A Second Chance

by Judy on September 24, 2013

We clambered up to the top of the cliff and looked back down at the wreck. It was about a 150-foot drop and we had survived.

Steep cliffs near Ashcroft, BC

Steep cliffs near Ashcroft, BC

It was one of those picture perfect days, ideal for enjoying the majestic mountain scenery. My husband, Tink Robinson, and I along with our 3-year old son, Dan, and our miniature apricot poodle, Amber, were driving back home to Vancouver. We had been performing all summer long at the Theater Royal in Barkerville, BC.

Barkerville in 1971

Barkerville, BC in the 1970’s

The historic town which was the heart of the gold rush in the 1860’s is situated in the interior of BC, 80 km east of Quesnel on the way to the Bowron Lakes. Now it is a tourist destination. Two couples, dear friends of ours from the coast, had come to see the last show. The following morning, Tink and I left Barkerville first and the others followed soon afterward.

We had just passed the town of Ashcroft

We had just passed Ashcroft

Our Volvo was a sturdy well-built car with a steel frame and pulled the U-haul with ease. Even in those days before it was mandatory, we always secured our seat belts. I had Dan on my lap and Amber on the floor by my feet. After passing a sign announcing the village of Ashcroft, the highway climbed again opening a new vista of distant mountains and valleys. It was time for Dan to have a nap so I undid my seat belt and put Dan in the back. Not even 3 seconds after that, my intuitive husband suddenly blurted out,

“Do you have your seat belt fastened?”
“Fasten it!”

This was before children’s car seats and I had no time to put a seat belt around Dan. We were following a motor home and Tink pulled out to start to pass. Suddenly, without warning or a turn signal, the motor home, which was in the right lane, started pulling  over to a lookout on the left side of the bank. Tink slammed on the brakes and honked the horn, but it was too late. The motorhome kept crowding us until our car wheels went over the edge. I screamed – then over and over we rolled down a steep embankment, landing right side up at the bottom. All the windows were blown out. As we were climbing out of the car, someone called from the top, “We have your son and he’s OK. Tears of gratitude are welling up within me as I write this. As we scrambled up the steep cliff, I didn’t even notice that my shoes were missing. A man and his wife from the North West Territories had picked Dan up from near the top of the cliff and had him lying on some blankets in the back of their van. Dan had been thrown out the back window on the first bounce. Bless his heart – his lip was cut from the glass and the top of his head was shaved bald but there were no punctures in his scalp. Our precious crying child was alive. Tink walked over to motor home. All the passengers including the man who was driving had been drinking. Tink said to the driver,

“The next time you pull over to a lookout, turn on your signal.”
The man slurred his words, “I did.”
A voice from behind said, “No you didn’t, you’re under arrest for reckless driving.”

Rolling bench land countryside

Rolling bench land countryside

This was an off-duty RCMP officer. He had been traveling behind us and witnessed the whole scene. So Tink, Dan and I were saved, but what about our darling little Amber? She didn’t answer our calls. Tink went down to the wreck again, pulled my jacket out of the car and left it on the grass. We were hoping that Amber would find it and stay there until we could come back. Then we hustled into the van to be driven to the hospital in Ashcroft.

No sooner had we gotten Dan into emergency, than our friends showed up. I fell into their arms and sobbed. They told us they had stopped for gas in Cache Creek. Lawrence (who had been the best man at our wedding) was in the washroom when a man said to him, “Did you hear about the accident up the road? A Volvo pulling a U-haul went over a cliff and a kid was thrown out the back.” The doctor stitched up Dan’s lip, but wouldn’t let us stay overnight in the hospital. So our friends left us one of their cars and drove back to the coast while Tink and I booked a motel. When you finally lie down, is when you replay rolling over and over the cliff a hundred times in your mind and ask, “What if?” It was a fitful sleep for both of us. And then there was our dear little Amber. Tink promised me that he would find her.

Amber spent the night alone

Amber spent the night alone

The next morning Tink drove me to the hospital and then went back to the accident site to search for our poodle. This is what he told me later. Amber was not by my jacket so Tink went down by the railway tracks, closed his eyes and asked to be led which direction to take. He intuited to turn left and he started walking. That country is vast and rugged, filled with rattle snakes, black widows, coyotes, bears, eagles and red tailed hawks. What Tink most remembered however, was the strong scent of sagebrush.

Tink hadn’t walked very far when he spotted Amber, crouching a long way down by the tracks. He called. She would come a little way, then cower, then a bit more, then stop. Finally when they were close enough to each other, Tink swept her up in his arms and carried her up the embankment. Overwhelming mixed emotions of  relief, joy, love and concern flooded through me when I once again held our shivering little Amber. We clung on to each other for a very long time. In spite of spending an entire night, frightened and alone in that dark unknown territory, Amber did not have a scratch on her. Tink had a cut on his hand from the broken glass in the car window, I had thorns in my feet and Dan had a torn lip. That was all. Back at home, a plastic surgeon had to redo Dan’s lip to remover the glass underneath the original stitches.

