Monday, December 7, 2009

An Experience in Gratitude

Ok so today we were in Harlingen, TX, and my manager and I were standing outside our coach when, from the street, we heard a loud crashing sound, akin to when a garbage truck dumps a bag of trash in an empty bin, except much louder. We went running to the street and saw an SUV completely upside down- it had flipped over!

My first instinct was to call 9-1-1. Well ok, my first thought was that someone else would call, but I caught myself and said "what if everyone thinks the same thing?", so I called. It was a long, drawn out call, with lots of (at least I felt at the time) unnecessary questions such as "what color is the car?" (uh, does it matter, it's the only one that's flipped over, you can't miss it), "how many people are in the car?" (i am not really in the car, and it is smashed on it's top, so I would know this how) and yes, I had to repeat the address 20 times. I'm thankfully not used to calling 9-1-1, so I guess it could've been normal procedure but frankly, with all the time that passed with these questions, I would just not want to waste any time. I mean, if I'm not mistaken, they dispatch immediately, so the details are AFTER the ambulance is on it's way, but I was freaking out because every second could be precious in this man's life.

ANYWAYS, in the mean time, Trent had run over to try to help the guy (there were many people running over too), and at one point I even saw him running around with a crow bar to get the guy out. It turns out, the guy was (miraculously!) just fine, but his foot was stuck somehow so Trent actually climbed in to loosen his foot. I couldn't believe it when he told me, that he'd go to that length. Luckily I was not watching but if I had known that I'd probably have freaked- the car could've exploded or something! I was just so amazed by his selflessness.

Now, this experience, though it shook me up, was in many ways life changing. Please bare with me, as it gets a little random, but here it all is.

The first thing that struck me: Usually I am the one in the background who watches, who as I mentioned, figures that someone else will help or take care of the scary situation. But at that moment, I was reminded of a recent situation at a high school where a girl was repeatedly sexually assaulted by many different people, in front of many people who did nothing to stop it. The article cited a certain effect, where people assume someone else is gonna help, so they don't do anything. I am sure that I have been guilty of that in the past. And frankly, that sounds a little messed up, so I decided I didn't want to be that person anymore. I did what I hope others will do if I'm ever in a bad situation, and truth be told, it makes me feel good about what I did.

Now, on the topic of calling 9-1-1, this has strangely been a phobia of mine since I was young. I have googled it, and I don't see a name for this sort of fear. But it mostly stems from many many nightmares I had as a young girl, where our house was being robbed, or something scary was happening, and I would try to call 9-1-1 but nothing would come out when I'd talk. So, I've always been really freaked out to call 9-1-1 because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to follow through. I'm glad I proved myself wrong.

What I was most impressed with, however, was my husband and his actions, and the realization that I'm married to an amazing person (not that I didn't already know this but it's nice to get reminded!). He put this man's life before his own, to get him out. It was risky, but all about the other person. The best part about this is that it's not the first time he's been selfless. This is the same man that stops to help elderly women when I don't even notice that they're struggling at doing something; he is the same guy who works tirelessly to love every one of his siblings and fears offending them. He is just so thoughtful and loving and kind, and I know that this is pure bragging, but I think the occasion is appropriate and so for once, I am allowing it :)

I just realized that there are a couple individuals in his life that don't appreciate him because he isn't a) 100% active or b) a college graduate or other petty things, and they are missing out so so so much from really having joy in their life by doing so. He risks his life for a stranger, imagine what he'd do for his own family.

So, while I feel horrid for the fact that this happened, I am grateful for the lessons it taught me, and the new appreciation I have for my dear husband, Trent.


Maria said...

You're right, Trent is AWESOME!!So are you. I'd trust you both with my life. Love you guys!

Bethany said...

You guys are both pretty amazing. Even though I'm not family I'm sure glad you're in my life! And I'm very, very glad that everything turned out alright in that situation. I get nervous about stuff like that.

Abby Q. said...

I know, this post probably seemed like I was bragging which I didn't intend at all- but I was just really proud of how we reacted in the situation, which is not surprising for Trent, but for me, sometimes I get so scared I don't do anything! So it was a good experience for me to know how awesome my husband is and that I have a little potential too :)