Just Another Christmas Morning… Quite Positively Ordinary, Actually

I often wonder why I look at the world the way that I do. I’m a fairly positive that I’m a half glass full type guy. My future’s bright, and I gotta wear shades. It’s just that my shades are consistently rosey-coloured glasses. To some, it’s a character flaw. To others, that flaw lifts them up. That’s a good thing, since I’m not very strong and heavy lifting has never been a part of my game. Christmas 2008 was a little different from the Christmases of past years, and of the years since. 12/22 is a day I now celebrate with a fervor that carries me to enjoy each and every day since. It’s true when they say your life flashes before your eyes the moment you unexpectedly die. A slight twist in my case, the second before I was hit by the car, I spent a lifetime in my mind’s eye visiting every single person I had ever loved or had ever loved me. It was quite magnificent. 12/22/08 at 7:30 AM was the moment everything changed.

12/25/08, 4:50 PM… the following is from a journal entry earlier this week, much of which went into a thank you email for the good wishes i received when i was in the hospital…

Thanks again for your notes and voicemails today; and George for taking my broke ass home. I really needed it, especially those moments when I was left to my own thoughts, scared. ‘Tis another reminder to how lucky I am and how much with which I am blessed. I was once again reminded, given the chance, the most random of people can be the kindest, whether it was the driver who hit me, the man and woman in the street who tended to me, the firemen who put me onto the stretcher, the paramedics who took me to the hospital, and most importantly you – my family & friends – who reached out to me, are all a reminder to me to why this world is a beautiful place to be…

I was laid out in the middle of Damen Ave for a little over thirty minutes with rush hour traffic going this way and that. My head was swimming but I remember forcing myself into an internal checklist. Toes – still there. Legs – can’t feel it. Back – check. Neck – check. Head – still good looking (yes, delirious but still full of myself; I actually remember thinking this). Wait – legs? Moments earlier, I crossed Damen Ave in front of the bus stop making a bee-line for the entrance to the Damen el stop. After I passed the first two cars in the two lanes heading northbound, in a split second, my legs were smashed into, I fell onto the hood of a car, and as she slammed her brakes, I fell forward seven/eight feet onto the middle of the street. For a split second, I was out cold. She immediately came crying over; I only remember her hysterics as she was wondering if I was alive and ok. Another man hurried over with a gentle voice and brought me back to planet Earth. He asked me if I could feel anything. I was ok I thought except my left leg was burning. After a few minutes, I felt that I was regaining lucidity especially when another woman came over to ask if I was ok. I channeled my inner Ron Burgundy and exclaimed, “well, hello there!” and beamed a big white smile. (I like to think I won’t miss an opportunity when given one – no matter the situation. And I like to think she smiled back.) She was making sure the oncoming traffic knew of my existence cos I was dangerously close to them. Someone called 911 when a fire truck soon blocked the street heading southbound; four fireman surrounded me, one of them telling me to get off the cell phone as I was trying to call George and Raym. They put me onto a stretcher. One of the them complained of the bitter cold, at which point I had to mention how amazing my Mountain Hardwear Sub-zero SL Parka was – the best purchase I’d made in a long time. Between that and my man UGGs I was actually pretty toasty, in a way comfortable except for the searing pain in my left leg of course. Soon, an ambulance came onto the scene; Louis & Georgie took me to St. Mary’s on Division. It was a few hours before the doctor would tell me that I just had a severe bruise that I should wear a brace & crutches for two or three weeks. How did I walk away from this?

Today was a good day, a day God was definitely smiling upon me. With the speed of the car and the force of the impact, I was lucky that my head, neck and back were ok. I was luckier still that, in the end, my legs were not broken. And even luckier to be surrounded by people that care.


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