I gave birth during a winter blizzard. Not IN a winter blizzard. But the blizzard was responsible for the black ice on the road when I lost control of the Honda Civic that night.
As my white hatchback started sliding sideways down down down the steep slope off the side of the road, the snow picked up and all I could see in the dark was my headlights illuminating the horizontally falling snow. That was my perspective.
The seatbelt and the gear shift kept my 8 ½ month pregnancy belly jammed hard in place. And then the sliding stopped. And it was silent.
I don't know how long I remained in that position. I do know that after a while I started to hear shouting. I looked up and out my driver's side window and there was a sight I will never forget. It's permanently imprinted in my memory.
A man was shouting at me. Trying to get my attention. Behind him was another man, and then another person and another and another and that's all I could see.
They were linked by firm arms as the man closest to me slid down the embankment toward me. It was a human chain.
I later found out the man had been driving not far behind me when he watched my car slide off the road. He had missed the black ice so he carefully but quickly parked and waved for others to help. Together, they stepped up and literally rescued me. In the dark. In a February blizzard.
An ambulance came. My water had broke. The baby was in stress. My son's birth would come 33 hours later.
I've been thinking of those amazing heroes a lot lately. And if there's one thing COVID has reminded me, it's that your responsibility and your behaviour - your care of each other - is the greatest asset you have.
That man - and all those who followed him - didn't have to take it upon themselves to stop and save me and my baby. But they did. They cared. They took action on their care. And it changed my life.
I'm feeling sentimental. It was 8 years today that my son was killed in a car accident when a distracted driver ran a red light. He was born early because of a car accident. And he left the planet early because of another one.
I'm not going to preach about being careful in cars or being more alert as a driver. That's not my place. But I am going to remind you to take care of each other. We're the only ones who can.
Love, Jonni, Connor’s mother
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