May 20 2012 LDS Families Newsletter
Happy Sunday. Hope Mother’s Day was a smash in your household, but that nothing in your household actually WAS smashed! Mine was sweet. Daddy helped all the kids make a book for me; each boy traced his hand then colored a picture. The cutest part was that in writing the title on the cover, Daddy misspelled a word. So I love & treasure my book, “Heling Hands”!
We’re gearing up for summer, like you all are. Breaking away from the sort of heavy content of the past few weeks, here's the latest article from the LDS Families site at BellaOnline.com :
Free Summer Activities For Kids!
Free movies, bowling, craft classes, summer reading, and more!
Following Promptings From the Spirit
And from past issues, check out some great ideas for inside at-home activities to fill hot days:
Camp-ins and Living room Passport Suggestions
Articles to look for in the coming weeks include a discussion about unrighteous dominion (always fun!), a new FHE about prayer, and summer grilling recipes. I do hope you’ll drop in.
Also please check out our twitter feed for fun kid quotes to brighten your day, gospel thoughts, and mini-suggestions on all manner of LDS Family-related flotsam.
Follow us: @LDSFamilies1
And check out, like us even, the LDS Families Site Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LDSFamiliesSite
I’d like to share an experience my family had about two weeks ago, a sober reminder of Heavenly Father’s love.
After picking the kids up from school we were headed to the cheap movie theater. Just a block from the school, we heard an impact moments before reaching the intersection to see a small sedan, crushed on the driver’s side. A full-sized pick-up truck was smashed into its side as if an enormous child had forced together two legos that didn’t fit. The driver of the Pick-up got out and wandered around, in shock. He’d been on the way to pick up his own child and simply hadn’t seen the car, his attention taken by the school bus it was following. My husband and I ran to the small vehicle, dwarfed by the giant that seemed to have nearly engulfed it, dreading what the cries and whimpering that sounded like they were coming from the back seat must mean. A child under that crinkled metal wouldn’t have much of a chance. As I dialed 911, he spoke to the driver, a woman in her sixties, whose lower body was pinned under a door that resembled a crumpled napkin, but might as well have been a vault, for all the access it offered her. ‘Thank you Father!’ I breathed, when Larry looked up and spoke tersely, “There’s no baby. She’s conscious.” I relayed this information to the 911 operator, as the calm-emergency part of my brain told itself, ‘The cries sounded like a baby, but must have been coming from her. She knows her name. Vision is blurry. Breathing isn’t compromised. It’s not good, but it looks like it’ll be ok.’
I jogged back to our van to comfort our kids and tell them to do the most helpful thing they could: pray for those involved. I noticed the owners of other vehicles standing around dazed, at a loss. I made eye contact with a red-haired lady in a green top and I SAW an idea and purpose come to her, lighting her face, without our even speaking. She ran with authority into the street and started waving cars around Larry, the woman behind a deflated air bag, and the car-truck creation that had been formed, directing traffic. I hear my husband’s military voice yelling to the teenagers with skateboards, “One of you! Go to the elementary school and get the school nurse NOW!” They took off without another thought, their clacking wheel sounds like horse hooves—-the cavalry WOULD arrive. Hanging up with 911 I saw others on the sidewalk dialing their phones, and teenage girls using theirs to record everything. I heard my husband talking in a soothing, assured voice to the victim, keeping her awake, reassuring her as best he could. Then I became aware of another sound. The driver of the truck was on the curb sobbing into his arm.
I walked across shattered glass toward him, wondering if my disturbing the scene would matter. (Too many cop shows, I guess.) I sat by him, hugging a man I had never seen before. He looked about my age. His hair was combed into a carefully hip, jagged style and he took of his yellow glasses, almost crushing them on the lap of his designer jeans. “I can’t believe I did that. I just didn’t see her! Is she ok?” He tried to jump up. I pulled on his arm, tugging him back down, and he yielded, letting me push his head to those carefully-clad knees and rub his back. It was clear he was in shock. I told him the truth, squeezing his shoulder with my un-manicured hand, knowing it wouldn’t be any real comfort to him, or the woman who was in agony under the crushed metal, “It can happen to anyone. It will be ok. You didn’t mean it. She is hurting, but conscious. She doesn’t have any life-threatening injuries.” I searched my mind as I said this, thinking it was probably true, and hoping it actually was-—her breathing was unobstructed. Her pulse was fast, but strong. There was no bleeding evident. She knew who and where she was—-yes. It MUST be true. He looked up, still shattered, now whispering in his shame and disbelief, “How could I have DONE that! I was just picking up my own kid.” His eyes widened with the realization that his child was waiting for him, that she would see this and know what he had done. I made my voice as firm and calm as my husband’s and looked into the man’s red eyes. In my best ‘mom-tone,’ that would brook no argument, I used language I guessed would reach him, “Dude, it happens. Your little girl is ok. The principal is here, she’ll take of her. Your wife will be here soon. The lady is hurt, but she, too, WILL BE ok. You will get through this moment, and the next after that.”
