“This is not going to end well.”
That’s what I thought as the sudden, torrential downpour overcame us. My husband, Guy arrived home from work on Friday, asking if I felt like going for a road trip to London. He had recently dropped his surface tablet, a device similar to an iPad for those technologically challenged like myself. The screen had cracked. The surface tablet was covered by warranty but unable to be fixed. A new one was unable to be found at Costco in Windsor. However, there were two available in London, two hours away. I agreed to accompany Guy in his snazzy sportscar, a Nissan 370 Z he loved to drive. The ride would give us uninterrupted time together. No distractions. Just the two of us bound by four hours of highway travel.
“Can we get a McDonald’s ice cream on our way?” Might as well. I used to savour a large vanilla shake in younger years when traveling down the highway 401. I’d settle for a soft serve ice cream now.
“Absolutely. Well, we have three hours before Costco closes. We’ll leave shortly.”
Our trip there was uneventful. A sizeable number of imposing transport trucks zoomed down the 401. It seemed like no time at all passed before we arrived at the London Costco.
At the check-out, I was a little suspicious of the store’s card reader when neither our debit card nor our credit card was accepted. And, Costco doesn’t take Visa. A super nice manager, Jess, offered us the opportunity to purchase a store credit card. We really had no other option. At least, the staff didn’t make us feel bad about it; as if it happened all the time. I wondered if it did or not.
We began our trip home. Guy kept his word and stopped at the drive-through of McDonald’s for a soft-serve vanilla ice-cream for me. For some reason, the female voice of the GPS directed us onto highway 402, before merging with highway 401. It was a little disconcerting driving on an unknown course.
Suddenly, the sky grew completely dark. The rain struck so fiercely the windshield wipers were unable to keep pace. I couldn’t see the road at all. We were on a three lane highway with trucks on either side of us. The only thing visible was the tail-lights of the the transport truck in front of us, which was flashing its hazard lights as a warning.
“This is not going to end well.”
We couldn’t see the road or the next lane or the shoulder. I figured it only a matter of time before we’d be killed in a car accident with another vehicle. I told Guy I couldn’t see the road.
“Well, I don’t think this will make you feel any better. I can hardly see either!”
I thought, well, this isn’t the worst way to die. Speeding down a highway- okay, we definitely weren’t speeding at the moment, for sure!- in a sportscar, eating an ice-cream cone, and having the one I loved most at my side. It might be the last ice-cream I ate for an eternity. Or I might be eating ice cream all the time soon. David Bowie’s song, Space Oddity played on the radio: “May God’s grace be with you.”
I felt a profound peace. No fear. No worry about what our children would do without us. No fear of pain. Just peace. Like I’ve never felt before.
We continued with decreased visibility in the cloudburst for what seemed like forever. But, was more likely 8 minutes. Then, just like that, it let up. The rain drops fell softly now. Just above the horizon were colours of red and burnt orange and yellow before the sun hid for the night.
The peace remained. There’s wonderful things beyond this life, friends. I could feel it in that peace.