Remember those books you used to read when you were a kid, where you could change the ending depending on which 'path' you took in the story.
One seemingly small decision could completely change the course of events for the Hero/Heroine.
Have you ever noticed how life is like one of these books?
Each decision you make affects another link in the chain of events.
A Choose Your Own Adventure book book called, LIFE.
Every day, I stop at Wilsons Gas Stop.
They knock $0.02 off your gas if you pay with cash or Debit. I like that!
Some days, it's unfortunately more out of habit than need, but nonetheless, either in the morning on the way to work, or afterwards on the way home, I stop.
My particular Wilsons is on the corner of the main intersection of the community.
You have a Sobeys, Tims, Subway, liquor store and bank machines in the same area.
BUSY spot!!! Always.
It also has a McDonalds attached to it, so that brings in extra cars as well, especially on a Friday or Saturday.
My usual routine on a Friday is to stop in on the way home, after picking up Adam, anytime after 5:30pm.
I'll get gas for the weekend, a lottery ticket, cigarettes, and something at McD's if that's on the menu for traditional Friday night takeout.
This past Friday night was different.
The boys were with their father and I had worked late.
It was closer to 6pm when I reached one of the two exits that would take me home.
At that point, I had a decision to make.
Go to Wilsons now, or later. One exit would take me now, the other later.
Alec had a basketball game at 7pm at the Community Centre.
The centre was down the street from the gas station, so if I didn't make it now, there would always be time later.
It was raining, windy, miserable. Had been all day.
What did I want to do after working all day ... head straight to the warm house, or out into the cold rain to pump gas.
I needed the gas regardless. Now or later.
Being the procrastinator I can sometimes be, and big wimp in the rain I can always be ... I chose later.
I went home, worked around the house a bit, packed the boys bag for the weekend, then headed down to the game.
Afterwards, I went straight to Wilsons.
Or, that was the intention at least.
Until I got close enough to see it was in complete darkness, with emergency pylons blocking the entrances.
Was the power out?
I quickly looked across the street. Nope, everyone else had lights.
And then, through the sheets of rain, I saw it.
Remember I said it was windy?
Well, the wind was SO strong, that part of the roof/shelter over the gas pumps was no longer OVER the pumps, but on the ground.
The roof fell off!
There aren't many moments I wish I had the camera feature on my cell phone, but this was definitely one of those times!
It was dark, and almost impossible to see through the sheets of rain, but there it was, parts of the pump shelter all over the ground.
I certainly hope nobody was filling up their car at the time!
Or simply driving past the pumps to get to the McD's.
There would have been damage for sure!
No wonder the place was closed!
Obviously I wasn't getting the gas, so I drove straight by and went to the Tims instead.
Which was stop #2 on the to-do list anyway ;-)
I also called the ex, who was still at the CC and suggested he take a drive by on the way home, since I knew the boys would appreciate the 'wow' factor of the scene.
He said he knew about it already, as it had happened shortly after 6pm.
He had heard, thankfully and AMAZINGLY, nobody had been hurt or cars damaged.
Despite being peak time on a Friday night ... nobody had been in the path of the falling roof.
On the way home, it hit me.
Had I made a different choice, and gotten the gas before going home, I would have been there during that time frame.
Whether or not it would have been that EXACT time, who knows.
Who knows why NOBODY was in it's path at that EXACT time.
What seemingly innocent decision they made, which ensured they were elsewhere at that precise moment.
Just like I did.
How many times over the course of your life have you said 'WOW! 1 or 5 or 10 minutes earlier/later and I would have ....'
On a 'normal' Friday night, I wouldn't have been there at that time. Having worked late put me off schedule, and could have put me there, but for my being a procrastinator and big wimp in cold rain.
I ... and everybody else who would, could or should have been there ... wasn't.
For whatever reason.
Because of whatever decision that was made, that sent us down that particular path in the story.
In that book we didn't even know we were reading.
That Choose Your Own Adventure book called, LIFE.