the day before Christmas Eve

Yesterday was a cold reminder of how fragile life really is…

We (Annette and I) were heading back to Cape Coral from Titusville on the Beeline (Florida 528) when she alertly spotted an accident off of the highway right in front of us.  Several cars immediately pulled off to the shoulder to render assistance but Annette insisted we pull over, too.  Which I did, reluctantly.  So many times you just want to move on and assume that the “others” that are there will handle the situation better or faster than you could.  Not the case this time.

A single car accident, a young man in his early 20’s… nobody knew why his late model Honda veered off of the busy highway, sideswiped a information pole’s foundation and flipped over on it’s top.  But when I had initially pulled over we were adjacent to an oncoming ramp so as Annette jumped out of the car to run back, I sat wondering how safe it was to leave the car where it was.  Eyeing the approaching traffic through my rear view mirror (it was 5pm on a Saturday, everybody rushing home or out to do last minute Christmas shopping) and with the nose of my car right at the point of the ramp meeting the highway I decided to relocate off to the shoulder.  Ofcourse, traffic started to slow and bottle neck, people either trying to avoid the scene and change lanes or just try to figure out what had happened.  Minutes passed and I sat wondering what to do next.  I hate standing around gawking with my hands at my sides, but at the same time I knew Annette (who is a nurse) would be trying her best to render aid and may need my help.  So I turned on my emergency flashers and went back to the side of the highway where the accident had occurred.  By then several people were there, one young woman was on a cell phone talking to the 911 operator while Annette was in the middle of giving CPR.  She was declaring the visual vital stats of the victim while another man was trying to breathe air into his lungs.  Moments later I could hear sirens in the distance and relief flooded my body,  our public servants to the rescue.  

Soon the firemen took over, Annette moved back and brushed the mud from her knees.  It had been an off and on drizzlin’ rainy afternoon, which may had helped in causing the car to crash.  I never looked directly at the young man’s face, he was partially blocked by the man helping Annette give CPR.  I didn’t want to hover about like so many other watchers so when the police told us to stand back I did so without hesitation.  But I could see he was in bad shape and then I began to feel badly for him, his family and the others who might have loved him.  He was laying on that cold, wet ground alone while a group of strangers were trying to save his life.  

We left as the scene grew more stable, Annette was matter of fact about the whole thing and I marvelled at her calm through the ordeal.  She is usually fairly high strung and reactionary over the slightest irritation or frustration but yesterday I saw her in an entirely new light.  Composed, self-assured and in control, traits uncharacteristic of her in other stress related events we have encountered recently.  I was proud of her, and though the term seems over used since 9/11 she was  definitely a hero by anyone’s standards.

I don’t know if the young man survived, we were into less than 30 minutes of a 3 1/2 hour drive returning home.  On lookers and local news will have to tell the story’s finale.  Now looking back it almost seemed surreal as we settle into normalcy awaiting the Big C.  But we talked about it as we drove home, who knew that young man Annette briefly shook hands with?  who loved him, who even knew where he was at the time of his accident?  Did he leave somewhere after an argument with his girlfriend?  Did he tell someone he loved them that day?  Will he ever have that chance again?

I say “life is too short” a lot though it sounds cliche’.  Yesterday I realized it again.  So if you love someone, tell them and give them a hug.  If you are angry at someone, forgive them and move on.  If you doubt the reason why you exist, look around you.  Even in the face of despair there is hope in the promise of another day of life.  

For all it’s commercialism, pagan rituals, and gluttony Christmas really is a time to reflect on what God has given us if for no other reason than that…   taking the time to be thankful and acknowledging what we have been blessed with.  We all need reminders, I get it now… I hope you do, too.

peace.   

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13 Responses to “the day before Christmas Eve”

  1. charinef Says:

    Hi, thanks for the random comment in my blog. Merry christmas to you. 🙂

    I seriously need to spend time to read your blog. You write good shite. Kidding haha..

    Will come back here soon.

    Meanwhile, take care.

  2. Shells Says:

    Thanks for visiting my site!

  3. trav15 Says:

    thank you for visiting my blog as well. very nice and touching post for christmas eve. i’ll be sure to add you to my blogroll and keep checking back every Sunday.

  4. Rosemary Says:

    That is beautiful. I’m sure God heard your prayers for this gentleman.

    It is amazing how, when faced with the adversity we are trained for, we can approach it as if this is what we were meant to do. Annette is a blessing to our world.

