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Friday, 21 June 2013

The Quality of Mercy


 Ok, so perhaps this will not be my most uplifting post but I have to get it off my chest. I have not felt great all week. I don't know what the triggers were, I have no explanation other than perhaps I am feeling overtired due to some allergy issues. Probably not one of my better ideas, I convince my hubby that we should drop off some yard sale items to my Mom's house last night rather than taking it all this morning. It sounds like a reasonable plan but that is not the area that got messed up. We decided it would be quicker to take highway 401. Any of you that follow my blog know that the 401 is a hard sell for me. Against my better judgement I conceded that it would be faster and off we went. We no sooner got off the on ramp and over the little knowl and we were at a dead stop. If it had not been for that darn little hill we would have spotted the traffic and detoured but as it was we were stuck.  We were sitting patiently waiting for the cars to move ahead when a neighbour of ours pulled up beside us and told us that traffic was backed up all the way to Belleville and that it would likely take at least an hour to get through. (Road Work!!!! Argggghhhhh). He said that he was going to back up and take the shoulder of the road back to the off ramp. My husband looked at me hopefully but there was no way we were going to go backwards on the shoulder of the road. Then it happened to me.....all the transports and cars starting compressing in on us.  I could feel my heartbeat race and my hand took on a life as it own as it crushed down on my poor devoted husband's freehand.  He signalled and started maneuvering to the side of the road. I gave him the nod and we every so slowly started to work backwards to the off ramp.  As we slowly backed up all the other drivers started glaring at us. (That may be my social anxiety kicking in there) but it sure felt like it. Impatient drivers were angrily gesturing at us as though we had some nerve to think we deserved to escape the chaos. Little did they know that inside that vehicle there was a woman who was fighting her every instinct to open the door and run through the traffic fleeing in absolute panic.  As we made our way back to the exit we became aware that there were no new cars coming. In fact my son noticed that there were now several sets of flashing lights right beside the very exit we needed. My husband could not believe his eyes. After so carefully maneuvering us so close to freedom there was now a huge accident blocking our escape.  "I'm sorry" he said over and over as we reentered the traffic.  By now I was in a full blown attack. I could feel the nausea setting in and all the colour had drained from my face.  Every noise that my children made became a deafening assault on my ears and it was all I could do not to run.  As we moved back into line the aggressiveness of the crowd started to kick in. Everyone was jockeying for position and a truck that had seen us trying to get off by going backwards decided to make it his mission to mess with us. As the traffic finally made its way to the construction area and the road narrowed to one lane, the transport decided to cut us off. If my husband slowed down so did he. If we sped up he did too until the pylons were nearly brushing our car and my husband had no choice but to move in front of the truck. Just! Then the trucker hit his horn and made gestures that had my kids asking what raising your fingers up like that means. By the time we made it to town I could barely stand up. I was so depleted I did not know what to do with myself. Someone died on that highway last night. Right there, just a few feet from where our car was. If things had timed out differently it could have been us.  Any of you with Anxiety know how much this has had my wheels spinning all day and last night. The what ifs. I can't help but to think that the accident occurred because someone behind us decided that those few inches were more important than the risk they took.  I know I am guilty of getting ticked off when someone tries to maneuver around traffic or jump ahead but now I am hoping that I can remember to show some mercy and give them the benefit of thinking there may be a reason. Maybe there is someone who is sick or pregnant or some other pressing issue.  Maybe those few feet they are taking are for a reason.  My prayers are with you all and especially the family of whoever was killed on the 401 last night.

William Shakespeare 

William Shakespeare

“The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes
The thron├Ęd monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings,
But mercy is above this sceptered sway.
It is enthron├Ęd in the hearts of kings.
It is an attribute to God himself.
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, Though justice be thy plea, consider this-
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea,
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.”


― William ShakespeareThe Merchant of Venice