Only child looks at Karma

Look-alike car

I’m looking for some Karma – you know the what goes around comes around. Or if you were raised Catholic like  me, the “as you sow, so shall you reap.”

I really believe in Karma – but I’d like to see it in action – personally. Often when something happens in your life – good or bad  – whether it’s something you do or something that occurs – you don’t see the Karma.

Last Friday evening while out running errands with a friend, I got hit by a car in a mall parking lot. My friend was already over at her car and I was still walking towards it when I felt a smack on my left leg. When I looked up I saw this small black car roaring off. Immediately I started chasing it and swearing at the driver. She (and I am sure it was a “she,” and that’s just a gut feeling) continued racing around the parking lot, turning around on the other side of an aisle. I charged up that aisle, yelling away (I’m sure the two women getting in a nearby car thought I’d lost it) but I never caught up. My little 5’1″ frame is no competition for a moving vehicle.

“Did you get the licence plate?” my friend asked.

“No,” I said. I’d never thought of that.

I was lucky it was only a tap on my bare calf – I was wearing capri pants because temperatures were up in the 80s Farenheit. But I was furious. How could the driver not have seen me? I was in clear view almost in the middle of the aisle.  She wasn’t backing out but driving through the parking lot. And to make matters worse, a few minutes before when she was attempting to back out of her parking space around the corner in the lot, it looked like she didn’t see me and might hit me. I moved back. Was this an early warning of impending danger? I didn’t listen.

When I climbed into my friend’s car I shouted, “God, if you do exist, please get this person. I don’t care how; I leave it up to you. But I’d like to know.”

As I mentioned before, you hardly ever find out. But I did – twice – one for something rotten that happened and one for something good that I did and continue to do.

The rotten occurrence also concerned a car. (Feel free to figure out that significance. Clue: I don’t drive.) It happened 15 or 16 years ago when I worked for a publishing company. One of the other employees there volunteered to drive me to work each day. She was continually late – but she had a small child and had to drop her off at daycare on the way to work, so I said nothing. Two or three times I was running late – literally – putting the garbage out as she arrived at my driveway. After a few months of driving me to work, one day when she picked me up, she said, “I can’t do this anymore. I’m not driving you anymore. You’re always late.”

A few months later, Ms. Driver broke her ankle and had to get someone else from work to drive her to and from work.

When I tell this story I either get a big smile or a “Huh? You mean because she stopped driving you she broke her ankle.” Obviously the latter individuals don’t believe in Karma.

And my good Karma? I run the East End Writers’ Group, a writing group, and through the group I help a lot of writers (and learn a lot from them, too). The East End Writers is celebrating its 10th anniversary this fall and when I asked for help in putting it together, a couple of members volunteered. One designed the flyers, another is helping with distribution and may even be able to get us a mic for that evening.

What goes around comes around. And I wonder if  for me it all goes back to my mother and her eccentric ideas of honesty. In my memoir I call them “Mom’s 10 Rules of Honesty.” One in particular, in relation to the girl that bullied me in school, comes to mind.

In grade three, The Bully sits right in front of me. When Mrs. Roberts isn’t looking, she swivels around and talks to me out of turn. However, her biggest sin is cheating with the numbers. When we complete an arithmetic exercise, Mrs. Roberts says, “trade.” The Bully crouches over my assignment, purses her lips, picks up her pencil and scribbles – x, x, x – beside my correct answers. Meantime, I, blessed with my mother’s streak of honesty, also mark x, x, x, but alongside The Bully’s incorrect answers. When we trade back, The Bully crouches even lower and turns the x’s into Ö’s. At home, I whine to Mom.

“You have to tell the teacher when she cheats,” Mom says. She’s sitting in the chair under the living room window and I’m standing in front of her like I’m the bad girl in school. “Next time, she cheats, tell the teacher. Then tell me and I’ll give you a quarter.”

Money talks for me. The next time the Bully messes up the math marks I raise my hand and rat. When I return home, I tell tales out of school and claim my reward, not just 25 cents, but my admission to the honesty/money seesaw.

(Excerpted from You Can Go Home – Part 1 – Deconstruct. Copyright 2010 Sharon Crawford)

In case anyone is wondering, my leg is fine. As for Karma – what do others think? Personally?


Only child writes

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Filed under Car accidents, Karma, Only child, Only child memoir

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