Monday, January 26, 2015

My Sunday morning started with a bit of self-motivation to get myself out of bed early & on the running trail by my house. I needed to get a 14 mile run in before church. 

The run started out a little rough, still feeling tightness from last week's half marathon, but by mile 5 or 6, I'd found my adrenaline high & I was enjoying the quiet hours of a Sunday morning. 

I always pause on long runs and take a picture of whatever scenery sticks out to me the most that day because it helps me appreciate the world around me & live in the moment. I loved the font on the back of this building & made a mental note that Steven & I needed to try the restaurant there in the near future. 

The sun was getting brighter outside & the sleepy city was beginning to wake up all around me. Church goers were starting to arrive in parking lots & while most of the restaurants around me were still closed, there were a few workers starting to prep for the day in some of the little cafes along Central. 

I ran by Lux, a bicyclist shop, some condos, enjoying the downtown scenery & feeling so alive & fortunate to get to spend quiet time to reflect.  

That was mile 8. My pace was good, my body wasn't hurting.

One mile later, I had crossed over at the Camelback and Central intersection to obey the flow of traffic law, running north directly across from Postinos.

I was mid-way across a very small, harmless side street when I was hit by a car, thrown onto the hood of it, then tossed down to tumble across street pavement. 

 It was a quiet morning & the driver wasn't fully paying attention as he took the turn, probably on auto pilot driving to work. 

I didn't lose consciousness, I knew what was happening, and I was hoping in desperation the driver would be able to brake and not run over me.

He braked & pulled over immediately. 

I remember first desperately wanting to pick up my phone with my running app & finish my run. Only five miles. I felt so good. 

But, quickly thereafter, intense pain in my shoulder surged up. I was coming to the realization that my run wasn't going to happen that day but maybe my marathon wasn't toast? 

An off duty paramedic rushed over from across the street, thank God for him because the driver (I was later informed by the police officer) was mostly deaf & unable to communicate very well, so it would've been much harder to get assistance if it had been just him & I there.

The paramedic asked if I was ok. He went through the list of questions they always ask. 

I was able to talk. I told him the adrenaline was making it hard to tell what else hurt beside my shoulder but that pain was worsening. 

My face was very bloody but I could tell my teeth & nose were somehow intact. 

I gave him Steven's number & my name. Steven didn't pick up. The man called an ambulance and I begged him not to. I didn't want that ambulance bill. I begged him just to have Steven drive me.

I'm so lucky he was a paramedic and knew not to listen to me. 

The driver stuck around. He was such a sweet man & I could see remorse and guilt written on his face- I think the pain of guilt was probably worse than what I was experiencing. I really did feel bad for him. 

I could hear the paramedic tell 9-1-1 that the car was going 20-25 MPH & that I'd busted through the windshield & I looked up to see that my body had slammed into the glass. 

I started to get very dizzy & lose eyesight but I managed not to lose consciousness completely. 

The ambulance arrived. Standard procedures occurred (I took a class in college called The Care & Prevention of Injuries so I knew what to expect, which was helpful). 

My clothes were all cut off and I was strapped down to the board. They loaded me into the ambulance in swift motion. 

I was very talkative to the paramedics the whole way to the hospital & told them that getting hit by a car going 25 mph was still not as painful as natural childbirth (sorry ladies), how it wasn't on my bucket list to get hit by a car & survive but I guess that made me a "balla!", how I still really wanted to run my marathon & make my mom's birthday dinner that night. 

 I think I even told them how I'd put on my lulu lemon capris that morning (the stupidly overpriced ones I bought right after having Ezra- a hormonal purchase, I'm sure) & for some reason took them off. The fact that they aren't the ones destroyed makes me strangely feel that God was watching over me. It's the littlest, silliest things sometimes...

We got to the hospital & I received immediate care in the trauma center with a large staff. They all had wonderful bedside manners & while I was in a ton of pain, I managed to laugh & joke with them. They were all so sweet to me, telling me that I was the nicest patient they'd had in a long time because they typically deal with mostly grouchy, belligerent, and high/drunk patients. It was, honestly, helpful to know that they enjoyed being around me. 

Steven arrived and the nurse stopped him from entering. My face was very bloody and bruised & they wanted to wash me up before Ezra saw me. 

After talking to the paramedic on the phone, who assured him I was ok, Steven said his expectation was to come pick me up with a few minor scratches & take me to breakfast but I was in a much sorrier state than he'd expected.

Another reason I am grateful... Ezra often runs with me. He could've been with me that morning. That thought makes me sick. 

My whole family started to arrive & sat with me through what ended up being a painful afternoon. I kept refusing morphine because I was nervous about side effects & then gradually took small doses that were ineffective. 

After awhile, it was confirmed I didn't have any head trauma or internal bleeding & it was just a break on my humerus bone that would probably need surgery but the orthopedic doctor needed to consult two specialists first.

The pain meds finally kicked in when I consented to take higher dosages and I was also assigned a room, helping to make me more comfortable overall. 

They decided not to perform surgery that day so at 4:30 pm, after hours of waiting, I finally got to drink water & eat food. It felt so good to feel a little more normal. 

