Monday, June 25, 2012

A Life Lesson

Eighteen months ago while rushing around doing a few last minute errands before we climbed in the truck to head to Tucson I injured my ankle pretty badly.  When I walked out of a drugstore heading towards my car I saw the backside of a woman leaning way into her car and a very young little boy standing towards the front of the car.  As I got closer the little boy darted off between our cars.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw a car moving a little too quickly for a parking lot.  In a matter of seconds my brain put the scene together in a very scary way.  That little boy was about to run between the cars out in to the parking lot and the moving car was going to hit him!!

My instincts kicked in and I bolted forward.  As my sandal hit the edge of the curb and twisted I was also able to just reach the back of the little boys’ hoodie and I pulled him down to the ground with me.  Instantly I felt intense searing pain shooting up my leg and nausea overcame me.  The first sign that something was very wrong. 
I managed to drag myself up off the ground using one of the tires on my car.  The little boy was crying and what appeared to be his grandmother came running around from the other side of her car in shock.  My pain level and the adrenaline surging through my body turned me into a harpy and I immediately began yelling at her.  I don’t recall my exact words, but I know I cussed and I know I told her how stupid it was for her to take her eyes off such a young child in a parking lot. 
The little boy continued to cry, I imagine being pulled backwards on to his bottom like that scared him pretty badly.  The grandmother was at a loss for words.  I am sure having me scream at her like that was a bit disconcerting.  I used the remainder of that adrenaline to get myself into my car and drive home.
The truck was packed (we were actually about 4 hours late leaving) and my mind was racing.  We don’t have time to go to the ER.  It is probably just a sprain.  Why won’t the nausea stop?  I had to honk the horn and yell for Shawn from the driveway.  I still had not “looked” at my ankle.  I was too afraid what I was going to see but when Shawn looked down the expression on his face was all I needed to know I had injured it badly.  It was already discoloring a lot and swelling quickly.

Somehow I managed to get into the house and Shawn packed it in ice, elevated it and got me some pain killers and anti-inflammatory.  Now the discussion of my staying home started.  I panicked!  How could I do that?  It would then be only Shawn and Nikki to do that entire show.  I couldn’t do that to them.  So, I went into that place in my head, close to the place you go during childbirth where you don’t allow yourself to feel the full extent of your pain, you just cope.  Shawn argued with me for two hours but I finally got my way and he set up some blankets and pillows in the center of the cab to elevate my leg, stopped back by the drugstore to get some instant ice packs and we were on our way to Tucson.
We ended up needing to rent one of those electronic scooters for me to get around.  Both Nikki and Shawn were awesome helping me out and I did my best to help them with the show.  I think it ended up working out ok for us all.  However, my ankle continued to swell, discolor and the pain increased daily.  I knew at that point that I had probably done something pretty bad to it.

Fast forward almost a year.  After several doctor visits and x-rays a specialist said I had probably torn ligaments and tendons.  It would have been better if I would have broken it instead.  But at this late date surgery might not prove as helpful as if I would have done it right after the injury.  =o/
Not the first or the last bad decisions I’ll make, I am sure. 
My ankle (we actually refer to it as my cankle because it is closer in size to my calf) has continued to be much larger than normal, the swelling has never totally subsided and the doctors don’t think it ever fully will.  After a trip grocery shopping it will throb and get even larger.  The slightest bit of exertion will cause it to be very painful.  Something I now need to learn to live with.  It was my own poor decisions that got me here, right?

Fast forward again to yesterday.  While out running some errands I spotted a little boy who looked very familiar to me outside of the pet store.  I had no clue where I could know him from and I didn’t want to scare him or his parents so I just let it go.  I stopped by a few more stores and then ended up at the drugstore for a final purchase before heading home.
As I walked out of the store that same little boy and what appeared to be his grandmother were walking towards the store.  She stopped me and said, “It’s you!”  I was caught off guard.  Was she angry?  Do I know her?  What did I do now?  She grabbed the little boys hand and said, “Justin, this is the woman that Grandma has told you about.  This is the lady that saved you from being hit by that car”. 