The scent of sage brush was strong near the accident site Photo by Noel Froste

The scent of sage brush was strong near the accident site
Photo by Noel Froste

We learned later that Tink’s brother (who would scoff at anything he named woo-woo or psychic), at the exact moment we were heading over the cliff near Ashcroft, had walked into his mother’s apartment in Vancouver and said, “Tink and Judy have been in an accident.” He was the one who drove up the valley the very next day to transfer all our belongings to his trailer and transport them back to the coast.

Dan's hair had grown back, but his lip took awhile to heal

Dan’s lip took awhile to heal

When we were finally in Vancouver, we sat in a counseling session with our beloved Spirit guides. This is what they said to us.

Dear Ones, we are very proud of how you have both handled this. Since Dan didn’t have a seat belt, we had to pull him out the back window immediately.”

I thanked them for also looking after Amber.

And they replied, “Well she is very much a part of your family too.”

The guidance continued, “Yes, we could have gathered you all up and brought you over to Spirit, but it was not your time. You have much to do dear ones – much to do. We love you.”

I remember in exact detail what I was thinking just minutes before the crash. I was talking in my mind to Tink’s mom. I knew that as soon as we returned home, she would cut Dan’s hair very short (she was a former hairdresser) and I preferred it a bit longer to show off his curls (she said – I said – she said – and repeat …). Then in an instant, we were banging and rolling straight down the mountainside. His mom was such a sweetheart, and my thoughts had been so petty. In the grand scheme of things, what did it matter? I learned many lessons that day – especially to treasure my life, for it is a precious gift. It is to be lived and experienced with gratitude, for we really don’t know what is awaiting us.

My beloved Tink, Amber and Dan after 6 months after the accident

My beloved Tink, Amber and Dan about 6 months after the accident

When we asked our guides, “What are we supposed to do with our lives?” this was the reply.

Your purpose dear ones, is to Live and Be in each moment. If you see a beautiful rose and you stop to breathe in its fragrance, then that is your purpose. If a child stretches his hand out to you and you take it, communing with that little one, then in that breath, that is your purpose. If you are inspired to create something, then that becomes your purpose. You will be led step by step in ways that you little dream of today. Keep your awareness in the Presence and Trust. There is no time other than Now. Be at peace dear ones, for All is Well.”

And So It Is.




I would love you to look at some of my other blogs to read the stories behind my songs. There are also more stories on my Spirit to Story to Song Website Home

While you are there, enjoy my Gift to you – a Free Download of my song, “Give Yourself Love“.

To Listen to Song Clips or Download Songs from my CD’s, click on links below

2d5030_97d140ead66403e04e433f44bec0e4a3.png_srz_615_445_75_22_0.50_1.20_0[1]Inside of Me

Let Your Heart Sing

Flying Free

Time to Shine

Kids (for all ages) by Tink and Judy

Sing All the Way Home (Vol. 1)


© Judy Armstrong 2013




{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer September 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm

A heart-expanding, faith enriching story my beautiful friend. What a frightening and yet ultimately liberating experience. Thank you Judy for sharing the aches and inspirations of your soul. The world is so very blessed that it wasn’t your time… Much more to be done, much awe to be experienced and expressed in this moment and beyond. j


Judy September 25, 2013 at 4:29 am

Dearest Jenni,
Yes, this was a frightening experience, but it blessed me with precious gifts. I will never again take anything for granted. We are kindred sisters, you and I. There are so many of us shining our light all around the world. Much love always, Judy


Jerry Boyd September 24, 2013 at 6:01 pm

I’m so grateful you lived to tell this powerful story. Communication with our Guides, Guardians and Angels is such a uniquely wonderful aspect of Living. I can almost feel sorry for those who scoff. But they will find out, eventually.


Judy September 25, 2013 at 4:26 am

Dear Jerry, thank you for reading this story. I am so happy that we connected once again on Facebook. We have shared some profound experiences. Yes, our Guides are always with us. Sending love


Linda Maki September 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Oh, Judy …what an amazing story with a beautiful message. Thank you very much for sharing your experience. It has changed the way I am looking at my life today.
Much love,


Judy September 25, 2013 at 4:25 am

Hi Linda,
I needed to share this story. It has also reminded me again to live and treasure each moment. Life is a gift.
Much love to you too,


Carol September 24, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I had forgotten about this. It brought tears to both of our eyes.


Judy September 25, 2013 at 4:23 am

It brought tears to my eyes too Carol when I was writing it. Amber adored you. I will always remember you coming with me when it was Amber’s time to go Home. Love you xox


Eliza Withworth September 25, 2013 at 4:09 am

What a wonderful ending,


Carolyn Cooledge September 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm

This was a beautiful & moving story. I’m glad you, Tink, Dan & Amber were saved. Love you.


Judy September 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Hi Carolyn, I don’t know if you knew that story. I still fills me with gratitude. Love you too xox


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