enters my mouth then it’s all over!’ If I’d heeded the trigger warning seconds later, if I’d stumbled on sharp stones as I pulled my body to the shoreline I would have fallen in four inches water instead of two, and being as there was no persons close by I could have……………. well………….. you know………… died all because of a wasted two seconds.
Young children are totally oblivious to danger yes they live without fears or seeing danger, but it’s only as adults that we realise tragic accidents can and do happen at the most unsuspecting of times, and thinking back over my life I think my Grandmother was most attuned at spotting possible dangers her Grandchildren were close to, I sensed her caring worry many times and it’s only later in life that I realised one tragic past event possibly altered her perception of what’s dangerous forever.
Mind you her constant nannying near drove me exasperatingly bonkers, but now I understand why, my age gifts me a wisdom carefree children just have no comprehension of UNTIL experiences have taught them to carefully assess a situation of all possible risks!
(If you never fall how will you ever learn falling hurts? With the moral being don’t play a game of chicken in the path of a train!)
So yes I’ve had close calls and been both lucky and unlucky in life but I’ll often remember back to my seizure in Greek seas as the closest I’ve come to dying, I’m NOT being macabre for effect, I don’t think it hurts to occasionally stop and contemplate mortality if only for a second.
I’d guess you’ve experienced moments in your own lives that were a little tooo close for comfort!!!
©A. Shepherdson 2019