Life Deals Deadly Blows, God Works Miracles
By Chris T.
Boy, I never thought my life would change so much after the events of a cold winter morning on January 14 2012. I woke up early that morning, brewed up my favorite blend from Caribou Coffee, loaded the my son’s hockey gear, and we headed toward the outdoor hockey rink right down the street from our house. It was especially cold that morning, and I watched the tendrils of vapor rise out of my mouth with every exhale I made. My son exploded out of the car and started gathering up all our gear with great glee and enthusiasm. The gleem in his green/grey eyes is hard to ignore because it captures all of his exuberance and imagination that makes my son Connor exactly as the Lord made him. He was very excited to receive a brand new pair of hockey skates, a stick, a shiney new helmet , and most of all: a Pavel Datsyuk number 13 Red Wings sweater. So, you can imagine how fast he shot out of the car and started lacing up skates with the speed and dexterity that would make a cobler jealous. We were alone at the park, and that was what I wanted. Thinking it would be better for my son to learn hockey skills, we arrived early to avoid the crowd.
Connor made it down to the ice before I did. I was much slower due to lack of sleep, and, no one, I mean no one, can keep up with that kid when he is on a mission. The jamming on of my Gloves was especially frosty today so I regretted not warming them up first and just smiled at Connor as I tugged down on my winter beanie. My mission that morning was to teach my son how to send and receive passes and how to control the puck. Setting up the leason went quick and now my son was ready to learn and I remember taking in some icy breaths to begin to explain how this training exercise was going to go.
Gathering up some momentum on my hockey stick I sent the puck to my son and he reached out with his stick to collect the puck and send it back to me. Connor bent over a little more, loaded energy on the blade of his stick and it made it’s way back to me just out of my reach. I extended my reach with my stick and my winter boot slid side ways quickly and bam, crack, I am blacked out.
A dark stillness encapsulated me; I couldn’t move, keep my thoughts together, or feel pain, or feel anything. I just layed there, still, without thoughts and no sound of the outside world entered my ears or disturbed me at all. Afrer a while I began to see some light through a thick haze. I can remember walking with very bent knees up a small ramp towards the warming hut. Two strangers sitting me down near a trashcan because I was now beginning to vomit; and, I can’t seem to stop. Now, let me explain what happend during my 35-40 minutes of blackout.
One of the sayings we have in Cubscouts is: “If you scout with your kids now, you won’t be scouting for them later”. Our decision to enroll our son into scouts was definitely a life saving one; just ask my son, he LOVES to tell everyone he saved my life. One of the things scouts teaches kids is to not lose your cool when something bad happens. Boy, did Connor keep his head that day; let me explain. Now you remember that Connor passed the puck to me. He saw me miss the puck and fall down. He started to get worried when I didn’t get up or respond to him after the shook me several times. Some 8 years olds would start crying or screaming frantically; no, not my Connor. So, he ran to our car( remember, we where alone at the park) and went to get my cell phone to call 911. Well, as luck would have it, I didn’t bring it with me. Here is another spot where a small child would start crying and yelling for their mommy. Connor scans the park for someone near by and spies these kids on the playground equipment 500 yards away and runs to them. He gets there and starts tell the boys to: “Please call 911 my daddy is hurt and won’t move”. Kids do the weirdest things sometimes and instead of calling 911, they run and get their parents who immediately come down to the park since they lived very close. I can hear you guys out there saying: “Man, kids will be kids”. But, you know what, that was the perfect thing to do right then. I needed to get helped off of the ice and get warm. Remember, it was very cold that day, and where I live it can get as cold as -30 degrees somedays. So, I needed immediate help and waiting for fire rescue was not an option; dying of exposure is not very pleasent. Meanwhile, I could hear the parents asking me questions but I just couldn’t answer them. I started to get frustrated with myself when I couldn’t remember what had just happened. Why am I sitting here? Why are strangers talking to me so closely? Why won’t I stop throwing up, I don’t even drink? Then, a giant crippling fear engulfed me, the kind every parent dreads: Where is my son? It was right then that I was able to speak again and I started yelling: “Where is my son, where is my son, where is my son?” The gentleman to my right said a couple of times: “He is with my wife outside”. Then I lost consciousness again and couldn’t remember what was going on.
Ok, when the man said Connor was outside with his wife, I learned later what he was doing out there. Connor had taken his skates off, put his shoes back on, gathered up all of our hockey equipment, locked up the car and put my keys in his pocket. Scouts, I am just saying. After a while, I began to shake back into consciousness again and I tried to sit up yelling again : “Where is my son?”. The nice EMT responded that Connor was up front with them; good, now I can rest, so tired, so very tired.
To be continued…….
I will finish this story of the hardest day of my life where I came very close to dying.
When a difficult trial falls upon me, I love to read this passage in the bible: Psalm 52:8 “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.”
Always trust in the Lord’s love for you, no matter what, or how black the sky looks. His love for us is Unfailing. This word, unfailing, will become a theme for the next few weeks.
The Great Plains Poet, not out of the reach of trouble, but well within the grasp of the Lord.