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This is our story. How there became a “we” or an “us”. Everything starts here.
The beginning dates all the way back to May 27, 2000. I had just turned sixteen a little less than a month ago and I still had to ride the bus for the rest of the school year. Luckily we only had two more weeks left of school. We would normally be out by now, but thanks to those stupid snow days we go longer into the summer. Yes, we get like ten snow days every year. That’s what you get for living in Minnesota. Anyway I was riding the bus home and my stop was next. I was already half way standing up in the aisle waiting for that ‘slow and complete stop’, when some idiot texting on the phone pulls out in front of my bus; totally oblivious to everything. The bus slams on the brakes and with no seat belt or anything in my way for that matter, I went through the windshield.
Hold on. Now I know that sounds crazy, but have you ever heard of the force of motion? It’s by that Einstein or Newton guy. Well that’s exactly what happened to me and it hurt. I went right through that windshield and over the stunned driver on the phone, landing a good 30 feet from the car, (according to the people on my bus.) I land wrong with my legs flailing in the air and my hands over my eyes.
Next thing I know I’m being put in to an ambulance on a stretcher and I must of hit my head because I begin drifting in and out of consciousness. I grab one of the EMT’s shirt with what little strength I have before I’m unconscious again and tell him if they mess with my haircut, all of them will hear from me personally. Seriously. That’s what I was worried about at the time. From having my tonsils removed, I know the doctors cut up any clothes, hair, etc. in the way of surgery. For my tonsils my hair was fine, but this was a different story.
When I wake up again I’m lying in a hospital bed with my parents on either side of me. Both look tired and worried. They ask me how I’m feeling and I answer all their questions half-heartily. When their done I ask them what day it is and find out its Sunday. Two whole days have passed. Then I remember my hair and ask for a mirror. I sigh to my relief to see it looks the same, but I have a bad scrape and a big bandage around my entire head. Then I look for other injuries and I find I have multiple cups on my face and arms from the shattered glass. I have stitches on my wrist and I bruised my left palm. Worst of all I broke my right leg in two places.
To my delight I am told I still get to pick out the cast color because they put me in a temporary one for the moment. I chose black sorrow and pain, but also because people can sign it in silver. Which I think will look cool. The doctor visits me and tells me that what saved my life was the fact that my bones were so strong and I was in good shape. She said to keep up the good work. Lots of milk and rest will help my leg heal faster by helping heal the bone back together.
Most of my cuts are gone by Wednesday, along with the extreme pain in my leg. Late in the morning I was beginning to get super bored and tired of just laying around all day. Then I remembered I missed church on Sunday and I really wanted to go to youth group tonight. I immediately informed my doctor who of course objected until I told her God will be watching over me. By then she couldn’t say no to me. My doctor insisted that I do the wheelchair instead of crutches, but I disagreed.
They wouldn’t discharge me until right at 7:30 so I was going to be late already. Plus I told my mom to stop at wal mart and pick me up some decent crutches because I wasn’t going to arrive in some damn wheelchair looking handicapped. Yes I swore, but give me a break people. You don’t know what its like to be thrown from a bus and locked up in a hospital for almost a week. Don’t forget I have to be back there by 9:30. Anyway we weren’t too late and arrived just before the game, which I wouldn’t be participating in. I told my mom to run some errands or get some sleep while I was gone because she hardly did any of that in the past five days.
She left me at the door finally convinced that I would be fine and looking some-what relieved. Only when I got to the stairs did I figure out I needed help. I didn’t realize I was just standing there staring at the stairs until I heard a voice from behind me ask if I needed help going down. When I turned to see who had spoken, I saw a tall red-head with glasses wearing plaid shorts, an American Eagle shirt and genuine concern in his eyes. I remembered from previous church events that his name was a year older then me and his name was Blaze. I couldn’t help but think how from fitting the name was for him. I half smiled and asked if it wouldn’t be too much trouble. He obviously said no and that he was glad he was a little late himself so he could help me. Now I really smiled at his comment and I saw how cute he was.
After we made it down the stairs he asked what I did to my leg and when I told him, his eyes were so big you would’ve thought he’d faint from shock. By that time I worked up enough courage to ask him if he would give me his name tag with his number and address on it so I could formally thank him for his help. He was surprised, but didn’t resist and even though he didn’t ask I gave him mine to be polite. Then he very kindly walked me to the room and we arrived fashionably late were I was swarmed by people.
