So it’s my birthday in a few days time and instead of planning birthday celebrations, I find myself catching a whole bunch of feelings. How like a birthday to bring along all those uninvited friends with it?! Bah! You can’t sit with us! *cough* Okay now that I’m done talking to myself…
So I haven’t really been feeling very celebration-worthy lately because I feel like what’s there to celebrate? We’ve settled into a very comfortable routine – a safe place that makes it really hard for me to see the wonderful amidst the mundane. Do you often feel that way? Well, I’m here to tell you (and me) that it’s a pathetic way to feel because life, itself, is a gift! I mean, the very fact that we are still alive means that there is purpose and value and untapped potential in us, just waiting to be… well… tapped into! There are probably 100’s of reasons why I shouldn’t be alive today, but I’m still here, and that’s got to mean something. Allow me to elaborate…
The day I fell out of a moving vehicle.
My uncle was a backyard mechanic, with stained overalls and oily hands and car parts everywhere… He was a hero in our eyes. He told the best ghost stories and made everything seem more exciting somehow. He would often take my cousins and I (all in primary school and younger) with him when he went to test drive the cars that he would fix for clients and friends.
One particular day, a boisterous bunch of cousins piled into a rather ancient vehicle, to “help” my uncle test drive it. It was school holidays and we had slept over at my grandma’s place, but we were bored. So even though he was only going for a short, slow drive around the block, we were excited to be doing something with him. We jumped into the old “skadonkie”, with 7 year old me claiming my place on the back seat behind the driver’s seat, and took off on our adventurous drive around the block. Everyone was chatting away and telling “knock knock” jokes or something – I can’t really remember because I was in my own imaginary Enid Blyton fueled world (as usual) – when a couple of minutes later, I found myself rolling in the street.
Rolling… my head in sync with a passing vehicle’s wheel. I remember watching its hub caps rotate as I spin next to it. I eventually rolled down a grassy embankment, totally dazed, not realizing what had just happened. As I got up to try to make my way back to the road, I noticed that my shoe had slipped further down the small hill. I rationalised that I simply could not leave my shoe behind! So I made my way further down the hill to get my shoe, before I hiked back up, trying to get back to the road.
Funny enough, the car was still in sight (he was driving that slow) but my dear uncle had still not realized that quiet Luchae was missing. You see, the door of the vehicle had been faulty and had not closed properly. It seems, as I leaned against, it quickly snapped open, creating a gap big enough for tiny me to slip through, and then slammed shut again. So there I was, limping along the side of road, watching the beat up “skadonkie” indicate as it was about to turn a corner and disappear into oblivion. All I could think was “Must I walk home alone?” I wasn’t allowed to roam around alone. What would my mom say? I eventually burst out crying, limping my way in the direction of home, with a shoe in my hand.
The “skadonkie” then came to a halt, as my uncle and cousins realized that I was gone, and I watched it make a u-turn, relief washing over me. A trip to the doctor and an injection later and I was a legend. By the grace of God I didn’t break anything! Besides for not having any injuries, the mere fact that another car did not flatten me, is a miracle in itself! My grandmother was not impressed though. How could they allow “din dress” (her nickname for me and my skinny self) to fall out of a moving vehicle?!
Needless to say, I pretty much made it into one of the top 10 family stories ever repeated at family functions. Which is not always a good thing.
Have you survived an accident, or event, in your childhood that is best described as a miracle? Please do share