A Painful and Necessary Lesson

Bear falling on the ice Pictures, Images and Photos

I fell on the ice today. Not a simple slip and recover but an all out fall. My feet shot up, my head went down, followed by my butt and back, and I lay there, dazed. The ironic part is that I was helping an elderly lady at the time.

After I finished loading the groceries into my van, I watched the car, with a lady clutching the steering wheel and her head covered with a turquoise scarf, pull up to the recycling dumpster; noticing her age and unsteadiness, I surmised I could help her while teaching my kids about service.  You know, a priceless lesson they will undoubtedly, and fondly, remember twenty years down the road.

So I approached her and asked if I could help. I grabbed the books and magazines from her front seat, smiling, and made my way to the recycling dumpster; unknowingly walking across a thin, and particularly slippery, patch of ice.  As my feet shot up, I couldn’t help but laugh, sardonically, at my careful plan now taking a dramatic–and painful–turn.

As I shakily rose from the ground, Emily queried after my condition, “[Are you] okay, Mommy?  Did you hurt?”

“Yes, yes, I’m okay,” I laughingly replied for both Emily’s and the elderly lady’s sake.  I continued with my quest and finished my so-called service project.

I helped the lady to her car, while truthfully telling her how glad I was that it was me and not her; especially after she informed me of her age: Ninety.

Driving home, I pondered over my object lesson.  It didn’t turn out exactly as I anticipated; I’m sure if my kids retain any memory of the event they will only remember the fall.  But it did symbolize my own re-entrance into the world outside my own problems: Unexpectedly painful and undeniably worth it.

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20 responses to “A Painful and Necessary Lesson

  1. I'm sorry you fell, but what a tale! Perhaps the lesson is deeper than you thought – helping is always worth the risk of falling.

  2. Ouch! I believe we can file this story in the category of "No good deed goes unpunished." 😉 I hope you're feeling better today!

    • admin

      I didn't realize how much I banged myself up until I woke up this morning. Thankfully sore muscles heal and lessons have a lasting impact.

  3. I believe these lessons in service – spontaneous and otherwise – are very important for kids. And as you said yourself, imagine if it had been her falling on that ice, and not you. While it may not have been what you anticipated as an example, you may have been at the right place at the right time after all.

    (Meanwhile, I hope you soak or put compresses on whatever hurts!)

    • admin

      Since I have witnessed the after math of an elderly person falling, I know how dangerous it can be for them. I really was glad it was me and not her because she would have had severe damage done.

      No soaking or compresses but I have taken a few long, hot showers.

  4. Ouch! Mother Nature's attempt at symbolism was nice, but perhaps it could have been a little less … literal! Hope you're not too sore.

    • admin

      I wish I could say otherwise but, no, the fall really banged me up! It's almost like I had an intense workout, without the calorie burning. Well, chocolate and nice, hot shower can heal almost anything. : )

      The lesson was worth it.

  5. You are so eloquent. The last few lines are perfect. I believe therein lies the lesson for all of us: it's so comforting buried underneath the weight of our own problems, but it's so important to be out in the world, willing to face whatever comes our way.
    This is a perfect post.

    • admin

      Thank you! I really do try and serve others when I can but opportunities like these, when my kids will actually witness it, are pretty rare. Despite my hurt muscles, and ego, I am still glad I persevered.

  6. Oy, falling in public is no fun! But kudos on helping an old lady; saving her from a fall AND educating your kids about helping others. Good work!!

    • admin

      Yeah, my ego is still bruised from the fall. Ha. I think I learned more than my kids did, but it was an important lesson for me.

  7. Hope you are on the mend Amber!

  8. Ouch, Amber! I had a fall much like this a few years ago, far from home (and before I had Jack). I was remembering it this week when I looked at X-Rays of my neck (ouch again). Hope that by now you're enjoying the lesson and not any lingering pain.

    • admin

      X-rays? It sounds like your fall was more serious. Mine left me sore but whole. Thank you! I am enjoying the lesson now. : )

  9. Yikes!! I'm so sorry you fell, but what a powerful lesson you saw in this moment. You are such a great writer and your words are so true. I love these last two lines: "But it did symbolize my own re-entrance into the world outside my own problems: Unexpectedly painful and undeniably worth it."

    • admin

      I think God knows that pain is my greatest teacher. Of course, if I learned these things on my own I probably wouldn't have to go through silly falls–but what would I write about then?