The fragility of life

Published 6:54 pm Sunday, August 27, 2023

“Major is fine and gonna be alright, but we are at the emergency room. He had a zip line accident.” It was our son’s voice on the phone — calm with no audible sounds of panic or fear. My mind was running much faster than his descriptions of Major’s condition and details.

“I saw the whole thing from our friend’s patio. Major was zipping along their backyard line about 30 mph when somehow he was thrown off. He landed on his head and the back of his neck. It knocked him out briefly, but he came to talking nonsense and repeating himself. Then he threw up, so we hustled him onto here. They’re running a lot of tests now, but he’s acting more like himself.”

I was hearing the hows, but my mind was still jumping to conclusions in the “what if” category. Could there be side effects that appeared later? Were there internal damages that might be overlooked? What if the attending staff overlooked the severity of the concussion?

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We continued to check on Major that night and following days. He went home after the tests with directions to rest in a dark room without any TV or electronic gadgets. He would be sore, especially where his head was jammed into his chest area, but there were no broken bones.

Major’s biggest disappointment was his having to forego his Junior High football practice until he got his doctor’s clearance. His love for the sport and his desire to please his coach made the waiting on the sidelines hard. However, the waiting gave all the family time to do some critical thinking.

For my part, I was made acutely aware of the fragility of life. One 13-year-old thrill ride on a zip line could have ended in paralysis, broken bones, torn muscles or … That thought stopped with my thanking and praising God for His protecting Major from a potentially tragic accident.

I thought how I take life for granted — yet, how close the end could be. I’m not grateful enough or praise God enough for the safe, normal, average days that are blessings far beyond our understanding. I often let tomorrow’s plans obscure the joys and blessings of the present, the now experiences.

Major’s healing from the concussion got his doctor’s clearance to return to the pads and helmet. His family continues to be grateful for God guarding his life. I’ve personally become more aware of the beauty of just another normal day. Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forever. The “this time” in that Psalm has a much deeper meaning for Major’s family.

Letters to Camille Anding may be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602.