17 December 2007

Falling for Life

I could have died.

My foot slipped on the slick concrete step, and for the first time since I was in high school, I fell without any control. Backwards, no time to twist or turn, I slammed down on the carport floor, My head just brushing the corner of the step.

My son, who'd helped Me wash the car, had seen Me fall many times, as part of My way of playing sports. But he'd never seen Me crash to the ground as I did then. My first thought was I could have died, knowing that My neck and head had just barely missed slamming into a cement spearhead. I imagined what would have happened if My luck hadn't been so good, how My son would have had to face the reality of his father lying injured, or dead.

I saw a horrified look on My son's face and I didn't want him to hear that same feeling in My 
voice. Almost a minute went by before I told him I was okay, just stunned by the fall.

I got up. After the most ennervating and exasperating week of the year for Me, one with several
highs and two painful lows, this came along. A reminder of My mortality. A memo to Me that nothing is guaranteed.

I thought of family and friends, in rapid-fire fashion. Of all I wanted to say and now knew I needed to say. And while I was thinking that, the phone rang. A good friend tells Me his father had just died. Life ends, goes on, just is. And if My luck had been different, that call would have been to someone other than Me.

My neck is stiff, most likely will be for a few more days. There's a faint scratch on My back, just across the left scapula, showing where the corner touched Me as I fell. It tracks a path that grazes My left temple, just as I thought at that instant. 

I've prided Myself on being agile enough to avoid major injuries...most of the time...despite an often-reckless mindset. This fall ended well not because of Me, but because of dumb luck. It might be the only kind of luck a Jenius has, but I'll take it gladly. And I expect to make the most of it, not because it changes My life, but because it makes Me more aware of it.

The Jenius Has Spoken.


Toby said...

Gil - so glad that you're okay! It seems that it's the "almosts" that are lessons to what is really important to us. Happy holidays to you and your family!

Dr. J said...

Having known you for quite some time and seen several of your hard falls, it is quite surprising to see you express yourself like this about this accident. It must have been quite a fall. The fact that your son was with you, surely makes a difference. I’m glad that you’re fine after all. Merry Christmas and hope to see you sometime near the new year!