The meeting I scheduled with Father and the diocese downtown had me a little nervous, and thought I needed a little extra protection driving in the 60 miles to and through town so I slipped a chain, medal and crucifix belonging to Max around my neck.
I should have left earlier, but I timed the hour and half drive perfectly with three minutes to spare, sweating it and praying the rosary the whole way. Houston traffic always includes high speed to no speed, construction, accidents, speed traps and crazy highway interchanges.
The meeting went well. I haven't had to act professionally in many years and I might have pulled it off. I have a lot of work to do for the Grant seeking phase of our Capital Campaign, and now have a good plan of where to start.
I arranged for Nick to drive the girls and meet me at Max's for the afternoon and started off out of downtown north, a route I took many times when we lived at our old house.
There was a lot of construction going on where the highways combine and I was trying to figure out what lane to get in, Friday afternoon chaos as always. The left lane opened up and I merged into it in front of an 18 wheeler that has basically stopped to pull on to I10. Then I noticed a white car with very dark windows pop up behind me, and I know it wasn't there when I pulled around the 18 wheeler that has blocked the lanes. The white car darted off around me to the right cutting in and around all the other cars, obviously upset. I sped up to get around the other trucks to pull out of the left lane when that same car showed up to my left, strangely matching my speed. I sensed trouble and slowed down, the car slowed down to match me. The driver rolled the passenger window down and was waving his hand my direction. I tried to slow down a bit more to shake the pattern and looked right to merge into the right lane when I heard a gun shot.
I was shocked. It was distinct. A gunshot. I wasn't hit, I wasn't sure about my car. I was still moving forward.
He sped off darting through traffic. I watched him go. I didn't think about license plate numbers, my head was swimming. I slowed and scooted off to the right and exited to the next highway exit as soon as I could. I wanted to change my route and any possibility of seeing him again.
I was all jelly and a little sick, but in one piece. No windows smashed, just my nerves. The car seemed in one piece. I talked to my son and he said not to stop if I didn't have to, traffic was insane and there was no good place to stop, no exits. If I stopped I might be too much of a nervous wreck to get moving again.
I sighed a few prayers of relief and disbelief of what just happened. A flash, a brief moment, my life could have ended, or have been changed forever. My kids?! Oh, I was glad I was alone.
Then I remembered the medal around my neck. I kissed my Miraculous Metal and my scapular and breathed and prayed my thanks to sweet Jesus, Our Sweet Mother Mary and my very diligent Guardian Angel for watching over me today as I drove the remaining 40 miles to Max's and later 40 miles home without further incident. Praise God!
Be careful out there! Life is precious and fragile. People can be raging before you ever cross their paths. We are praying for him and dancing in thankful happiness that we are all alive and well!
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!