His wife arrived, pale, shakily breathing, and I stood up, glad to leave him to the one person on earth who might succeed in easing his soul. The principal of the school approached with her walkie-talkie to speak to them. I looked back and forth across the scene to find anything I could possibly do. In that moment everything slowed. I saw the red-haired lady directing traffic. I saw my Larry, still crouched by the car, his hand touching a sister he had never met through the window. The kids with the skateboards were back, tense, as if waiting, like me, for another errand. I heard my own voice calling out questions to my sweetheart, and saw another man writing down the answers, “Does she have any drug allergies? Is she currently on any medications? Does she have any medical problems? Who can we contact for her? What is her full name?” The man looked at me briefly, raising an eyebrow to silently ask why I was asking and why was writing, then shrugged to himself, almost imperceptibly and returned to his task. He was grateful to be doing SOMETHING, and that was enough of an answer. Finally the sound of sirens carried an invisible wave of relief that washed over us collectively, moments before the ambulance and cop cars came into view. I grabbed the paper from ‘writing guy’s’ hands and ran to the paramedic, who was himself running toward the totaled car, turning my head as I ran to see another medic approaching the driver I had just held. Thankfully the lady in the car was still alert and oriented; she could relay the same information that was on the paper I put in into the medic’s hand again, this time to someone who could actually help. But at least they had it in writing in case she became unconscious before giving the answers. And anyway, it had given me SOMETHING to do as well.
I looked toward my van, still parked in the street, and saw expressions on my children’s faces that mirrored those of the adults standing around: concern and fear, of course. Anticipation of some necessary, impending action hovered around the boys with the skateboards. Relief to be TAKING some action emanated from ‘traffic lady’ and my husband. Grief wreathed the truck driver and his wife. And, disturbingly, interest and an undercurrent of excitement barely suppressed by the girls who filmed the scene with their phones. Parents were now pouring from the school down the street, backing up into a strangely quiet log-jam—-no honking, no angry yelling. Other parents walked quickly past the scene, holding their children’s hands tightly, trying to block the young ones’ views with their bodies-—larger bodies that SHOULD protect and shelter, right?
Larry and I were now standing beside our van, wondering if we needed to stay to give a statement, or if we could leave. An officer approached and we spoke briefly, explaining what we’d seen. I don’t really remember what he said to us or we him. As we drove away, following the directions of another officer, who had taken over for the red-haired ‘traffic lady’, I caught her eye. She nodded and I nodded back, acknowledging that we had both been part of ………something, had both done our best in the small roles we found or created, trying to help. As we turned the corner, I saw ‘writing guy’ getting in to his car. He looked up and the same expression passed between the two of us, when, suddenly remembering, he thrust a pen toward our slow-moving van. I shook my head and held up my hand. He could keep it. I hadn’t even realized it was mine. Had I told him to write down the information from the victim, or had he done it on his own? The skateboard boys raised their hands in a sort of waving salute to my husband, clearly impressed with his example of male authority. They had obeyed him without question. I thought they could do a lot worse than grow up to be like him.
We rounded the corner, following carefully the specified detour, and resumed our errand to the movie theater, breathing more easily as we left the neighborhood, jarred to be undertaking such a frivolous activity. But we had already bought the tickets, and the children wouldn’t benefit from our spending a couple of hours rehashing the experience. On the way we spoke to each other and the kids about the lessons we’d just been given.
The truth is that what was stunning to those of us who found ourselves there, yanked temporarily out of our normal lives, IS normal life to the emergency personnel who arrived to take over and save the day. Boy are we lucky they’re around and willing to come to the rescue time after time! Thank you, all of you who serve in this capacity. Another truth—-the Lord was with each person involved. Protecting and comforting the drivers of the vehicles, whispering to those on the scene what actions to take, and offering reminders of the fragility of life, the grace of God, and of our better natures as His children. With the possible exception of the girls recording what happened, strangers came together, worked together, pulled together, needing very little communication, striving toward one purpose. I am so thankful to Heavenly Father for His protection over the two drivers involved. I pray for the lady pinned in the car, for the man sobbing on the curb. Thank you, Father, for the reminder that these are my sisters and brothers, that I belong to a larger family and that we bear responsibility for one another in some way. In this life we are separated into small households, families primarily concerned with their own well-being. But we are all God’s children, SHOULD be all on the same team--striving toward that one goal and purpose, strengthening one another, mourning and comforting together, praying, directing, taking notes, asking questions, giving direction if we find a vantage point others don’t have--finding any task we can to complete, any role we can fill, to help one another along the way.
I’d love to hear your feedback or suggestions! Keep in touch & pass this on to your friends!
Here’s a parting nugget from my brain to your heart, use it wisely: “It’s a good thing my kids get in trouble sometimes. How else would they know their middle names
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See ya soon!
Jamie Rose, LDS Families Editor
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