I recall being in elementary school probably around ten or eleven years of age and learning that in the State of Texas, a handwritten will was valid and would hold up in a court of law. I remember being impacted by this piece of information and promptly wrote out my own.
I also recall my parents in particular my father thinking I either had suicidal thoughts or had simply lost my mind. He sat me down and asked me why I had drawn up a will. I told him that if I died I wanted to make sure my things went to whomever I wanted and not to whom the State decided they should go to. After I told him I had learned it in class...it seemed to ease his mind.
So what does a ten or eleven year old own that would require a will? Not much...just my clothes, some jewelry and probably telling my age now...my bubble gum card collection of the Monkeys (the musical group not actual monkeys). By the way, all my stuff was to be inherited by my cousin who at the time was living with us.
I finally made it official when I turned 24 years old. My ex-boss had a store bought Will form and shared it with us. He and another co-worker served as my witnesses and our secretary notarized it and made it legal. Cost to me....free...I like free!
My parents and I would make a trip to South America a few years later and I loved taunting my father on the flight over. I reminded him that if we crashed and died his step-brothers would inherit what little he had but that MY stuff would go to my uncle because I had a will and he didn't. Needless to say as soon as we got back home...he drew up his will...and also decided that we would NEVER fly together as a family, jajajaja!
You are probably wondering where I am going with these morbid thoughts...don't worry...I am getting to that.
Thursday - January 8, 2015 we were on our way to Uvalde, Texas for mother's monthly doctor's appointment. I was going the speed limit, 70 mph around 1:00 p.m. The road has been under construction and little pieces of gravel were being kicked up by an eighteen wheeler in front of me. Not wanting more dings in my car or worst yet a cracked windshield...I passed him up at my first opportunity.
As soon as I did, he decided to tailgate me which pissed me off! I therefore kept a close eye on him. About three minutes later, in the distance I see a figure by the side of the road and I remark to mother...what in the world is that? Before I even got that out of my mouth, it was clear that it was a deer with antlers trying to make up his mind if he was going to cross the highway or not.
I immediately looked in the rear view mirror and saw that 18 wheeler was still on my ass. I knew I could not brake, so I let go of the gas pedal and analyzed my options. No one close enough in incoming traffic that I could, if needed swerve into the incoming lane or I could go off the road to my right to avoid hitting the deer. At 70 or 60 mph by now, that might mean a roll over.
Just then the deer crossed the road and before I could even breath a sigh of relieve the darn deer turned back and just stopped in the middle of the road!!!
I again looked in the rear view mirror and this time I saw that the 18 wheeler had slowed down significantly but neither him nor I were prepared for this next scenario. Do I swerve right or left to avoid hitting him? What would the 18 wheeler do? Hitting an object such as a deer in a cheaply built Corolla is not an option, nor is getting rear-ended by an 18-wheeler.
Just then the deer decided to bolt off the middle of the road. I have never been so happy in my life! You have got to realize that all this happened in a split second and not a moment too soon. That darn 18-wheeler kept his distance after that. As a matter of fact others passed him and I soon lost track of him.
When you arrive at the doctor's office, you have to go get your vitals taken by the nurse. My mother's blood pressure was 190/78. The nurse asked her why her blood pressure was so high and mother replied that she did not know. I recalled after all this happened, looking over to her but she seemed unfazed and I had no idea if she even noticed it, as it all happened so fast. One thing I know for sure is she had no idea how close that 18-wheeler was during the ordeal
We might have had a fighting chance if we hit the deer but we would have had NO chance if the 18-wheeler hit us from behind or the side or wherever. Thinking best case scenario we would be in intensive care in a San Antonio hospital. Worst case...we would be at the local mortuary.
Good night. May you all have Terlingua Dreams.