CBG Memories: Deer vs Car

As I mentioned previously, I’ve decided that once a week I’ll tell a story from my life that (hopefully) my kids can enjoy some day when they’re older. It could be a funny story, a love story, a coming-of-age story, a morality tale, or even just a bunch of memories about a certain place or person. In the end, they’re just random stories that will ultimately give my kids an idea of who their father was.

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I’m writing about this particular memory because of a horrific incident that happened recently in my area.A beautiful, young couple…married just this past summer…had their lives tragically ended when their car hit a moose a couple of weekends ago. Their two-year-old son, buckled safely in the back seat, survived the crash.

It really puts things into perspective.

So my story takes place back in the summer of 1989.  I had only been driving for a couple of years and was getting ready to enter my final year of high school. My parents had a cottage along the beach that was about a 40-minute drive from town through the woods.

I drove an ’86 Honda Civic…which wasn’t a bad first car at all, actually.

I don’t remember a lot from that night.  I don’t remember if I was at work or at a friend’s house or at a party of some sort.  All I remember is that is was after 11pm when I began the drive to the family cottage.

It popped-up out of nowhere.  From the left-hand corner of my eye, I saw the eyes glow from my headlights. As soon as I began to hit my brakes, it darted out in front of me.

I slammed on the brakes and cranked the steering wheel hard to the right in an effort to avoid the deer (thank you, Defensive Driving course).  Then it happened…

The deer was in mid-jump when it slid across the hood of my car. It all happened so quickly…it was almost a blur, but I saw the deer flip off my hood into the ditch to my right.  I was in absolute shock as the car came to a complete stop.

Just as I was about to get out of the car, I saw the deer jump up and run off into a field.  It was injured, I’m sure, but happy to be alive and just wanting to get away from me.

The damage to the car wasn’t terrible, but it was bad enough that I needed to take it to a body shop for a few days.

I gingerly got back behind the wheel and made my way to my parents’ cottage…completely freaked out.

I guess there’s  no real moral to this story other than to say I wished I had appreciated my good fortune more at the time than I had.  Should this incident have happened now and were I to be fortunate enough to walk away unscathed, I would quickly be on a mission to tell each and every person in my life just how much they mean to me.

Which is something we should all be doing anyway.

At the time I was too young to truly appreciate the gift of life.  Now?  Now I go out of my way to be thankful on a daily basis for something…whether it’s a big deal or not.

Try it…you may like it.

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