Karen McBride recalls the moment as if it were yesterday.
She was heading home from a computer class she was teaching in Tampa and had a million things on her mind. She was wondering how she could make the class better for her students. She was thinking about what she would make for dinner. And, McBride knew she’d have to make dinner fast because she needed to get her daughters to karate.
So, the Lutz woman wasn’t especially in the mood to wait for a long traffic light at the end of the Veterans Expressway, where it intersects with North Dale Mabry Highway.
“I was sitting at the red light,” McBride said. “I was getting impatient because it seemed like the light was never going to turn green.”
She couldn’t figure out what was taking so long.
“There was nobody coming,” she said. “As soon as the light turned green, I saw my grandmother sitting next to me. Right in the passenger seat. She said, ‘Wait. Just wait.’ And so, I waited. I did what my grandmother told me to do.”
Not a second later, a car speeded down Dale Mabry and roared through the intersection, running the red light.
“I had no idea how fast he was going,” she said.
McBride is sure she would have been in the path of the car, had she not followed her grandmother’s instruction. The thing is, her grandmother — Margaret Wilson of Cohoes, N.Y. — died in 1989, 13 years before this incident occurred.
Initially McBride didn’t tell anyone about her experience.
“Even now, I don’t know if people are going to believe me. Or, they’ll just think I’m crazy,” McBride said.
McBride, who is married and has three daughters, said she decided to share her story during a family reunion in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
“Somehow, somebody brought up the subject of guardian angels,” McBride said. “So, I told them my story.”
Since then, she has shared her story with her family and with friends in her Bible studies at Grace Family Church. And now it can be found under the heading of “Listening to our Angels” in the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven.”
McBride, who said she was honored to have the story published, said it gives her comfort to know that others can watch out for us even after their death — and she hopes that her experience can help others feel that same sense of comfort, too.