"Remember, remember, the Fifth of November..."
Many people don't care about the significance of this date. Others think it's some part of the film "V for Vendetta." Others remember Guy Fawkes. I remember Poni. Poni and my lack of invincibility. My smallness and God's greatness. His immensity. His everything.
A year ago today, my Philosophy professor let my class out early -- only twenty minutes before our usual time. It was a lovely, pristine, November 5th, a Thursday. I was relieved to be out of that class early: I had to stop by a Pier 1 Imports to make a credit payment.
Drove down my favorite beautiful street, Hillcrest. Getting past the bottleneck-prone section right beside SMU. Driving on the left lane. Passing a rather large pickup truck with a trailer attached on its back, which was making a right turn on Hanover. I caught a glimpse of the thoughtless woman driving her unnecessarily large Lexus SUV. She had a stop. Common sense told me she would stop. She didn't.
I used to have an unimportant, unnoticed, piece of a car. Poni.
He had spunk. We knew each other well. I know it sounds weird, I mean, cars don't feel, they don't breathe, they are non-living things. Cars have no soul, but I could swear to you, Poni was something else. Knew when to slow down and when to speed up. Flashing cobalt blue right before your eyes. He was very basic, no cool gadgets or technological pizzazz. Had to roll down my windows. Manually open and lock the doors. Remember to turn the lights on and off.
The stupid (yes, she truly was stupid) woman killed my Poni. Hit me on the right. Airbag came out. If she had been going any faster, I don't think my doors would have opened. I could already see the crumpling effect on dear Poni. Engine began to smoke. Traffic began to accumulate. Called 911. It was only 4:55 pm.
A beautiful, clear, pristine day.
All alone. Instinct told me to set aside any tears and not think of how close I was to death. I waited. Mother, who had been seriously ill, drove all the way to the accident scene to take me home. To protect me. I had an interview the coming Monday. With Citi. Thanks, stupid woman, you did sort of interfere at the wrong time.
We waited until the tow truck carried Poni away. Left a mark at Hanover and Hillcrest. The mark is still there by the way, a memory of Poni, resistant to rain and snow and wind.
This wasn't my first accident. But it was my first, alone. Just the day before, I had gone to pick up my then four-year-old cousin from his house to babysit him at mine. In Poni. He had been Poni's last passenger. What humbled me then was thinking, "What if I had been in accident on that day? What would have happened to not only me, but my little cousin as well??" It's a terrifying feeling. I was close to death. God chose to sacrifice my poor car in order to save me.
He could have easily chosen to take my life that Fifth of November. He didn't.
I must have a purpose. What is my purpose?
To realize what is important?
To realize where my heart lies.
To cherish every single day of my life.
To enjoy being with the ones I love.
To miss the ones I can't be with, not wistfully, but lovingly.
To understand how powerful and strong God's love for me is.
To realize that though I'm one human being, I am important enough to God to still breathe today.
And so, while I "remember, remember, the Fifth of November," I thank God for allowing me to experience everything that comes my way. The love I feel is beyond words. The renewed faith I now hold is endlessly profound. God, I love You.