Over a year ago, my brother died. He was hit by a teenage driver, and killed instantly.
Today, I watched a family falling apart in panic and grief as they received news that one of their own had been hit by a car.
An old woman and her grandson were about halfway through a PT appointment. I’d literally just finished up and suddenly needed to go pee. I come out, and the woman had gotten a call. I watched as she fell apart. When the grandson with her asked what happened, she screamed. It was a blood curdling, end of the world sound. “HE GOT HIT BY A CAR!”
Those words broke my heart. I’ve been there. And here I was, watching these people as their world is crashing down around them unexpectedly. Suddenly. I knew in that second that I could NOT just leave and go home. And I didn’t care that these were complete strangers. They were hurting. I went up without even thinking and I said “Ma’am, you need to get somewhere fast? I’m headin back to Cartersville. You need a ride, I’ll get you there.” She and her grandson had come using the Medicaid transport, and I knew it wouldn’t be fast enough to get to them there in Adairsville. So we got in my car, and we made a beeline for Cartersville Medical. It’s a bit of a drive, but by gods I got there in a jiffy.
They were gonna have to wait for the rest of the family, and again I didn’t even think about it. I offered to stay as long as they needed me. Because again, I’ve been there. I KNOW that pain they were going through. So I sat and I waited, and I held this old woman as she sobbed and bellowed, waiting for her family to get there. When they did, I saw the guy’s mom. She’s 6 months pregnant with twins. It was surreal. So I stayed longer. I told them my story about my brother, and how at the time, I was nearly 8 months pregnant myself. That I understood what they were going through, especially the pregnant lady. And I didn’t leave until I knew they would be okay. Until news came out that he had a broken rib, but was still alive. Another family member, we found out, was stranded at Kroger with a flat tire. So the grandson that had ridden with us from PT wanted to get out there to her, so she wouldn’t be alone while she waited for her ride to get there.
As it happens, I needed to go to Kroger myself, and it was not out of my way AT ALL. It was right on my way home. So I told him to get in the car, we were going out to meet her, and that it literally wasn’t any trouble, as I happened to also need to go to Kroger myself anyway.
I dropped him off, and did my shopping. The ride did arrive and they both left.
The whole point of this story is this: I wasn’t there to spend any final moments with my brother, because it was so quick and sudden. But I was put in the right place at the right time to help someone else get the chance to have those moments with their loved one. Last I heard, the guy who was hit only has a broken rib. But that, again, is the last I heard at the end of my involvement in their tale. I’m just glad that I was able to do something for someone in need, and hope I don’t see the guy’s name pop up in the newspaper any time soon.