Friday, January 6, 2012

The First Accident

This broken ankle is not the first injury accident I have experienced.  The first accident happened when I was 18 years old.  I had met Jesus only a few months previously.  

The night of the accident I had been to an evening service at my church where the minister's sermon was titled "The Problem of Pain".  It was my introduction to The Book of Job and to the idea that God doesn't always stop pain and suffering in our lives, some possible reasons why not, and some ideas on how to cope when pain and suffering occurs in life.  The minister was Dr. Harold Mitton, and he was a most kind hearted and sincere minister.  His sermon that night gripped my heart and I wondered if I would ever have reason to utilize his ideas.  2 hours later as I was getting off a transit bus and crossing the street to my house I was hit by a car.  

It was the last bus of the night and so was nearly empty.  I had been talking to the bus driver, Chester, an ex-pat American who had recently completed a long term in the war in Vietnam.  He had seen his share of violence and was grateful to be alive.  The bus stop near my house was located too close to the crossing, and there were no traffic lights at this particular crossing.  Apparently a car travelling behind the bus had to stop when I got off, but didn't realize that the bus was still stopped in order for me to cross the street in front of it.  The car driver pulled out from behind the bus and proceeded through the crossing as I was attempting to go across.  I heard a terribly loud horn from the bus as Chester saw in his side mirror what was about to happen, but it was too late.  I turned toward the car, saw the lights and thought, "I'm about to be hit!"  The driver tried to stop but couldn't.  His car hit me on the left side, then tossed me over 20 feet into the air.  I remember seeing the tall street light going past me as I went up into the air and then seeing it below me as I continued to go upward.  According to Chester I was coming straight down upside down and he was sure I would land on my head on the road and be killed instantly.  All I had time to think of was "Okay Jesus, guess I'm coming to see you now."  There was no pain, no fear, no panic, just quiet resignation in that few moments. However, Chester said that he could hardly believe his eyes when I suddenly flipped sideways just before I landed on the hood of the car that had hit me.  It had rolled forward just enough to break my fall, again hitting on the left side of my body.  As I rolled off onto the ground, pulling all the grillwork off the car and kicking out a headlamp, I also landed on that left side.  I knew right away something was broken on that side.  

As soon as I landed bedlam ensued.  The car driver jumped out of the car, screaming at me for wrecking his new car, ran over to me and was about to kick me.  Chester had jumped off the bus, so he grabbed the man and punched him in the face.  It was CrazyTown!  2 students from my former highschool were also on the bus and came to take care of me until the police and ambulance could arrive.  When the police came they decided nothing was broken and since it was a very cold night they tried to move me into the back of their squad car to await the ambulance.  I screamed with the pain and they put me back down on the road.  

So, to shorten this account, here are the things that stood out to me:  Chester's presence to protect me from a very upset man who was going into shock; the fact that the police moved me sufficiently, despite every one of them knowing better than to move an accident victim, to break my cracked hip bone off completely below the ball joint which prevented the break from heading vertically down to my knee.  Their incorrect response saved me from 6 months of traction in hospital and I was released 11 days after the accident and allowed me to have physiotherapy that had me walking with a cane 3 months later. One of the former classmates on the bus, a popular football player type who had never talked to me before, went to court for me.  The accident bounced me from the courses I had just started taking at SAIT....great courses, but that I hated and had been wondering how to get out of without upsetting my parents and their chosen path for me.  I entrenched myself in my husband to be's heart because of the cheeriness I was blessed with to deal with the situation.  So many wonderful things came from that accident.  I never felt alone.  I had my notes with me that I had taken from Dr. Mitton's sermon that helped me so much.  I made friends with people I am friends with to this day.   There were not that many tears or frustrations, I was able to change my life plans, and it all worked out so well.  I never felt alone.  The accident cemented my relationship with Jesus in a very personal way because I knew that I knew that I knew he was with me.  I had lots of time for Bible reading.  The personal nature of being a disciple of Christ hit me forcefully.  The accident was instrumental in forming my world view and creating good plans for the rest of my life. I am grateful...grateful for caring people and grateful for God's presence.     

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