April 1st Blessings

1984.Play0002Each April 1st, I wake up and thank God for another year of amazing blessings. You see, back in 1984, I had something happen to me that could have been a very serious accident or worse. This is not a prank or a joke.

On that day 31 years ago, two friends and I were talking after church. We were in the parking lot not realizing what was coming next. The next thing I remember is being dragged on my stomach for what seemed like a long time, being stuck under something, and then being freed. And, I was in a lot of pain — more than I had ever been in before.

I later found out that I was run over and dragged by a car across the parking lot. One friend and I were run over by the car, which moved until it bumped into another car and stopped. The other friend was struck by the car and flew through the air.

At the end of that week I was scheduled to be in a play. This was my first chance at our Junior Playhouse to have multiple lines and a major part. Up until then, I had been in the chorus or had bit parts. This picture was from a publicity shot from that show. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to do it. My sister learned the part in a week and did it for me. She was fantastic.

To this day, I don’t know how two of us ended up between the four tires without more injuries than scrapes and scratches. I also don’t know how my friend who was bumped on her hip didn’t have it shattered or a leg broken. It is truly a miracle. Of that I am convinced.

The worst injury was of a man who was at the church next door to this one and watched all of this happen. I can’t even imagine what it all looked like, nor do I want to. This man fell and broke his hip. Isn’t that amazing?

The car had been racing and when it was put in reverse, it moved very quickly. It didn’t stop until running into another car, also parked in the parking lot. The driver felt awful after this happened. For years I think she lived with the guilt, even thought it wasn’t her fault this happened.

I feel no ill will towards this woman. At the time, many cars were recalled and being repaired for this very problem. I hope and pray that she realized she wasn’t at fault and that all of us were fine. Bumps, bruises and some scares but all in all, not bad.

I continue to be amazed at the protection and grace of my Savior. I truly felt the presence of a guardian angel that day. I don’t know how else to describe what happened. It could have been so much worse and thankfully it wasn’t.

You know my friend Gordon the paramedic? He is the one who taught me how precious each day is since you never know what will happen. Isn’t that the truth?  When I met him 6 or 7 years after this happened, he told me he remembered that day.

He was working when this happened and helped with taking all of us to the hospital. I was stunned at that. After all, imagine what he’d seen through the years. That particular day, however, was hardly normal for any of us involved.

The most lasting result from this day for me was waiting two years to drive.  At the time this happened, I was 16 years old and taking driver’s ed. After this experience, I was just too scared to drive. Also, I hated parking lots for a very long time. Today, I am still very wary about where I park and think about the safest way into the building.

The other lasting result is knowing that bad things can happen and I will be protected and get through them. Life isn’t easy but the journey can still be a good one. And, I realized how important each and every day is and that my loved ones are who make it all worthwhile.

Many wonderful things have happened in my life in the last 31 years. I am so very thankful for each and every one of them. I just wonder if I will keep appreciating all of them and my loved ones as much as I have. I think I will since I give thanks each morning.

Three years ago I wrote a story about this day.  In this link, I gave more details of the day.  The link is https://patticates247.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/my-miracle-no-foolin/.

May you have a safe and prank-free April Fool’s Day!

My Miracle – No Foolin’

Yesterday was April 1st — April Fool’s Day.   It is also My Miracle Day.

This date has been a special one for me for a while since it is the day I survived what could have been a very serious accident.

What I am about to describe may seem like an April Fool’s joke, but I assure you it did happen — as my parents and family and friends can attest to.

On that day in 1984, two friends and I were talking in the parking lot after church, when the next thing I know, I am on my stomach and being dragged along the ground. It seemed like we were moving forever, then we suddenly stopped and couldn’t move.  Then we could and someone pulled us out.

I later found out that two of us had been run over by a car.  We were lying on the ground under the four tires — like one of us was across the front seat and the other across the back seat.  To this day, I don’t know how I ended up in that position. I still don’t remember exactly what happened and think that is a good thing – the brain does protect you from terrible things.

The car had been racing and when it was put in reverse, it shot back quickly, somehow got us underneath and didn’t stop until it ran into another car.  We were then stuck until people from the church lifted the car off of us, literally picked it up — what amazing strength that was.  The other friend of the three of us was bumped on the hip and flew through the air and landed somewhere else in the parking lot. I am sure she didn’t expect to fly through the air with the greatest of ease -not!

Amazingly none of us was seriously hurt.  A true miracle, that’s for sure. This easily could have killed any one or all of us, but thankfully our guardian angels were working overtime that day.  We only received scrapes and bruises — no broken bones for any of the three of us.

That year I was wearing braces on my top set of teeth and am so thankful that I was.  You see, the entire top set of braces came off during the accident.  If it hadn’t been for them, I would have lost my teeth. My glasses also went flying and someone had to find them for me.

The worst injury was from a man who was watching the entire event at a nearby church and fell and broke his hip. I can’t imagine what this scenario must have looked like.  Poor man.

We all were taken by ambulance to the local hospital where they worked on us for a while.  The odd thing for me, however, was none of my scrapes were cleaned up and bandaged and I had them everywhere.  The doctor decided to let nature take its course and heal them.  As a result, I had a stronger stomach and saw first-hand the miracle our bodies do in healing themselves. The bad thing was that I was in no condition to go to school.  So I stayed home for several weeks to get better. I must admit that I enjoyed that time at home.

I remember that my friends came to visit me and gave me get well cards and other gifts.  And, someone even called me Ricochet — not nice but they were trying to be funny I suppose.

On the afternoon of the accident, I was supposed to be at a dress rehearsal for a play that would open the following week.  This was my first starring role.  My friend went into practice that afternoon and said, “Patti has been run over and won’t be here.” Everyone thought it was a joke.  They soon discovered that it wasn’t.

My amazing sister was able to learn that part in one week and did an amazing job with it!  Way to go sis!  She was phenomenal in the part and a real natural on the state.  I even got to see her in the show and enjoyed it very much.

To this day, I have part of the church parking lot pavement just under the skin of my face.  At the time we went to a dermatologist who said the natural scar would be better than trying to remove the gravel and buff it out.  And, I have a scar across my entire foot which amazingly wasn’t broken or seriously hurt.

For several years after this happened, I didn’t drive a car and was in no hurry to do so.  And, I didn’t like to walk in parking lots and was scared to walk behind cars.  I now do drive but still am careful and always on the lookout in a parking lot.

I am so thankful that I’ve had a long and wonderful life since this accident.  I guess you could say it helped me truly appreciate life at an age when people normally think they are invincible.

Since then I graduated from high school and college, met and fell in love with a great man who is my husband, worked in my chosen career for 17 years, then had a wonderful child, and we decided that I’d stay home with our son.  My life has been full of so many blessings that I truly appreciate.

I have also had the pleasure of meeting some amazing and interesting people along the way.  Some of them have been in and out of my life and others remain. I thank the Lord for each and every one of them.

God is so good, He’s so good to me.  I truly was blessed with a miracle that day!