My Wake-up Call

Melissa - San Diego, California
Entered on May 1, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

At 18, I got my first car. As a teenager I didn’t care about the risks of life, I thought I was invincible and could speed and do whatever I wanted, because “that” wouldn’t happen to me.

One morning, I woke up as usual, took a shower, had breakfast and listened to my mom blessing me and asking me to wear my seatbelt, [in Tijuana wearing seatbelts is not a requirement]. At that time I didn’t like to use it, but that morning I decided to listen to my mom and wear it. A few minutes later I ended up getting into a terrible car accident, where firefighters were looking for my body in pieces and telling my parents that it was impossible for someone to survive such a dreadful accident.

I remember perfectly how the car started spinning in a downhill spiral towards a ravine, and how I unsuccessfully tried to keep control. As I was spinning I saw my life pass by in front of my eyes in a matter of seconds, I could remember so many things about my life that I had forgotten. In particular the little details that I was so used to doing that I just stopped paying attention to them. For example, my mom blessing me every morning before leaving the house, or my dad kissing me good night before bed.

Growing up as a catholic person, I always believed in miracles, but never experienced one until that moment. I was not only alive; I was intact, with nothing but scratches. I fell down 30 meters (98.5ft), and the car was totally destroyed. I’ve not only survived, I was born again.

I believe everybody deserves a second chance to amend their ways, but not everybody gets it. I was one of the lucky ones. I was given the opportunity to learn that every act has consequences and to be grateful for what I have. I have been able to open my eyes to things that matter, like my dad kissing me goodnight or my mom blessing me before I go to school, and beyond superficial possessions. I believe in second chances, I believe in miracles.