I remained in high spirits & still am, maybe partially due to the morphine & Percocet I'm on, but in large part due to the fact that I should've received much worse trauma to my body, and very well could've died yesterday. 

Instead, by God's provision, I'm walking away with a break in my arm, a contusion on my radial artery, and some road burns on my face and hands & Angelina Jolie lips.  That's it.

I get to go home, surrounded by supportive friends & family, and begin rehabilitation. 

Not many pedestrians fair as well. I've heard some awful stories from the care team here about others.

I know this happened to me for a reason and I am far from bitter or angry. I hope I will continue to unravel what this event's purpose was in my life...

In the meantime, I hope this story will serve as a reminder to us all how important it is to pay attention & be alert when we drive.

It has taught me a lesson we all learn and relearn time and time again, that life is a gift we must value.

Thank you to every one of you who sent encouraging, loving, supporting  words, offered to visit, asked how you could meet my needs, & told me you were praying. I appreciate you. You've helped me through this more than you'll ever know. 

And lastly,according to my Nike app, I ran a mile in 1:51 seconds.

Balla!!!  ;) 

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Chronicles of Mr. Fox, An Anecdote From Motherhood


The glass doors slide open and our steps quicken a little in anticipation. It smells of freshly printed
ink and musky paper.  Children are chattering and adults shushing.

The toddler in my grasp points out books as we make our way to the back, making sure to clutch his beloved Mr. Fox’s stuffed paw tightly.

Books on airplanes, origami, the animal kingdom… some that intrigue me, others that intrigue the two year old.

The library. We could live here, if they’d let us.  The children’s section is Ezra’s dream, with blocks, puppet shows, puzzles, and, of course, books.

 I dash over to the author section “C” for Cousins, Lucy. Fingers crossed, a little prayer sent to the heavens.

“Please, God, please let them have a few new ones today.”

And there, with unfeigned excitement, I pull out new Maisy books, or ones we haven’t read in awhile.

She’s a mouse with an adventurous life. She goes to places like the fair, the city, the countryside. She goes to preschool and uses the potty like an expert. She plays soccer with her friends and, of course, it ends in a tie. No hard feelings.

It’s a world of primary colors and characters that dance across the page. We know all of their names- Dotty, Tallulah, Cyril, Ella, Eddie, Charlie...

Ezra beckons me to a children’s table- I sit next to him on the kiddie-sized chairs- and we read to Mr. Fox. To-do lists, expectations, grown-up thoughts, they melt away when I am reading to him. I am as lost as he in childhood glee and picture book imaginations.


When the hour fades away, I have the daunting task of ripping him from the block fort he is building. I give him five more minutes, and then five more.

“Ezra, it’s time. We will check out these books here.” It’s always a mound of twenty or so books; luckily, we have yet to lose one.

We leave our little haven and tumble into the car with our stack of books in a weighed down potato sack of a bag.

Five minutes out of the parking lot, a dreadful realization comes over me.

“Ezra, Mr. Fox.”

The toddler’s tone is panicked. He knows as well as I do that Mr. Fox is sitting inside a block fort, cold and alone, praying hard that some other grimy hands don’t decide to adopt him as their own in the ten minutes of our absence.

We turn back, this time entering the glass doors with a different feeling of anticipation. We rush to the back- new faces are there, reading and playing.

No sign of Mr. Fox.

I suspiciously eye the children around me. Any one of them could be a culprit.

We ask the librarian if anyone’s turned in a stuffed fox. She shakes her head solemnly no.

In my mind, I’m already begging the nice woman on Etsy to replicate what can never fully be replicated- the worn in, charming face of the freckled Mr. Fox.

Two more rounds around the library, scanning the nooks and crannies, the aisles, the play areas, the puppet trunk…

“Mr. Fox,” I call out, “where are you?”

But, he is quiet, wherever he is, as he prefers to only communicate through Ezra.

And then, as I’m about to walk away in loss, I spot a little apple red fabric tail poking out from the cupboard of a wooden toy kitchen set.

“Ah,” says a man nearby, “is that your fox? My daughters were cooking and serving him to the other kids.”

I laugh, mostly in relief, and notify the daughters that their dinner is now going home with me.
I hand him to Ezra, who smiles with love in his eyes at the little creature, and we walk back out the door, hand-in-hand, feeling lucky.

 Mr. Fox and Ezra lay down that night, as always, in Ezra’s “big boy bed” and they take turns nursing (yes, I nurse a stuffed fox) until their eyes are shut and they’ve drifted off to sleep, and I smile as I tip toe out of their room.

 Motherhood has expanded my heart to new depths I didn’t know existed within me.

It means I love very much a little mouse creature and her peculiar set of friends. It means that my heart genuinely thuds in fear when I fear a stuffed fox may have disappeared from our lives forever.
And it means that I can let go of my to-do lists, my expectations for the day, to be lost in hours of wonderment with the one I daily love a little more.

Because this love means I sincerely take an interest in what he takes an interest in, and that ability to care for someone outside myself, has changed me.


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