This I Believe

Eva - Sandy Hook, Connecticut
Entered on May 23, 2007

I believe that there are certain things in life that are beyond human control. The debate of free will vs. fate is one that has always tugged tightly at my heartstrings. I was taught by both of my parents that I was in control of my life and my future. I was not raised to believe that there was a higher power that could play with the lives of humans like we were chess pieces. Therefore, for most of my life, I knew that in the debate of free will vs. fate, free will would always reign victorious. This was previous to my father’s motorcycle accident.

Every time my dad set out to some far off destination for a business trip on his sleek black motorcycle, I would place a short-but-sweet kiss on his left cheek and tell him, “Come back in one piece and buy me a nice present.” He would reassure me that he would be back soon with the best present from whereever he was going, and I would believe him. Like all of my family members, we did not talk about the feeling that swelled in the pits of our stomachs that groaned for us to stop him. During every departure, I would pray to a God that I was never taught to believe in, that my father would have a safe journey. My family would simply look on as he left and hope that he would not find himself in harm’s way.

My mom woke me from a quiet slumber that night. I knew what had happened. She told me that my dad had gotten into an accident. He had been hit by an 18 wheeler truck that had been over the line coming around a curve. He had been thrown off his bike, and the entire left side of his body had scraped across the asphult as he slid under the truck, just avoiding its wheels. He was in critical condition. We rushed to the hospital to find that he had a broken left leg, a broken left hand, third degree burns on his left shoulder, and had to have skin grafted to his chin. But he was alive.

Looking back on the accident, I try to fit the pieces together. What could my dad have done in order to have avoided that truck? Should I have told him not to go on the trip? The answer, I have come to find, is that nothing could have been done. I have come to realize that I cannot control everything. Maybe God was watching over my dad and decided that his chess piece would not fall to defeat the day of his accident; maybe not. Regardless, I now believe that some unexplainable things in life just have to be left to fate.