Wow!  I just stood there staring.  How bizarre that we would run into each other here at the same drugstore.  And this was the little boy I saw outside the pet store earlier today! 
His Grandmother told him to thank me.  He got shy and hid a bit behind her hip.  I said, “Its ok he doesn’t need to say anything, I don’t want to scare him”.  Then he let go of her hand, walked over to me and took my hand and said, “Thank you.  My Grandma tells me all the time what happened.  You could have saved my life.”  Instantly I started to cry.  How sweet was this little boy?  How kind and polite and touching.

Then he asked if I would give my phone number to his Grandma in case he ever wanted to see me again.  Of course I would. 
I also apologized to his Grandmother for my behavior.  She told me to not give it another thought.  She enquired about how badly I was hurt.  I told her it was nothing, just a sprain.  I am more concerned about the little boy.  He is fine.  He starts kindergarten this fall, they are all very excited.

We said our goodbyes.  I climbed into my car and had another good cry.  What an amazing experience. 
My ankle will always give me problems and be painful.  And I would gladly do it again and again.

I think we all learned some awesome things from that incident.  The Grandmother said she never again put things into the car before she had him settled in the car first.  I am sure he never again darted out between cars.  And for me…I have learned just how awesome people can really be.  He is a beautiful little boy in every way and I hope he grows up to be the same kind and polite young man.  I am pretty sure he will.


Cynthia Newcomer Daniel said...

You are such a beautiful person!

Sig Wynne-Evans said...

What a great story. I was blubbering like I was watching a Hallmark movie. You are a wonderful person. I bet that boy will never forget you. I just wonder about the fool driving the car too fast. If they even had a CLUE

Sig Wynne-Evans said...

What a great story. I was blubbering like a fool watching a Hallmark movie. You are one he'll of a person. I wonder though about the person driving that car in the parking lot. Do they even have a CLUE?

Carol Dean Sharpe said...

Is it any wonder that I fell in love with you the minute I was in your actual presence? *hugs* There is so much to be learned from you. You saved that little boy and I'm sure that (some, though sadly not many) would have done the same had they had the kind of awareness of their surroundings you had. What makes you extra-ordinary - and warms my heart and soul - is how you have interpreted the consequences of those actions. 99.9% would focus on the cost of their actions - possible lifelong pain - rather than the reward - a boy starting kindergarten and the rest of his life. AND you didn't let the boy and his grandmother know the price you paid for your good deed; you didn't put that on his conscience. Brava!!!!!

Thank you so much for sharing this story, for sharing yourself. *hugs*

Cindy Holsclaw said...

What a wonderful story!

Diane Whiting said...

WOW! I'm all teary too, along with everyone else.
Now that the little boy has your phone number, I have visions of him staying in touch with you, and the two of you being dear friends for the rest of your lives! Thanks to you, this young man will grow up, and I think you will be watching him!

flyingbeader said...

Oh Beki you got me all tear eyed reading this post. I know how much you have suffered since you first hurt your foot. I had no idea it was to help save that little boy's life. We do things on the spur of the moment not thinking about ourselves or the impact it makes. WE ONLY see that we have to do something anything. And now you will have this little boy thinking of you all the time and how you were his guardian angel. Hugs to you my friend...hugs to you.

Gail Crosman Moore said...

Such an incredible story, then and now, Beki, you ROCK. I am sad that it still and forever will be problematic but I love that you got to see them again~Touching doesn't touch it! xo

Eva Maria Keiser said...

Beautiful story, beautiful you :)

Sharon Wagner said...

Wow! Life is truly amazing when we pause to realize it! Yes, tears here too, so touching.
Hugs and thank you for sharing. You are beautiful all the way through!

Sharon Wagner said...

Wow! Life is truly amazing when we pause to realize it! So touching and yes tears from me too! You are beautiful all the way through! Thank you for sharing!

wwilloww said...

WOW!!! What a truly selfless act!!! So sorry you will have a physical reminder of it for always. I am so impressed with how you told the story. That's some great writing Beki!!! Thanks for sharing so much of you with us!

kmemho said...

Thank you for sharing this. I think it's wonderful that you saw the little boy again. And it was so sweet of him to say Thank you in that way. I hope your injury gets better. BTW, I stopped into your store at that Tucson show (my first) and I was very impressed with your "booth" (more like a mini warehouse). I was in seed bead heaven!

Dee Alcalde said...

I totally just got teary-eyed reading this amazing story. We all can benefit from your selfless act and your humble response when you met the grandmother and boy later, even though you still suffer an injury.