[This story was actually shared as a status post by the writer on her Facebook account. There was no editing done by her or us, just pure adrenaline rush as she was recounting the following event. We begged her if we could post it AS IS.]
Well today hasn’t been AT ALL what I’d planned. Not even a wee bit! Was on the way to a lunch appointment with my friend and long-time professional colleague Janet- driving toward downtown Salem on Front Street in front of Truitt Bros. – when a lady bicyclist somehow got her front tire caught in the RR tracks and – *WHAM* – went over H-A-R-D in the middle of the road, in the middle of traffic, directly in front of me! (I give cyclists lots of space; so glad I do.)Whacked her head evil hard on the asphalt of the roadway (yay, she was wearing a helmet!) … lay on the pavement motionless for somewhere between 30-60 seconds, as I stopped my car right in the southbound lane of traffic, flipped on my emergency flashers and just left my driver’s door open to go to her. She was slim, athletic, probably 10 years younger than me, and literally/medically stunned. She insisted she was okay and tried to stand. Nope. No way she could. A fella in an SUV had stopped and came to move her bike out of the roadway. The guys from Truitt Bros. locked the bike inside their property gates. I helped her walk to my car and have a seat in the passenger seat.
She was clearly in shock. Lacerations on her hand. Tears streaming down her face.I drove her to the Emergency Room at Salem Hospital (which, by the by, was a frustrating PUZZLE TO FIND!!! … not well marked for parking or pedestrian access since they built their new building that houses it! ACK! so that took longer than I wanted). On the way there found out she was a nurse at the hospital in the oncology department. Tried to keep her talking, answer questions: “What year is it”? She paused to think for a while, “2012”. “Who is the president?” She paused to think for a long while, and I suddenly realized that the first name that had come to my mind was Reagan. OOPS! “Obama” she replied slowly. “Are you married? What is your husband’s name?” – then realized I had no way of knowing if her answer was true or not. She was a stranger! A beautiful mess of a wounded stranger who fell on the road in front of my car.Long story short – I got her into triage, asked for her phone so I could call her husband, told her I’d stay until he got there. Called him – THAT was a weird conversation since it was his wife’s number and he thought she was calling him. Went to find her and there she was in the triage/admissions queue in a wheelchair, all alone, tears covering both her cheeks without end. I got her Kleenex as she said, “You’ve got somewhere to be. I heard you call and cancel an appointment didn’t I?”“You heard me call and cancel an appointment, but THIS is where I’m supposed to be,” I assured her. “But you don’t even know me!” “I know I was meant to help you today, and I’m meant to be here now. I don’t need to know you personally to know this is exactly where I’m supposed to be,” I assured her. “You’re an angel,” she whispered. “An angel. I mean it!”Her husband arrived. He promised to call me once they knew what was going on. Her head hurt (I’m sure she had a concussion … nausea was setting in … bike helmet totaled). Her elbow hurt (broken? at least significantly bruised). No doubt under her biking clothes, there were asphalt burns down her entire left side. A beautiful mess of a wounded stranger who fell on the road RIGHT in front of my car.WE ARE HERE TO HELP ONE ANOTHER! That’s all. Every day. In little ways and larger ways. Be present. Assist. Comfort. Hold a hand. Ask who’s president, as though it matters in the larger scheme of things. Smile. Help. Comfort. Lend a hand. Be angels. We all can. We just have to CHOOSE. ♥ ♥ ♥
Say a prayer for Krista. A beautiful mess of a wounded stranger who fell on the road right in front of my car and whacked her brain on the asphalt. Say a prayer for Krista. ♥
About the writer:
Carolyn is a mother, grandma, mediator, writer, nonprofit management consultant , grant expert (firstname.lastname@example.org). Born and raised in rabid fundamentalism in Southern Idaho, she has lived the past 40 years in Salem, Oregon – and is moving to Mercer Island, Washington this month. Seeker, lover of books, musician and music lover, believer in living with her heart wide open and her eyes bright.