Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kindness


"Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." ~ Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire

I've heard this quoted numerous times, but I've never seen the movie. That's surprising since I grew up watching old movies, and this movie is old. It was made the same year I was born. *g*

But Tennessee Williams isn't the subject today. Kind strangers (and friends) are.

It's been about 3 1/2 weeks since my unfortunate accident, and yes, I'm much better, thank you. I still have some neck and shoulder issues from whiplash and I have to build my energy levels back up. I went back to work a week ago after two weeks in the recliner with my foot propped up, and hoooooooooo boy! By quitting time I was ready to crawl under the desk and cry. But I made it through the week.

My foot is still bothering me, and today I'm seeing an orthopedic specialist about it. It's still a bit swollen. It still hurts when I walk. And I can only wear tennis shoes and Crocs. I'm not a shoe fanatic, but good gracious, I'd like to not have to wear Adidas to work. They've been very nice about it. They were just happy to have me back in one piece. One of the attorneys even gave me a big hug as she proclaimed how glad she was I wasn't hurt any more than I was.

But back to my topic: kindness. I was the beneficiary of much kindness from strangers and also from folks I know.

A very nice couple stopped at the wreck site, called 911 and waited there til the EMTs arrived. The wife scrolled through my cell phone calling names to help me think of someone to call. Let me tell you that when you've t-boned a car doing about 60 miles per hour, your brain is just a smidgeon jarred and names and phone numbers don't come to mind right away. I asked someone to get their names and contact info so I could thank them later, but I never got it. So whoever you are, thank you so much for getting involved when you could just as easily have kept on driving.

Thank you to the First Responders who got a neck collar on me and got me out of the car and onto a backboard along with the help of a couple of firefighters. Thank you to the EMTs and the ambulance driver. And special thanks to the EMT for making the call to bring me to my hometown hospital instead of one an hour away. At the time I couldn't think of a soul who could pick me up from that hospital, though now I could name a dozen. 60 mph t-bone brain, remember.

Thank you to the terrific Trauma staff at Huntsville Hospital. They were lined up and ready when I was rolled in. With precision, they took my vital signs, got an IV going and cut off an almost brand new pink sweater I'd only worn twice before. ~sniff~ They cut off everything else too except my underpants and socks. I was poked and prodded, x-rayed and scanned, then pronouced banged up and bruised and sent home with a prescription for pain pills and the words, "It'll get worse before it gets better." That was an understatement.

Thank you to the Playfriends. Smarty Pants was the first person in the cell phone scroll whose name clicked and Kind Lady called her. She sprung into action and by the time I got to the hospital, Problem Child and Angel were there. They'd also called my son who arrived in time to take me home. He stayed overnight, helped me arrange a rental car the next day and took me to the grocery store since my cupboards were bare.

Lots and lots of phone calls were made that night. Thank you for all of them. The Playfriends also brought food the next day. I missed our New Year's Eve party, so they brought the party -- or part of it -- to me. A fellow Heart of Dixie member who lives in my apartment complex brought me a container of chicken fettucine Alfredo. Yum! Thanks Kellie.

Thank you to my sister for gently breaking the news (though just how gentle can a major car crash be) to my mother. She and my mother and my mother's brother have called frequently to see how I'm doing.

Thank you to my minister (who said my mother called him) for checking on me. And many thanks to his wife for driving me 150 miles roundtrip to get my belongings out of my car.

Thank you to my neighbor for getting my mail every day. It's a small act, but when every part of your body hurts, it's nice not to have to make the trek to the mail boxes daily.

Thanks to Lynn, one of my Red Hat friends, for driving me to the doctor's office on Monday after the wreck.

And thanks to everyone who sent a card, an email or a message on Facebook. I appreciate them all. It means a lot to know so many people care.

If I've left out anyone, please forgive me. 60 mph t-bone brain, remember.

I got a new car last week cause the old one was totaled. It did its job -- front end crumpled, airbag deployed and seat belts locked down. So I bought another one just like it, just newer. I hope I never have to test its airbag. I'm still dealing with paperwork from the insurance company, getting the tag transferred, etc. I think I see an end in sight.

Random Acts of Kindness Week is February 13-19 this year. I hope you'll take time to perform at least one act of kindness, be it random or not. You never know how much it will mean to the recipient.

Tell me about some random act of kindness you've given or received. Or both.

5 comments:

PM's Mother said...

I know you would like to thank those kind people who stopped to help you (I raised you right!) but not knowing who they are, you can't thank them -- so remember them and anytime you can help someone else just pass that kindness on. This is what makes the world go around.

Maven Linda said...

Part of it is what's called "fluid shock effect." I experienced it in a much smaller way when I tripped over a box in the garage right before Christmas and went face down onto the concrete floor. I spent two days in the recliner, barely able to function. It's what happens when the body's momentum stops suddenly but the body's fluid tries to keep going. It's what happens when you're body-slammed, which is essentially what happened.

Angel said...

How totally awesome!! Especially the couple that stopped on the road! So many people just keep right on going -- I know I usually do as a single woman in the car, unless my husband is with me.

We now have an established method of contact!!!! :) Sometimes emergencies are good for something, at least. I'm glad you're able to return to work, even though you're not feeling up to par. That energy will come back. Take your vitamins!

robertsonreads said...

So good to hear that you are feeling better, not 100%, but better.

I had major car issues years ~7 years ago, car is now 16 yrs old, & I have had it 13 of those yrs. A mechanic who goes to the same church was very kind to replace engine, etc. and charged a rate below what is cost him I am sure and let me pay him for 12 months no interest. He was so very kind, and I still go to him this day, when I could so easily go somewhere else that would be much closer, but I trust him with my car & my life. He is a Godly man & I don't know what I would have done otherwise.

Just a FYI - I have heard it recommended that you put contacts in your cell phone: ICE - in case of emergency and then their contact info. I have this in my phone for my sister - don't want them causing my mom a heart attack.

Instigator said...

As much as I hated hearing about your accident, it does make me feel good to hear of all the wonderful people who were there to help you when you needed it. Sometimes, given everything that's going on in the world, it's easy to become jaded. But your story brings back my faith in humanity and the inherent kindness of decent people.

Insi