Leaving the Scene
It’s way past time for me to confess. I left the scene of an accident. Almost 70 years ago.
Let me hasten to explain that I wasn’t trying to avoid a ticket or to escape blame. But I did run away when I should have stayed put.
That day I was riding my beloved Whizzer motorbike. Which, at the ripe old age of 14, I didn’t always ride too wisely.
For the first time ever, my parents and the rest of my family were leaving me home alone as they headed out of town that day. My new job required me to show up Sunday morning at 4:30, so I couldn’t go along to visit our grandparents.
My family stopped to fill their gas tank for the trip, and I just happened to ride by on my Whizzer. Mom beckoned me over. She’d left at home something she needed. She wanted to know if I would hurry to the house five blocks away and bring it back to her.
As I whizzed up Clay Street even faster than usual, I came up behind four or five cars stopped in the street. Without thinking, I goosed my motorbike to fly past them, not realizing that the car up front was about to turn left—right in front of me. Sliding along the side of that car as it angled into a storefront parking space, I slammed my front wheel into the rim of the store’s sidewalk and did an upside-down full-body slam into the store’s brick wall.
Probably confused by that blow to my cranium, I climbed back onto my Whizzer and raced off without even talking to the lady whose car now had a full-length handlebar scratch. After all, I had to hurry to perform that errand for my mother. Then I returned home alone and collapsed in my bed to sleep off the throbbing head pain.
I don’t think my parents ever knew about that accident. It would have horrified them (and probably grounded me). Only years later when I learned about concussions did I realize that my untreated injuries that day could have been fatal. I dodged death that day, and I’m glad. My years since then have been blessed beyond description, but they have flown by.
The psalmist was right when he wrote, “Each of our lives is but a breath.” Don’t waste a minute of it.