October 2nd is the feast day of the guardian angels. Usually when people tell you their guardian angel stories, they tell you about being saved from a car crash and not “My guardian angel and I played a board game together.” I’ve only recounted the near-misses in the car. How about the time I got hit?
About four years ago, I asked my guardian, “Tell me a story. Tell me about the most spectacular time you saved my life, and I didn’t even notice.”
I was convinced he’d done it, of course. I grew up in NYC after all, so it wasn’t a far cry to think he might have given me a creepy feeling about taking the train home, or something like that. That’s why I said “and I didn’t even notice,” figuring that it was something I couldn’t have noticed since he’d averted it long before it got close to me.
The next day, for reasons I forget, my husband worked from home, so I took Kiddo#3 to preschool in my car (the Civic) rather than the minivan. I loved my Civic because it was my first car.
On the way home, at a stop light, my mind went back to another time I’d been first at a stop light, back when I was pregnant with Kiddo#1. I’d been stopped on the green because of traffic in the intersection, and then it had turned red. I remembered how my mind had been on the radio while stopped.
And I sensed how I’d been relaxed. How a pair of teenage girls had slammed into the back of my Civic at about thirty-five miles per hour, and how the way I was relaxed had enabled me not to get hurt with the force of the impact as the car got slammed forward — and then I had a sense of the tremendous force of their car into mine, the way my car had crumpled, and then the way the energy of the impact had been directed around me. Away from me.
I snapped back to the present, staring at the stop light, and realized: I’d never thanked him for that. I’d been absolutely unhurt in a crash that had done six thousand dollars worth of damage to my car, an impact where my head had been whipped hard enough that my glasses ended up beneath the drivers’ seat — and yet I’d had no whiplash. I was fine. The baby was fine. He’d saved my life — spectacularly. And that’s how he’d done it: relaxed me so the impact wouldn’t harm me and deflected the force.
And me? I’d always joked that “the car protected me.” I’d never thanked him. It had never even occurred to me. I felt awful, and I thanked him then. I’m sorry for being an idiot.
Happy feast day to all guardian angels. I’m baking some kind of dessert in your honor. Thank you for all you do, even when we don’t notice it for a while.