Please Keep Me and the Baby Safe

The following is a real account and happened to me last week. In an effort to expand my writing, I decided to turn it into a short story.

Her husband quietly woke her up, expressing his regret that it was already time to leave.  She quickly dressed and brushed her teeth.  After dropping her keys and wallet into her purse, she buckled her 6-month-old son into his carseat.   She kissed her sleeping daughter’s cheek, grateful that her friend agreed to watch her.

In the car, she and her husband were quiet.  It was much too early for substantial conversation, so they stuck to general chit chat to keep them both awake.

Before long the airport was in view.  With anxiety building, she parked in the space reserved for drop-offs and hopped out.  She hugged her husband tight and kissed his ready lips.  A second later he was walking away and she was back in the car, pulling away from the curb.

Her mind was swirling with emotions.  The trip was to be short, yet her heart still ached.  She watched as water dropped sporadically on her windshield, teasing the tears out of her eyes.

Her brain, on a constant watch,  alerted her to the potential danger.

“Oh crap,” she muttered.

Thoughts of her broken windshield wiper sprang to her mind.   In the high speeds of the freeway, the passenger’s side wiper would often get thrown off its set rhythm and hit the driver’s side wiper causing it to overextend itself off the window.   This could prove dangerous when the rain was intensely pouring and it was dark.

A little prayer began working itself up from her anxious stomach.

“Please keep me and the baby safe.”

She intently watched the road, hoping the rain would continue to sprinkle.  Her vision was horrid in the dark and only worse in bad weather.  If the rain turned more unfavorable, she would be in a lot of trouble.

A few minutes later, the rain started coming down in droves.  Prayers erupted out of her mouth, overlapping each other so that when one ended another began.

“Please keep the windshield wiper working. ”

“Please help me to see.”

“If the wiper is to go out, please help it to go out where I can safely stop.”

As she started descending from the point of the mountain, she saw the wiper struggling.  She knew she only had a few minutes before it would stop working.  She looked around her and realized that cars were behind, ahead, and to the side of her. The next exit was 5 miles away.  She was trapped.

Her prayers returned to the original one.

“Please keep me and the baby safe.”

Like a surreal dream, she watched in slow motion as her windshield wiper overextended itself.  The rain instantly covered her window and all visibility disappeared.

She screamed.

In an eery dichotomy, “Heavenly Father” and “Holy s@$&” escaped her mouth.

Vivid images raced through her mind.

Giving birth to her daughter.

Finding out she was pregnant with her son.

Watching her daughter walk for the first time.

Making love to her husband.

Walking to the duck pond with her kids and husband.

Saying good-bye to her husband.

“I’m going to die.  I can’t see.  I will either hit the car next to me or hit the barrier,” she thought.

A sudden calm enveloped her. Not knowing where the car next to her was, she pulled into that lane, slowing down as she went, and drove into the emergency pullout lane parking within centimeters of the barrier.

She willed herself to not cry.  She waited until all the cars had passed before opening up the door and fixing the windshield wiper. Her legs were shaking, her breathing heavy, and her chest tight by the time she sat back in her seat.

Take the next exit that will allow you to take the back roads home,” the Voice said.

She pulled back on the freeway and took an exit ten miles down the road, following the Voice’s advice.   Thirty minutes later she pulled into her cul-de-sac.  She finally allowed herself to weep.

“Thank you, Heavenly Father, thank you.”

With a grateful heart, she unstrapped her son, shut the van door, and went inside.

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Please Keep Me and the Baby Safe

  1. Those kinds of moments keep me shaky for days. So glad the voice (Voice?) and your own strength were there to guide you through.

    • I was shaky! I really did not think I was going to make it home. The Voice kept me safe.

      P.S. I wondered if I should have capitalized the “voice” as well. Maybe I will! : )

  2. Oh, wow. What a scary experience, Amber. I am so glad you are both safe!

  3. That’s a beautiful piece of writing, Amber. So scary. I’m glad it turned out well and that you were guided to safety.

  4. I am glad “she” arrived safely. I had wiper experience on a recent trip, but not as bad as this one.

  5. I had a scary wiper incident once, too, but not quite as bad as yours. So glad you both made it home in one piece! Thank goodness for the power of prayer.

    You are a beautiful writer.

  6. Glad you are all safe! That is definitely a scary moment; thank you for sharing.

  7. Kim

    What a fun idea to turn a real life experience into a short story. I was fully engulfed in the tale, and hoping that “she” would be safe. You captured the fear and emotion very well.

  8. I’m glad you were guided to safety. I used to live at the point of that mountain (if you look to the right you can see some apartments on the Utah Valley side, those are them) and I had a lot of scary experiences driving through there, never tried it without wipers, though.

  9. You turned your experience into an amazing story, Amber. And I’m so glad you and the baby were kept safe.

  10. Oh honey, my heart hurts after reading that. I can imagine how terrified you must have been! So glad He got you home safe!

  11. Wow!!! So glad everything is ok. “In an eery dichotomy, “Heavenly Father” and “Holy s@$&” escaped her mouth.” That sentence has stayed with me for several days (I read this a few days ago and wanted to digest before posting). You have a real ability to communicate raw and immediate emotion. I know your life is busy and you have priorities, but I hope you’ll find moments to keep writing.

    • Thank you Braden! Your praise has really boosted my confidence! I will often write something and post it before I really edit it. I know if I give myself too much time, I would delete the whole post and go back to my boring existence. : ) Again, thank you!

  12. Yikes. So glad everything worked out ok. How frightening! And I loved how you wrote this… captivating and very real!

  13. pauline s

    I was looking for payers for my grandson in nicu having surgery when I found your e mail. Thank god your ok and your baby.