September 21-26, 1970
Each week seemed to be busier than the one before, and Thursday of this week would include the 3 hour drive to Chicago and back for Mary’s surprise baby shower. She was due in two weeks, and there was no way I was missing this fun evening. Besides, my knitted sweater and hat were ready, and I couldn’t wait to give them to her.
Nate didn’t think it was wise to drive a 300 mile round trip for a couple of hours at a party, but I just had to go. My had principal refused to give me a day off, either that day or the next, so I planned to teach and then leave straight from school.
But he knew how much I wanted to go, so the only solution was for him to go too – which he willingly offered. I tried to tell him I’d be fine, but with 4 driving accidents on my record, he didn’t like the odds.
Once I knew he’d be joining me, the plan became twice as fun. We agreed I would drive on the way while he studied; he would study during the event and then drive home.
The shower took place at a glamorous Chicago apartment in a glass-walled high-rise with a beautiful view of Lake Michigan. Mary was genuinely surprised when she walked in, and we loved showering her with gifts and good wishes.
The devotional, given by a friend named Judy, described mother- hood as a privilege and children as gifts. As I listened, I day-dreamed of becoming a mother… but knew it would have to wait for some distant day.
The dinner-shower went longer than we anticipated, and when Nate and I finally pulled into our Champaign neighborhood, it was nearly 3:00 AM. In my journal I wrote, Both of us were grogged.
Just a few hours after we’d fallen into bed, I was up and off to Danville for an all-day education workshop, hard to take on 3½ hours of sleep. I dozed through much of it and was bleary when I finally got back in the car to drive the 40 miles home.
As I drove up the ramp to get on I-74, a car behind me was tailgating so close I couldn’t believe it hadn’t bumped me. Noticing two young men who loomed large in my rear view mirror, I figured they must just be in a terrible hurry.
Once we blended into traffic, I expected them to go around me, but they didn’t. They stayed tight to my rear bumper no matter which lane I changed into or what speed I drove.
On top of that, my car began making a strange noise, seeming to resist my foot on the gas pedal, and I got scared. If I had to pull over, I knew those guys would pull over right behind me.
“He will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.” (Psalm 91:11)