With the recent auto/pedestrian accident of my youngest son’s girlfriend, it brings to mind another Christmas…
The snow laid over the city in a thick, lumpy blanket of pure white. Snowplows had done their job and left a pile of snow deep on the sides of the roads while vehicle exhaust left them covered in black, reminding passersby of coal and thoughts of naughty or nice. Christmas Eve had come. Lights on houses twinkled in the magic of red and green. Party-goers were rushing home to prepare for Santa to come.
Gloriously, my brother had come home that Christmas on leave from the army. Excitement filled our home to have him with us at this special time. He decided to spend the evening with a few old friends to catch up on all that had taken place in his absence. He’d sold his old Plymouth car when he’d went in the military, so he decided to walk and use his thumb. After all, his friend didn’t live far.
The bitter-cold, below-freezing air stung his face as he left his friends to rush home to us and what was left of the special night. He scurried along the road, trying to stay out of the path of cars and fighting for a path along the piles of plowed snow. His lungs ached from the cold. He wrapped his green, wool coat a little tighter around him and increased his step.
Do you really remember the moment of impact? Or do you imagine it in your head after someone has told you the millionth time in the hospital?
The snow had started to fall again that Christmas Eve. Randy was walking down the street when a drunk driver hit him from behind. The car’s antenna broke as he was thrown up and over the car. It ripped him down the back, through the buttocks and down his leg. Massive breaks. Massive injuries. Massive bleeding.
The car screeched to a stop, and then bolted down the road in the falling snow. Who knows how long my brother laid there, bleeding and injured. Not a Christian soul stopped to help. When he regained consciousness, he found himself in a pool of blood-covered snow. He couldn’t stand. He couldn’t walk. With missing eyeglasses, he could barely make out a moving shadow at the window of a nearby house. He dragged himself up the driveway, up the few steps and banged on the bottom of the door, all the while as someone watched from the window.
They didn’t open the door. They didn’t welcome in the injured soul bleeding to death, if not for the bitter cold that stopped his blood from flowing so quickly. They called the police; not an ambulance.
Randy lie there with the snow falling thicker and thicker, in and out of consciousness. Halfway here; halfway there. Waiting. Floating. Pain. Cold. Wet. Frightened, I’d imagine.
The police finally came after a difficult slick drive and assessed the situation. They called for an ambulance that also struggled to arrive on the slick roads.
My brother was not to return to the military. He spent many months in the hospital after blood transfusions and surgeries and casts. I remember that next summer as he laid on a cot on our front lawn, still healing, still unable to walk. I was told that he might never walk again. He did, but only out of sheer determination. Many of his dreams went unfulfilled.
Need I say it? Take driving seriously; seriously drive. And, do the Christ-like thing and help others.
Oh, and how did I know it was a drunk driver? Eventually, a woman came back to see what had happened. Her husband was the hit-and-run driver, and he already had three DUIs. He didn’t want to get caught. All in all, there was nothing the police could do because he had left the scene.
Be safe, my friends, and remember the reason for the season,
Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs!
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