The Incident: My Reflection

It was two years ago Easter Sunday.  I’ve was a bit out of sorts.  Broken actually.  I took a hard fall from 12 ft up.  Damn ladder, damn concrete…  Really though, stupid me.  I’ll forever have the memory of that late Easter Sunday eve.  The crash to the floor, the disbelief when I looked at my left arm and the wonder of what the hell happened?  I’ll be reminded of “the incident” forever with the plate on my radius and the new look of my index finger knuckle that was a valiant effort to pin the multiple pieces back together in something that resembles its’ former self.  Not to mention the scar that looks like a suicide attempt.  Could have died but for the grace of God, my head somehow emerged unscathed.  Yeah.  Stupid should hurt.  It did and it threw me off my game for a while back then.   

It was a strange process re-learning how to do the simplest of things.  Like making your fingers work again after weeks of immobilization.  But it also made me think of the applications to so many facets of what we do on a daily basis.  The “stupid” decisions we could make in any of our personal, professional, faith, health or financial well- being could have long term consequences.  I came up with the phrase I’ll use often as it’s relative to any category you choose to place it in: “The bigger the stupid, the greater the consequence.” 

The fall was a wake-up call.  Pay attention.  Think things through.  Fast forward a bit if you can.  Look ahead.  It was severe enough to make me realize just inches differently and I may be writing this from a wheelchair…or not at all.  I’m lucky.  And I have a reminder every day when I look at my left hand of how lucky I am.  I thank God for that.  I’m encouraged by it.  Obviously, there’s more I’m still around to accomplish!  Now, two years later, I marvel at the healing capacity of the body and the determination of the mind.  I know I haven’t completed much of what I’m expected to accomplish and that gives me purpose every day.  And if I hesitate to know there’s more to be done, a quick look down and to my left and I know I’ve got things to do.

There’s a ladder we all climb every day.  How high up we go, how many steps on the rungs we chose to take, how big a stretch we make if we’re at the top is all up to us. Having experienced the downside of using the tool the wrong way, it’s my goal now, more than ever to be certain what I do helps get that ladder set correctly for others and better yet, see it climbed with confidence. 

Will I step on a ladder again?  Well, yes.  But I’ll keep that phrase in mind every step of the way!  Climb wisely, but climb.