Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Vent About Fireworks and Carelessness...And Being Grateful

I don't like big, dangerous fireworks. The kind you read about July 5 because they scarred someone for life. I didn't have a personal experience with them until Friday. But I pray that it was my last.

I went on Friday to a local bar and grill for a friend's birthday. Because the weather was so beautiful, we decided to sit outside in the beer garden and have a couple drinks (a couple - no intent to get sloshed, mind you. We just wanted a quiet, fun girls night).  Here we are, looking good and having fun:

So we're sitting at a table about eight feet or so from the big privacy fence, telling stories and laughing, when all of a sudden...


What sounds like a shotgun blast goes off to my left, and INSTANT throbbing pain in my left forearm and my right thumb. It felt like someone took a metal bat to my arm. In what I'm sure was microseconds after the blast, I honestly felt a lifetime flash before my eyes. I am not exaggerating at all, I swear. My first thought: I've been shot and I am never going to see my kids again. My second thought: Did anyone else get shot?

I don't remember the next few minutes. It was a blur of people and my friends around. I'm clutching my arm which, thankfully I realize, has not been shot but has been hit with something. Hard. I kept looking at my friend who had her back to the fence, because I was sure she had been hit by whatever it was. But then she was talking to me, asking how I was.

I looked around, frantically trying to figure it all out, because my mind couldn't focus on anything. I saw big chunks of something on the ground, but for the life of me, my eyes couldn't figure out what it was. I honestly felt like an alzheimers patient - I could see what it was, but the words just evaded me. Firework wrapper? Tree? Then it comes into focus - wood from the fence.

Apparently, some jerks in a car threw a quarter stick of dynamite. Tried to get it over the fence (which, if it had, it would have landed just feet from our table if not closer.)

I'm looking at my arm, not bleeding thankfully. I'm looking at my friends, trying to smile and relax myself, but I was shaking like crazy. I couldn't catch my breath. I know that it might sound silly or stupid because it did turn out to be a firework/explosive and not a gunshot, but in those few seconds, I truly thought I had been shot and I was going to die. All I could think of were my kids and my husband, and not being here with them, and not seeing their smiling faces. I felt guilty that they were going to have to go through that.

And in an instant, thankfully, I realized I was okay.

The piece of wood that hit me was about six inches long and a few inches wide. The bar was great, getting me ice right away and making sure I was okay. Luckily, the wood hit me broadside and left only a huge welt and bruise. Probably a little burn as well, from the explosion. But nothing that even needed a bandaid. It doesn't even look that bad in the pictures, and it wasn't the welt that hurt so much, but the pain in my arm from the force of the blow. It's now Tuesday night, and my arm still is sore in about a five inch area.

Do you believe in guardian angels? Because I sure do. I'm sure my friends do, too. I swear we had to have guardian angels that night who blocked that explosive, because we were about as lucky as you get.

I try not to think about the "what if's," but it's hard to do. What if they had thrown it a tiny bit harder and it hadn't been an inch short of going over the fence? What if it had landed near our table, right by my dear friend who had her back seated towards the fence? She is my close friend, and my daycare provider - and my children love her so, so much. I shudder to think if something happened to her.

I think what bothers me most is that the people who did this did not care if someone got hurt. I cannot fathom that there are people near me who either a) don't think about the repurcussions of such a serious action and/or b) don't care that they might have taken someone's mother away from two small children.

I think that's the part I cannot get over.

I got home that night around midnight. I crawled into bed, and couldn't sleep. So I picked my tired, achy self up, scooped up my son from his bed, scooped up my daughter from hers, and laid in the middle of them on my daughter's bedroom floor with all of us wrapped in the quilt of my mom's old shirts. I didn't fall asleep til about 3 a.m., but I wanted to just hug and kiss and smell and trace my sweet babies faces, extremely grateful for the opportunity to be able to do something I'd taken for granted every other day.

I am beyond thankful to be okay. I am beyond thankful that all of my friends were okay. I am still angry, and scared. Every boom I heard that sounded like that blast over the weekend made my heart stop. And it may seem so silly to think that I was going to die, but I did. And I hate that I did. I think next to losing a child or having a sick child is leaving a child when they are so young. I was so scared that was going to happen.

So that is my vent. Hopefully, someone somewhere will read this and maybe think a little differently before doing something careless. Every action we make in life has repurcussions, and we may never know what they are. I just hope I make my repurcussions good ones.

Be safe!!


1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness! I completely understand what you mean! I vented to my husband about the drunk driver that nearly killed us & our neighbors & am just so angry that someone could be so thoughtless & stupid to get *that* drunk & then get behind the wheel. Any one of us could have been killed or seriously injured & he didn't care, not even for himself. It's just not fair. I'm glad that you're ok & hope that those sounds become a thing of the past for you. :-) Take care!



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