On Wednesday night I saw a man get hit by a car. I was just leaving the University after hosting a Women in Leadership Mentor meeting. It was 8:30 and the streets were still alive with hustle and bustle but there was a peacefulness as well since it was after most classes had already finished. I was walking to my car and a man walked past me on the sidewalk and all I smelled were French Fries. I wondered where he got them; not remembering the new A&W that had just recently opened. In a matter of seconds, the french fries were falling at my feet and I saw the impact, heard the bang, and saw the same man fly into the air, hit the windshield and fall to the ground. A young man ( approximately 18 years of age) exited his car and yelled, “”Désolé“. It was really surreal and I knew in that instant lives had changed forever, including mine!
Bad things happen and I will never look at that corner again in the same way. People jaywalk and young students consistently speed..it’s university life and with four coffee shops at every corner, night classes, and late night hang outs offering a quick fix meal, people are everywhere and patience is often short..we take shortcuts because we think seconds count and matter.
The next day, I had time to think about the experiences I have faced in my life …time has passed, memories have only faded. This incident brought back me back in time and to how I live today..what I fear and what I avoid, what challenges I have faced along with the triumphs I have made, the way I view my life, and how I choose to see things, people I embrace and those I have let go, what I value, and what no longer holds much importance.
Four years ago, Wayne and I adopted an 18month old Boston Terrier named Mia. She had been kept in a cage in a basement for all those months by a backyard breeder who easily sold her for 200 dollars when her first litter proved to be what he considered “unacceptable and not up to standards”. She was then adopted by a lady who thought she was a lot to handle and also kept her in a dark and dingy basement. Upon hearing her story and seeing her lying in her bed, made of a flimsy cardboard box, we made the decision to give it a try and give her a home. Now four years later, Mia is a wonderful and sweet dog. But even after all of these years, it is so evident that what she experienced as a young pup, has remained embedded in her memory. Every Time my husband or I make an attempt to go down to the basement, Mia senses it; cries, shakes and will never follow either one of us, or any of the other dogs downstairs.
Wednesday night, once I got home, I picked Mia up. I know she is happy but at that moment I REALLY understood her and that dogs are affected by experiences just as we are. The basement triggers her and brings her back to a bad place just like the corner of de Maisonneuve and Guy will now have for me. I ampositive that I will never walk idley in that spot (although I have many times) just as I am sure that Mia will never consider spending anytime in our basement.
Experiences change our lives; they make us stronger. Mia is one tough cookie but sweeter than pie….I understand her more! It’s funny but that night when I finally arrived home..Mia was the first at the door and she jumped into my arms….I think at that moment..she understood me more as well!