Of all the road hazards one can experience, fog causes me the most fear.
Growing up, my parents didn’t really give me any “rules” to follow. Never told me what time to be home or where not to go/what not to do. !! Did they just trust me that much? I don’t know. When I think about their life with the challenges of my oldest handicapped sister, and my dad’s terminal illness, it seems likely that they were just overwhelmed and exhausted. In return, I saw their struggles and honestly did not want to do anything that would add to their stress. I was chronologically “young”, but I was “old” experientially. I don’t really think I was a challenging teenager.
Dad passed away in December of my senior year of high school. So Mom was left as the lone parent to me, and also my 35 year old handicapped sister who would always be her “little girl”. She was likely pretty numb for quite some time after losing her husband and best friend. Stumbling through the fog of grief. Probably not looking forward to me graduating high school and leaving home, just seven months after losing Dad. She often said to me “You are my sanity, Bunny.”
About a month after Dad passed, DeWayne and I, and I think two friends of ours decided to drive 90 miles from our hometown to Ft Hays State University to watch a college basketball game. One of the star basketball players from our high school team was playing for Ft Hays. DeWayne and I weren’t really dating at that point, just friends. Mom didn’t say “no” when I told her our plans to attend the game. But then, I can’t recall one time she did say no. Seriously!
It was an evening game. I don’t remember much about the game except that it was fun. We were small town kids. Sporting events at our local high school were by far the best (only) entertainment available. Adding a road trip to the fun was super exciting for me.
As we were watching the game I remember thinking that this would be the latest I would have ever arrived home. And I wondered if Mom would be concerned about that. I mean, really, had I ever given her any cause for worry? I don’t think so! Little did I know just how late my arrival would be.
As we walked out of the gym doors after the game we were met with really dense fog. The fog became even thicker as we drove away from the street lights onto the dark highway, interstate 70.
The one memory that sticks in my mind about this drive was absolutely no visibility and driving at an exceedingly slow speed. At any moment there might have been tail lights appearing ahead of us with no way to avoid a crash. We wondered if it was safe to make the trip, if we should try to find a place to stay overnight. But we opted to travel on. And I do recall thinking about my Mom. She’d just lost Dad, what if I didn’t make it home? DeWayne, cool calm DeWayne, was driving at a snail’s pace draped over the steering wheel in an attempt to see….. anything! I believe cool calm DeWayne was afraid, too! It was terrifying to all four of us in the car. There were no cell phones back then, no way to call mom.
Normally that trip would have taken about 1.5 hours. Or for a lead footed teenage boy, perhaps about an hour. 😃 Not so on this foggy night. We finally made it home around 2:30am after four plus hours of anxiety-filled driving. I walked into the house and there was Mom. Yes, she had been very, very concerned. She was aware of the thick fog and wondered why we chose to drive on home. However, she was so very thankful to see me home safe. No lecture, just relief. That was my mom.
That was my first experience with zero visibility fog. Well, that was my first zero visibility experience in a car. Let’s be honest, life is full of fog. Dark times when you cannot see what’s ahead. When you’re not at all certain which way to turn or if you need to just stop altogether. Times when you wish you had just a little light, a little direction, a break from the fog. I’ve had my share of thick dark “life” fog. You have, too, I would imagine.
Last Sunday our pastor gave an illustration about finding your way in the dark. Trusting God with all the details, even when life is a thick fog of sadness or uncertainty or tough decisions. He had all the lights turned off in the sanctuary. Then he turned on a flashlight and pointed it straight ahead. There was a path of illumination. But it only goes so far. The end destination isn’t in sight. You can’t tell exactly where your path will end from the beam of light. If you hold on to the light source, however, you will continue to see where to step. You really don’t need to see the end destination but you can trust The Light to get you there safely.
Christmas blessings to you, dear reader. Your Light has come, his name is Jesus. He will lead you through the dark fog, to your final destination. Just walk in His light.