Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

If I Hadn’t Seen It, I Wouldn’t Have Believed It

In The worst of times on January 1, 2014 at 7:48 am


On a bright and sunny day when I was about eight years old, my father drove our family to the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia for a picnic. He had borrowed a panel truck. He was at the wheel, and I was with my mother, brother, and two sisters seated on kitchen chairs in the back of the truck. There were two doors at the back, and the doors had small windows at the top of them.

On the way up the winding mountain I began to notice, especially as we were about halfway up the mountain, that there were no guard rails around the narrow winding road leading to the top of the mountains. There was no flat land area at any point between the foot and top of the mountain. There just appeared to be this massive rock center around which the narrow road, barely wide enough for two lanes, wound in a steeplechase. When we reached the top of the mountain, we had to walk close to the edge in order to see what appeared to be a miniature town below.

We began our trip back home. At about one-third of the way down the mountain, the brakes on the truck stopped working. The only words spoken were when my father said the brakes were not working! The kitchen chairs were sliding from side to side of the truck as my father frantically maneuvered the truck around the winding path, picking up momentum. All I could imagine was the trick bumping into the side of the mountain and bouncing or rolling out of control. I did not think about dying. I don’t think that I understood it. I think I just thought we would all be severely injured. I remember feeling very sorry for my mother.

Then my father screamed that the brakes were working. From that moment we crepty down that mountain at a snail’s pace. Watching my father manipulate that truck seemed like a miracle to me even at eight years of age. If I had not seen it, I would not have belived it.

By Donald Mackey


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