I took a quick trip to Roswell on Sunday to get groceries for me and the dogs at Sam’s Club.
On the way back as I entered Hondo Valley, I glimpsed flashing red lights. Initially, I thought it was a traffic stop. The closer I got, the more evident it became that this was much more serious.
It’s funny how different things cross your mind in a matter of seconds. My mom and I used to make frequent trips to Albuquerque from Roswell, where she lived for thirty years, or from Capitan, where she spent the last years of her life. We always made an adventure out of it. We took all five dogs. My mom always packed snacks and coffee and no matter what time we set for leaving, she was ready an hour ahead of time.
We had a great routine . . . first stop was at the Moriarty park for a dog potty break. Once we got to Albuquerque, we would head to the doctor’s appointment (if she had one), go to Keller’s meat market . . . she loved to shop there . . . the dogs always had sauteed beef, lamb or chicken with their kibble. After a quick trip to Alpine Kitchen for some good German sausage and deli meat, we’d head back. More exercise and potty breaks for the dogs in Moriarty, and we’d start the last leg of our trip at sunset.
The dogs were usually sound asleep and both of us were pretty tired by then. My mom would make sure I stayed alert and awake by periodically asking me, “Are you awake?” or “Are you alright?” I’d laugh and answer, “yes,” and we’d find some story to share or laugh about.
By the time we pulled into our drive, it was dark and my mom would always say, “Thank you, God, for bringing us home safely.”
Sometimes, you remember things that you thought you overlooked and the images are as clear as if it were yesterday. As I take these trips, I sometimes think I catch a glimpse of her in the passenger’s seat and hear her asking me, “Are you alright?”
I hope that no one was seriously injured in this accident. That day, I remembered to share my mom’s prayer when I got home.
“I’m fine, Mom.”