This Thursday is Thanksgiving, an official holiday in the the United States.  I am extra thankful this year.  It wasn’t so long ago that I felt more invincible.  Aging has a natural way of reducing that.  Potentially fatal accidents, more so.

Almost three weeks ago I took what I thought would be a short break from work to finish cleaning out the rain gutters at home.  With the rain gutters done, I carefully exited the roof placing both feet and my full weight on the first rung of the ladder below the roof line.  The ladder slipped out from underneath me and I fell to the patio.  Needless to say my plans for the rest of the week were instantly altered.

I could have fallen or landed on that unforgiving concrete patio in any number of ways.  At times I still have a hard time accepting how fortunate I am and how potentially fatal it could have been. I know, I should just be glad I’m mostly okay.  But my mind doesn’t work that way and the results of this event are too significant simply to dismiss.

I landed on my side with my hip taking the brunt of the fall.  Amazingly, it is only bruised.  X-rays show minor spinal damage which should eventually heal.  In the meantime I’ve had some excruciating back pain and muscle stiffness that makes it impossible to bend over or lift anything heavy.  Ibuprofen helps a lot and I have come to know the magic healing properties of ice–ten or fifteen minutes (no longer) of ice every hour does miracles.  I also have an entirely new level of appreciation for anyone with back pain.

Things I’ve learned and experienced from this incident:

  • Things don’t always go as planned
  • I can’t make logical sense of everything
  • Next time tie the ladder off to a strong rain gutter bolt
  • If a ladder moves when I’m not on it, have someone else make sure it is still safe from the bottom
  • Other people need me more than I realize
  • I need other people more than I realize
  • Grace and divine intervention happen