(A-Z April Blogging Challenge)
This morning started out like any other morning. I got my son and daughters up for school, made coffee, sat next to my husband and asked what his schedule was for the day. As it turned out my husband had to get some clock hours in today for his license but otherwise he didn’t have any appointments until later tonight. So, we decided to take advantage of the sunny day and go for a walk downtown before starting the work day. We did a few chores before leaving the house but we both wanted to get out the door. “We don’t have time to dilly dally”, my husbands says as we drive down the street.
We drive on to the main road and head towards the downtown area. We didn’t get too far before we saw two older gentlemen riding on bikes. One of them looked like he was losing steam, he and the bike came to a complete halt. Before we could reach him, the man fell on to the concrete and into the street. His body was laying on its side with his legs still straddling the bike. We waited a moment to see if he was getting up but he didn’t move. My nursing instincts kicked in and I got out of the car as fast as I could to check on him. My husband was close behind me. I am a certified trauma nurse and my husband was an anesthesia tech. When we reached the gentleman, we noticed that he wasn’t moving. At that moment, I looked at my husband and he dialed 9-1-1. The man was non-responsive and barely breathing. We started cardiac compressions and tried to stabilize him as best we could. It seemed like forever before the ambulance got to us. We live in a rural area of town so medical help is not close. When they did finally arrive, we stepped aside to let them work on the gentleman. When I looked at my hands, I had blood on them from holding his head to stabilize it. The paramedics gave me sterilizing wipes to wash my hands. I hadn’t realized that he was bleeding until that moment.
Afterwards, my husband and I decided to get coffee instead of going on a walk to try to decompress from the morning. My husband and I were shaking for hours afterwards. Even though we are from the healthcare field and have done things like this hundreds of times over our careers, you never want to have to do it in the field (out of the hospital setting). When it does happen, it is so different because out here, they are people we know or have seen before making it more personal. It’s never easy, but it’s even harder when it happens out here.
The thing that kept replaying my mind was something that his wife said (someone had called her and since she was only a short distance away, she was there while the paramedics were working on her husband), “I loved him so much. I think he knew that. I know you did everything you could and if it’s his time then I am okay with that because we lived a full life and I think he knew how much I loved him.”
So, for the rest of the entire day, I have been quietly thanking God for my family…that they are safe and healthy. I find myself hugging my husband more and telling him I love him more. Ultimately, we don’t know when we’ll be leaving here and going home but I hope that I could say the same of my family…that they knew I loved them.
Today was a reminder, to be thankful and not take things for granted because we really don’t know when we’ll be called home. I am thankful for the breath I draw each day, for the family I have and for everything God has given me.