Roughly one hour ago I was crossing Post Road in Mamaroneck, N.Y., walking from Dunkin’ Donuts to my daughter’s ballet class. I was carrying Emmett, my 3-year-old son, in my arms. The road was perfectly clearâ€”nobody coming from either direction. Roughly 10 steps into our trek, a woman started pulling her car out of a parking lot. She was driving fast, and awkwardly turning into the oncoming laneâ€”directly toward us. I screamed, “HEY! HEY! HEY!” but she kept coming. Finally, maybe four or five feet away from us, she slammed on her breaks. Had she not, Emmett and I would likely be dead right now.
To say I’m shaken would be an understatement. I immediately thought of the police calling my wife, telling her her husband and son are dead. Then, I thought of something else …
Over the past few days, I’ve been obsessed with timeâ€”and not in a good way. Time moves so fast. My kids are growing up so quickly. They’ll be in their 20s and 30s before I know it. I’ll be 70 … 80 … 90. Oy, oy, oy. The thoughts consume me, to the point where I’m strangled by the hands of a ticking clock. It’s remarkably un-enjoyable and, as my wife notes, wasteful. What worse way could there possibly be to utilize time … than thinking about time?
Anyhow, perhaps today was a sign. A wake-up call. I’m not saying God or Jesus or Allah or Yinka Dare sent this woman’s vehicle toward my body. But maybe I needed this to happen. Maybe, sometimes, we all need this to happen.
In a sense, counting time makes no sense, because it’s impossible to actually mark the hours and minutes of your life. Had I died today, my time measurements would have been meaningless. If, somehow, I live to 150, they’d be equally meaningless.
Life is life. I’ll live, I’ll die.
So I better start living.