Secondary Hero

I was supposed to go to the mountain on Sunday to go hiking.  I’ve been wanting to visit the mountain for months, but have been unable for various reasons.  Finally, we made the trek to the National Forest.  We arrived at a picturesque waterfall at which we could eat our lunch.

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Upon finishing our meal, we were returning to our car when the horrid sound of one car crashing into another filled the air.  Since my sister is a doctor, we went to the mangled cars to see if they needed her assistance.  Sure enough, Rose (the woman in the driver’s seat who hit the other car) was in agonizing pain.  My sister helped the woman, diagnosing a fractured hip so that when the EMTs arrived, she was able to tell them about the danger in moving her without taking care of her in a certain way to keep her from sustaining more damage and bleeding out.  My sister potentially saved her life.

My mother implied that I was a hero too.  Obviously, not at the magnitude that my sister was, but I played my part.

Trying to stay out of the way of those who were helping the situation, my mother and I stood at the front of the car, avoiding the puddle of antifreeze and shattered lights.  Rose’s cries of anguish as the EMTs attempted to remove her from the mangled van made my heart weep for her.  The girls!  What about the girls!  There were two young women who had been in the van, but were unharmed, standing at the rear of the van.  If Rose’s wails were effecting me in such a way, I could only imagine how the sounds must be bothering the teenagers.  Carefully moving around the wreckage to the rear, my mother and I suggested the girls go for a walk.  The man with them didn’t seem able to make a decision or take control of the situation, so my mother and I escorted the girls away from the sounds, sights, and staring eyes of onlookers and moved them toward the falls.

Tears began falling from the hazel eyes of the larger girl, who walked beside my mother.  For those of you who don’t know my mother, she is one of the most loving, peaceful, and calming souls I’ve ever met.  She soon had the young lady chatting with her about school, friends, and other non-wreck-related topics.  Meanwhile, the young lady with me seemed to be completely unaffected by all that had happened.  Knowing how much people make contact with each other by seeing their eyes, I removed my sunglasses so the girl with whom I was chatting could feel more comfortable with me.  My eyes are extremely sensitive to light, and the sun was shining brightly, but I thought it was worth it to help ease the young woman beside me, in case she was just putting on a brave face.

We stood with them for quite a while, until we were fairly certain Rose had been removed from the vehicle and was on a stretcher.  We returned the girls to the accident site and turned them over to the Forest Rangers who promised to take good care of them.

So, while I didn’t do anything as heroic as saving a life, I did what I could to help others who were in need.  While my name isn’t on a medical form saying that I was the doctor in charge on the scene, those two girls will remember me… at least for a while.  Maybe when they recount the tale to their mother, she might be thankful for the kindness of two women who stepped in to take care of her girls when she wasn’t there.

And I can feel good that I thought of others and gave of myself what I could.  It wasn’t much, but it was what I had to give.

How much better would this world be if we all gave just a little?

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