I’m walking along the sidewalk near the St. Vincent’s Hospital
parking deck and I just plain topple over something. I don’t know
exactly what’s happening, but all of a sudden I’m flat on my back
and my head is cut and hurting and my eyes are closed because
I’m dizzy. I keep squinting, and I’m afraid to look around because
I don’t know whether I’m dead or dreaming, or what.
I hear this deep voice saying, “Just lie still, you’re going to be
all right.” I want to see who is talking, so I open up and everything
looks dark red and I think maybe I’m blind.
“I can’t see,” I say to the voice. I think maybe I really am dead.
The deep voice says, “You will be fine. Just be calm. Just be calm.”
I try to take a deep breath and hold on. I feel a warm hand touching
my forehead and soothing me.
It isn’t long before I wake up in the emergency room and learn that
I really will be all right. The nurses have cleaned the blood out of my
eyes and I’m just fine.
I’ll always wonder how my deep voice angel knew how to comfort
me at just the right moment. I wonder if I’ll ever need him again.
I’m walking along, near the St.Vincent’s Hospital emergency room
near Christmastime, absentmindedly trailing behind a large woman
who is in a hurry. Suddenly, she trips over a partially off-center manhole
cover and falls flat to the ground, her head gushing blood. Her eyes are
closed, and I lean over to see whether she’s conscious.
She moves and squints, but the blood from her cut fills her
eyes so that she probably can’t see. I don’t want to cause further
damage, so I figure the best thing to do is stick by her till somebody
comes from the emergency room.
I sit down beside her so that she will know that she’s not alone out
here. I lean close to her ear and quietly speak so that she won’t be
startled. “Just lie still, you’re going to be all right.”
She turns toward me and says, “I can’t see.”
All I can think to do is reassure her whether or not I know she’s
going to be fine. “You will be fine. Just be calm. Just be calm.”
She responds and seems calmer. I remember the comforting healing
power of my father’s large hand when he touched my forehead so
many years ago, hovering over my sickbed and worrying. I reach
over and my hand becomes my father’s hand and warmly touches
She lies quietly, almost smiling.
Within minutes two casually-moving ER employees show up with
a wheelchair and escort the woman away. Even though her eyes
are still closed, I feel she’s going to be taken care of.
I walk toward my car and go about my life.
And I often wonder what this unknown woman thinks about when
she remembers her Christmas blindness near a hospital parking
deck. Does she wonder who I was? Does she know that I gave
the only Christmas gift I knew how to give
(c) Jim Reed 2010 A.D.