tragedy averted

We had another common everyday miracle last night. This one was pretty dramatic.

We had just sat down to dinner on our patio. We were saying Grace Before Meals:

“Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord.”

Of course, I generally think that the gifts we are about to receive are the nutritious and delicious foods we are preparing to eat. Last night, we were about to receive a different gift.

As we were finishing the prayer, a gust of wind whipped into our patio area. The patio is nestled between the house and the garage. We have an umbrella with our table, and its span pretty much fills the space inside a U-shaped roofline. As we sat there, the wind lifted the umbrella from its stand through the table and over our heads.

For Bill, everything was slow motion. For me, there was a long hovering moment like when Billy was born and he wasn’t breathing and I waited for his cry. Only seconds long, but the whole world just.stood.still. The next second, the umbrella crashed down onto the table and then the pole smacked Jenny in the face. Bill picked it up and threw it in the garage; Jenny climbed in my lap; and Bill went to get ice for her and another drink to replace my spilled one.

He was shaking, he told me later. All I knew was that the umbrella had been lifted up and crashed down quickly. He actually watched it hovering over his head just out of reach and saw it crashing down as he stood there helplessly on the wrong side of the table. He realized right away what only occurred to me about a half hour later: she could have been killed. The umbrella only weighs 20 or 30 pounds, but it fell from a height of probably 15 feet. Had the umbrella not hit the table first, the full force of its landing would have could have been absorbed by her little head. She had a black eye last night. I haven’t seen her yet this morning – I hope it isn’t worse.

And not only could she have been killed, but Pete was there next to her and Billy was on the other side. I don’t know, from a physics perspective, how the umbrella managed to land the way it did. It hit the table, but only spilled my drink and knocked the ketchup bottle onto my plate. And somehow this 10 foot long pole bounces off a 4′ diameter table crowded with 5 kids and 2 adults and only hits one person in the face.

It was a humbling experience.

So, thank You, God, for these gifts we receive, daily, be they food or a nice home with a patio or five beautiful, healthy, precious children. Thank You.

6 thoughts on “tragedy averted

  1. The words <>Oh Angel of God, my guardian dear<>…come to mind.Glad all turned out well.

  2. Yeah, I’m glad we say that prayer daily. I know full well how that umbrella missed…but my scientific mind is still boggled.

  3. I felt the same when a storm brought a tree down through our roof, into Mackenzie’s brand new room and onto her bed. It was HUGE.Even though it happened near bedtime, we were out of the house. Nonetheless, my heart raced when I walked into her room.After shaking a bit and shedding some tears, I grabbed Mackenzie and told her how blessed we were that her guardian angel protected her from that. It lessened the blow when I thought not about how bad the house was, but how safe my little family was. God is good.

  4. A good reminder of God’s presence and a good lesson in perspective, It seems like God sends these my way when I get caught up in the chaos, as I know you have been have been (from your previous post). Perhaps He is offering back some of the peace you have been missing!I’m so glad everyone is OK.

  5. my heart was just in my throat, reading that. i am so glad everyone’s okay. xox

  6. Jenny seems to be recovering OK. It still hurts and looks yucky. She’s been spending some extra time in my lap the last day.Amy, Bill told our story at work and got a few stories like yours. I wonder how many times in my life I have narrowly missed a date with death. And there are times I’ve wondered how anyone makes it to adulthood with all the near misses I’ve seen with my kids: falling down stairs, slipping in the tub, climbing on somehting they shouldn’t be…

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