    I pray your Christmas was merry! (From Loving God Holy.) 😉

  5. Peachy Says:

    This is amazing writing.
    I hope you keep at it.
    have a wonderful new year.

  6. celestialhunter Says:

    Thanks for the visit and the comment! I hope the new year brings you peace and joy as well. God Bless.

  7. oregoncelticlady Says:

    Just stopped by from your random at Blither’s blog and love this post! It is amazing getting a chance to watch our loved ounes in “work mode” doing what they do best. Blessings to the young man and his family. Have a wonderful new year!

  8. lissaaileen Says:

    Thanks for the random hit. Hope the New Year brings you peace as well!

    Take care,
    Melissa

  9. perspicacite Says:

    Have a blessed 2007.

  10. freevolition Says:

    Howdy Chris, and happy new year to you and Annette! (should the ‘N’ and ‘Y’ be capitalized in New Year? Does anyone really care one way or the other? 🙂

    So, you just happened to randomly visit the blog of a dear friend of mine (reformattingmybrain) and thusly I was able to follow your tracks back to your blog. Glad I did, too, for I was very impressed with your “Day before Christmas Eve” blog. Kudos to you, Annette! Way to let your training kick in during a time of crisis.

    If you don’t mind my stealing a bit of your thunder I thought I’d share a little Christmas story with you as well. And if you DO mind please feel free to just delete it. After all, it is YOUR blog. (By the way, you won’t find any blogs on my blog site, so no need to follow my tracks back there.) 😉

    Another one of those “coincidence” stories that took place on Christmas day in the year of our Lord, 2001:

    My son had to work Christmas Eve and was unable to come see us for the holidays. So hubby and I spent Christmas Eve with our daughter and her family and then left early Christmas morning to go spend it with our son and his family. It’s about a 5-hour drive from our home to his.

    There are several different routes we could have taken, but for some reason my husband turned off the interstate at Miles City and took the Tongue River road cut-across. This road has about 30-40 miles of gravel road that one has to travel over, and it was in terrible condition. It was just like driving over a washboard! I was a little miffed with him, but didn’t say anything other than, “How much further on this gravel do we have left to go?” and kept looking out my side window. He knew I was not happy with his decision to go that route.

    We finally reached a paved road again just before arriving in Ashland and I loosened up a little. We turned back onto Hwy 212 (2-lane highway) and started traveling out of Ashland, heading up the narrow pass. There is a small Indian community there called Rabbit Town where quite a few Northern Cheyenne people live. It was a beautiful sunny day… fairly cold, though. Up in the distance we could see something in the opposite side of the road. We both spotted it at about the same time. At first I thought it was a dog, but as we got closer we could see it was a small Indian girl about 3 years old. She was standing just left of the center-line in a blind curve coming off the pass. My husband pulled onto the shoulder and got out of the vehicle. He held out his hands to her and said, “Come here, honey.” She raised her little arms and let him pick her up and he carried her safely off to the side of the road. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when she was out of immediate danger. A semi-tractor coming off that pass would NOT have been able to see her in time to stop! I asked her where her mommy was but she was too little to effectively communicate with us. She was frightened to get in the vehicle with us so hubby drove and I walked, carrying her, heading toward Rabbit Town to see if we could locate her mother. She was a little tearful so I chatted with her about Christmas and toys and such trying to put her at ease and she started to calm down. Just about the time I reached the houses I could see a woman rushing frantically through the streets. It was the little girl’s mother. She explained that she had been taking a shower and when she got out discovered her little girl missing. I returned the child to her mother and wished them a merry Christmas.

    Hubby and I continued on our trip. I looked at him and said, “Honey, I’m glad you decided to come this way today.” He explained that he had felt compelled to take that route. He had even considered turning around and going back the other direction when he saw how bad the road was but decided not to. Coincidence? Hmmm… Perhaps… but I think not. Nor do I believe it was a coincidence that someone with the proper medical training happened along just at the time that young man really needed one.

    “Let him who desires peace prepare for war.” – Flavius Vegetius Renatus

  11. Ashley Says:

    Nicely articulated, and you said some good things. I believe I’ll be reading what you have to say from this point forward! Happy new year to you, too!

  12. Florian Says:

    Hi,
    I found your blog via google by accident and have to admit that youve a really interesting blog 🙂
    Just saved your feed in my reader, have a nice day 🙂

  13. eve fan Says:

    eve playlist http://www.seeqpod.com/music/?plid=74b62baa5d

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