After everyone left to go play the game I noticed Blaze stagger behind, so I called him over. He helped me get comfortable in a chair in the back and we had a nice conversation all the way up until the first person returned from the game. We had worship next and I think I sang exceptionally loud in my head that night feeling extra grateful. Then we had the message before we could all go home. I was asked to share my story with everyone and then the pastor did an impromptu message about not taking little things for granted like food, water, clothes and of course life. I know it was based off of my situation which is why it probably touched me the most.
As soon as the youth pastor finished the prayer with amen I was bombarded with people who wanted to sign my cast. I came prepared and I passed around the silver sharpies for everyone to use and didn’t see the door again for another twenty minutes. By then I didn’t have much time to get back to the hospital and said quick good byes to everyone. Only when I was sitting in the car did I remember Blaze and felt a new pain of sadness wishing I had at least said a descent good bye.
All I could think about on the drive back was the way I saw him looking at me during worship. I peeked a glance at him and quickly looked away, but I saw something on his face that made me feel like a million dollars inside. I couldn’t help but smile all the way to the hospital and my mom thought it was the power of being with God. It just figures my mom would say something like that and be way off target. I went to sleep that night reenergized with hope and couldn’t wait for tomorrow.
They didn’t discharge me until Saturday morning and I sat around watching my sisters finish all of the chores. Watching them was by far more interesting then some dumb reruns on TV I had already watched at the hospital. From my perfect view on the porch I could see our entire backyard fenced in by trees, with our trampoline and swing set placed along the edges to my right. Straight ahead I saw my dad grilling some yummy steaks for lunch on the patio while he checks the filter in our pool. We already have it up because it is so hot outside; must be extreme seasons this year. To my left I can see my youngest sister dusting, my other sister vacuuming and my mom sorting through the usual pile of Saturday’s junk mail and bills.
Next thing I know the doorbell rang and my mom is yelling that I have a visitor. I work my way into the house and see Blaze at the door talking to my mom. My sisters face are written with confusion, looking from blaze to me and back to Blaze. Probably wondering why he’s here or how I got so lucky. Blaze turns to look at me and we both smile enough for my mom to take a hint. I invite him in and over to my spot on the porch, where I’m sure is the most private yet open space in our house. I shut the door connecting the kitchen and patio, knowing full well my mom will just open a window. Then I shut the door standing in between the patio and the porch (not wanting my dad to think its free game), before I take a seat across from Blaze.
He said he thought he would just stop by to personally thank me for the letter I wrote him; the night I got home from youth group. The letter was filled with many thanks, but also some memories of little stuff we did together through church when we were younger. Most importantly though, I told him how I really feel about him and how long I’ve waited for an excuse to talk to him again. I was really nervous and wasn’t sure if I should have told him, but then he smiled at me and told me how much that meant to him. Also that he had also wanted to ask me out, but was pretty shy himself. I was so happy I could have burst into tears. So I asked him if he was still shy and he smiled even wider.
Blaze asked me if I wanted to get ice cream tomorrow afternoon and how could I say no. I have been waiting for this moment since our first conversation. When I answered him I tried not to sound too excited because then I might come off as desperate and I am definitely not that. Then we talked until the steaks were done and I quickly invited Blaze to join us. He gladly accepted and was introduced to the rest of my family.
After lunch was finished we played a friendly game of apples to apples and I lost terribly. Dad won with 9 cards, blaze had 7 and Allison ended with 6. Blaze said good bye and I talked with my dad for awhile. He told me he couldn’t be more impressed by Blaze. Then I took a nap on the couch because my leg was hurting me. I was soon asleep with the afternoon laughs still feeling fresh and Blaze’s smile dancing in my head.
Looking back at that particular afternoon I realize this is where my left feel into place like the pages of a book falling together.
“Jane dear, the kids want you to tuck them in.”
“I’m on my way.”
Blaze and I got married in ’07 and have four beautiful children to this day. Ellie and Owen are seven. Scarlett is four and Tanner is two. I can’t say he was the one from first sight, but he definitely is my perfect match. So we don’t have the classic fairy tale beginning and we don’t live in a castle (although Scarlett would love that.) We do however have the ‘live happily ever after’. Because hey, I was and am completely fallen in love.