It was twilight on a cold and rainy October day in 1968, and I was riding my bicycle home from work in Copenhagen, Denmark. My husband was in Canada on an assignment at that time, and I was alone with two children, a boy ten and a girl seven years old.
On my way home I had to cross a very busy four-lane road with a bicycle lane. For safety, I had made it a habit to get off my bike and walk it across the intersection. On this particular day I got halfway across the street and stopped in the middle to let the cars go by. A small car stopped in the lane to my right, and the driver signaled for me to cross. A big truck stopped in the lane beside the small car, and the truck driver also signaled to me, so I continued across the street. Just as I passed the truck I saw a Volkswagen coming toward me, illegally in the bicycle lane, at full speed. There was no time for me to escape, either backward or forward.
In that split second, countless thoughts of my children, my husband, my widowed mother, and my job flashed through my mind, and I prayed more fervently than ever before: “Please, dear Lord, whatever happens—spare my life.”
The car hit the bicycle, slamming the handlebars into the left side of my body. As I lay helpless in the road, I could barely breathe because of the pain, but I didn’t lose consciousness. When I turned my head, I saw the Volkswagen’s tire only an inch away. I looked at my bicycle, which had been thrown several feet by the collision. It now looked half its original size.
I was certain that I had experienced a miracle. The tire couldn’t have been any closer, yet it had not crushed my head. I felt that an invisible hand had stopped it right there. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I thanked Heavenly Father for saving my life.
I lay in the road waiting for the ambulance. What would the children think when I didn’t come for them? Would I be in time to call the day-care center from the emergency room before it closed? Who could I contact? I hardly knew my neighbors because of a busy schedule, and members of my ward were some distance away.
At the busy emergency room, the staff wouldn’t let me use the telephone before they had taken an X-ray. The nurses were too busy to make the call for me. It was four hours before the police officers came to make a written report of the accident.
For the five longest hours of my life I was kept in the hospital with a number of people helping me. Still, I felt that only Heavenly Father was able to give me the help I really needed. For the first time in my life I found myself unceasingly praying about my only concern—two small and lonely children.
“Please tell them I’m all right,” I prayed. “Let them have peace of mind so that they won’t panic, and give them patience. Please tell them what to do.” I felt the presence of the Holy Ghost, and an all-embracing peace filled my mind—the same feeling I prayed my children would receive.
Finally, the doctor told me that except for my painfully bruised ribs, I was as good as new, and he let me go. The two policemen offered me a ride home, and we arrived at my apartment building at 10:15 that night.
Two small, tired children walked hand in hand in the dark toward the police car. “Mom, where have you been? What happened to you? How come it’s so late? Why did the police drive you home?” they asked, as soon as we were safely in the apartment.
I explained, and asked, “How did you get home?”
My son said, “We couldn’t understand why you didn’t come to pick us up, but we thought you might be late from work, so we walked home. It started to get dark, but we couldn’t get in because we haven’t got a key.
“I didn’t know what to do, but all of a sudden I thought we should pray about it. So we knelt on the doormat while I said a prayer. We sat without talking for a little while after the prayer, as you taught us to do, and then a nice thing happened to me.
“I felt a big, warm hand touching the top of my head, and I heard a friendly voice saying, ‘Your mother is well, she has been taken care of. It will be a while before she comes home, and it will be all dark outside, but just stay calm. Take your little sister by the hand and stay near the apartment and play peacefully. If you do, the time will go by quickly until your mother is with you again.’
“When I looked up to see who was talking to me, I couldn’t see anybody, and no more was said. I felt calm.”
Over the years I have seen my son have occasional struggles as he has grown into adulthood. It’s sometimes easy during difficult times to doubt there is a living God.
Each time he was struggling, I would ask, “Do you remember what happened to you the night of my accident?”
His features would clear, and he would say, “Mother, it’s true, and I will never be able to deny it.”
I am grateful that my son is able to carry an experience like this with him. I have also learned how important it is for us to teach our children to pray and to remember the words in Psalms 94:9 [Ps. 94:9]: “He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see ?”