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“Why don’t we take this exit and stop at the store on the way home? “ I ask my husband. He puts his blinker on and veers to the right. As we proceed down the exit, I notice a car with its four-way blinkers on…oh no, an accident—not what I had in mind. As I scan the road with my eyes, horror grips me deep in my belly: there are two bodies laying right there. No movement.

Without a word, my husband grabs his phone and jumps out of the car. He runs towards the bodies while dialing. My heart is beating into my ears. Lord, what should I do? I wish I could disappear.

“First aid kit!” I hear someone yell.

“Anybody has a first aid kit?” I am so relieved to think I don’t… but then I remember that I actually do—Oh Father, help me; I am afraid of what I am going to see. I close my mind to my emotions and tell my body to run in the direction of the bodies with the first aid kit in hand. The man lay on his side, a gaping wound on his forehead. Lots of blood on the road. I can see him breathing. “Don’t touch him, don’t touch him,” I hear a man scream. OK, OK, I won’t touch him. People are running all over the road, loudly yelling this and that. I tune all the voices out and watch the man breathe, his eyes closed, and his body immobile. He lost both shoes, but only one of his socks. The other one is grey, and on his left foot. Is he cold? We gave my emergency blanket to the other victim.

The puddle of blood is coagulated on the road by now, and all of a sudden, I wonder if he is conscious. Is he scared? Is he in pain? What’s his name? Michael? Jerome? Stephen? I bet he isn’t thirty years old. Is he dying? Why was he riding a bike without a helmet? Can he hear us?

All fear is gone out of me. I lower my head toward him and tell him, “We called 911. Help is on the way. Just keep breathing, Buddy. You are doing well.” And I pray aloud for him. “Keep breathing, help is on the way. It won’t be long.” His breathing is changing, becoming hoarser. Oh, Lord, have mercy on him…

The ambulance takes him away and all my emotions rush back into my heart.

I take a deep breath and thank the Lord for Life, so strong and yet so fragile. So precious and wonderful.

The young man was pronounced dead not even an hour later. His name was Jason. And he was thirty years old.

 

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