Thursday, 25 February 2010

Lucky Star

I was chatting in the office to a woman that sits right behind me about day-to-day stuff and she mentioned that she’d seen on the news testimonies relating to the Toyota acceleration pedal problem. I must confess I’ve been going through a “low news” phase of effectively avoiding most television news programmes and less in the way of the printed word, simply because there’s a lot of unnecessary noise that comes with it all. Still, I was very much aware of this hot topic though missed the testimonies in question. My work colleague told me how she had been touched by the story of a woman who had been driving along when the car wouldn’t stop accelerating. The lady in question thought she was going to die and phoned her husband, aware that he was helpless to do anything but just wanted to hear his voice just one last time. Thankfully, she survived to tell the tale but it was one of those wake up calls on the fleetingness of life.

In the course of our conversation, we then progressed onto 9/11, and specifically flight United Airlines Flight 93, the plane that was so bravely, but tragically, diverted by the passengers to avert a full-blown disaster. The thought of those final phone calls made to loved ones in the knowledge that they weren't coming back are still so haunting. But the added twist in our chat was that my colleague was not only visiting Washington DC for the very first time that week, but as she put it: “I still have the entry pass: ‘8.30 tour of the White House’” Had things turned out differently with United 93, she may not have been around to tell the tale. She said it has put an entirely new slant on her life and she keeps the entry pass as a reminder – to remember what’s important in life and what’s not. Hopefully, we don’t have to experience such wake-up calls before we live the life we want to live.

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