I should be dead.
I should be dead so many times over.
There are so many stories I never told my mother, because I really should be dead.
I only told my mother about malaria the first time I was sick. It kills more people around the world than AIDS, but it just doesn't tend to make the news so much. And, when my mother learned about the first time when I was in the Peace Corps, I knew better than to ever tell her about the other four bouts with that disease.
Yep, malaria could have killed me.
I don't have the best record with transportation either. My best scar is on my right elbow. I got that flying over the handlebars of my motorcycle while in the Peace Corps. I'm one of the reasons why Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to ride motorcycles any more. I had multiple wrecks. Once upon a time, motorcycles were the number one way that volunteers were killed while in service. I still stay away from motorcycles if I have to drive them.
I've had problems on buses too. I've been involved with a minor wreck in Morocco and a head-on collision in the Ivory Coast. Then, a tap tap (public transportation truck) in Haiti lost its breaks as we careened down a hill. The only option was to hit a vehicle in front of us or run into the ditch on the side of the road. We actually did both of those options. The vehicle slowed us down before the ditch.
And, there's my driving. I totaled my car once, spinning out of control on a gravel road. Two trees, one on each end of my car, prevented me from flipping over and dropping ten feet into a ditch. There were only two trees there that could have stopped me. My car managed to hit them both just right.
Walking hasn't always been safe either. While crossing a bridge in the heart of the Ivory Coast's capital, my two friends were nearly mugged. Some men tried to steal their backpacks. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of the rogues chase after my friend, his arm raised with a knife in his hand. I ran after them both. What do you do when approaching a rogue with a knife? I took a flying leap into the air -- Superman's got nothing on me -- and knocked him to the ground. It was later that I learned that those rogues never hesitated to slice people up with their knives.
Yep, I should be dead.
Even on my most recent trip to Fiji (I know, no sympathy.) I took a major fall in the dark on a wooden stairs. My leg slipped into the space between the steps as I fell down to the ground. I don't see how it is possible that I didn't break my leg, knee, wrist and skull. All four were cut, bruised, sprained or bumped, but I basically walked away unscathed when it could have been a disaster. It should have been a disaster.
Other stories include typhoons, earthquakes, an angry voodoo priestess, near drowning, prison and poison.
See what I mean? I seem to have more lives than my two cats.
I've always joked about guardian angels. Some people have suggested I've worn mine out and should get new ones. I reply on those occasions that I'm not giving up on angels that have done such a good job protecting me. My mama didn't raise no fool. She just raised a son who never stayed as close to Ohio as she preferred.
Well, this week as I channel surfed in my car one day, I stopped on a Catholic radio station. I've never done that before in my life. I'm not Catholic. But, the conversation captured my attention. They were discussing guardian angels. I've never really heard anyone seriously discuss guardian angels before. I don't think I ever actually considered them as a real possibility. Bible passages were cited and the Catholics even had a prayer for guardian angels. Who knew? I didn't.
Okay, now I'm seriously not going to ask for a replacement. The guardian angel assigned to me has been doing a super job and never once complained about overtime.
I will continue to wander away from Ohio, protected.