There are moments in life when everything changes. You know what I’m talking about. Someone hits the gas pedal instead of the brake. The “C” word: cancer. That fateful text or phone call with calamitous news you don’t want to hear.
Our family almost had one of those life defining moments last week. Almost. Perilously close.
Almost Is a Beautiful Word by allie taylor
I’m well acquainted with life defining moments. How things, your entire life, can change in the blink of an eye. I’ve experienced these moments in our own family, and also others. Many of you know our son Jacob had a fall, a serious head injury back in 2007. He was six when his head crashed down onto our slate patio from the height of a ten foot high basketball hoop rim.
Airlifted to Dartmouth. Brain surgery. God was gracious, he survived with no long-term effects. Jacob was very brave. He’s fine now, but I’ll never be the same. I’m sure I’ll write about it someday, but it’s not a place I like to go, revisit.
You likely also know that our youngest son Hudson was diagnosed with Down syndrome shortly after his birth in 2010. It’s been a long road, I won’t lie. Both of these moments were life defining. There’ve been others too, many. But these are the ones that come to mind first. Jon’s role as pastor also brings the poignant life defining moments of others very close to our hearts as well.
So on Memorial Day weekend not too long ago we were getting ready for family to arrive for a cookout. Jon and the boys were outside wiping down tables, brushing off chairs, setting them around on the patio.
I was inside whisking lemonade, slicing watermelon, chopping avocados to add to the Avocado Lime Black Bean Dip last minute.
My brother and his family arrived and we had a nice lunch on the patio. Maple Glazed Ribs on the menu.
After eating, we sit around, catch up. Chat. Thankfully we live on a quiet street, our teenage boys are out front shooting hoops by the driveway. The younger ones are in the backyard with the adults, bug hunting, etc. The kids are bug hunting. (!) Charlie (9) and his cousin Molly are two peas in a pod. Molly’s a little older than Charlie, and they’re both mesmerized by nature and animals. So Jon and I, my brother and sister-in-law are deep in conversation about stocks, TD Ameritrade. Twitter. This blog. Stephen Curry.
Charlie’s twinkle toeing along, barefoot on the lawn, not far from the edge of the four foot high brick retaining wall. The one that overlooks the slate patio. Suddenly, he trips. What I see in my peripheral vision is the tail end of a complete somersault over the brick wall, feet flailing.
My worst nightmare: that slate patio and my children’s heads.
I’m about eight feet away and it all happens in a split second. Everyone else’s back is to the scene. I shriek, cover my eyes, brace for the hard splat of Charlie landing on the slate. Deja vu.
It never comes. Because he lands square on his bottom, in a patio chair. Tears spring. (Mine.)
But for a chair. A chair that wasn’t there even an hour ago.
I couldn’t see the chair from where I was sitting. It was behind the grill. All I saw was the somersault over the ledge.
And the worst thing that happens? He’s embarrassed. Yeah.
This, and a million other reasons, is why I believe in guardian angels.
And I know there are millions of times where the calamity does happen. I know, because I’ve been there. But today, I receive a cup of pure grace in the form of a patio chair. And I recognize it for what it is, thank God.
Our family almost had one of those life defining moments last week. Almost doesn’t work for Olympic gold medalists. Or trapeze artists. Or Mt. Everest climbers. But in this case, Almost Is a Beautiful Word.
Related Post: Guardian Angel
Aunt Pinkie says
Oh, Allie – Never did I think I’d say PTL for a patio chair! This is a first for me! I can feel the angst – thanks for sharing! Almost IS a beautiful word!
Thank you Aunt Pinkie! I was never so grateful and relieved for a patio chair. Love you- a
Linda Jenkins says
OMG. Allie! I was reading this and expecting the worst at that moment. So grateful the outcome was what it was. You had me thinking “How much more can this family endure?” All I can say is that God, indeed, is good. Thank you, Lord, for protecting Charlie! Almost always has been a frightening and disappointing word for me, but I now recognize the beauty and the precious quality of that word. I am exhaling a sigh of relief right now. It brings to mind how many times yesterday I cautioned my grandson Landon, who is two, to hold the handrail as he navigated the stairs from the porch down to the yard to play with all his cousins. His dad kept telling me he would be fine, but all I could see in my mind’s eye was his tiny body tumbling down 20 stairs to the ground below. I held my breath every time he made the trip down the stairs.
Thanks Linda. It’s a scary world, we love these little ones so very much. So grateful for guardian angels and protection for Charlie`and Landon. XOXO
nancy mcmahan says
God is good. A chair….beautiful beautiful chair. So happy for your family that that chair was there.
Thank you Nan, my thoughts exactly….a beautiful, beautiful chair.
Nancy Hammett says
Thank you for sharing this post. Glad Charlie was ok. Gods was watching over him. Praise God for goodness and blessing.
Susie Mandel says
Oh, Allie, I think I was holding my breath as I was reading and didn’t realize until I read about the patio chair and let out a huge sigh of relief! Praise God!!
Sorry Susie, didn’t mean to scare you. I’d hoped the title would clue readers that all ended well. I was never so thankful, and my heart rate finally dropped after about 15 minutes….
Mary Judd says
Another , Oh Allie, No, No, this can’t be happening again – so thankful for the chair that God put in the right place at the right time.
Thanks Mary, so so grateful for that chair. I just can’t fathom going through that all over again.
How scary for you! I saw Charlie Sunday so I knew he was fine, still, I was holding my breath!
God is good, taking care of Jacob all those years ago and Charlie this year.
I remember so vividly Jacob’s story. That was actually how our friendship started. Our dear Father had his hand on Charlie…and Jacob.How blessed are we to know Him and see how He is working in our lives… one miracle at the time.
It was quite a time wasn’t it Daniella, etched my mind. Yes, one miracle at a time. XO
Carina Spring says
Allie – thank goodness your son is well! Amazing! He landed in a chair!! What are the odds? He must have been a bit stunned by the experience ( along with everyone else!), but what a relief. I did not know about Jacob’s accident. He sounds like a brave person – just like his mom. That is a lot to go through. Take care. I am so glad this story had a happy ending.
Some how I missed this post when it first came out. Wow! Unbelievable! I can only imagine how you must have felt. Scary by its self never mind what happened to Jacob! Yup, you definitely have someone looking out for you guys! What are the chances of him landing in a chair, just right too! Are you sure that That Charlie didn’t learn acrobatics while you weren’t looking? Wouldn’t put it passed him 😉 He’s tricky!!! So glad he is ok Allie!!!!
Thanks friend, I am so relieved and thankful too. I think there are probably many moments like this for all of us throughout the day, maybe not quite as obvious as this one. Like we might have been in a bad car accident if the kids hadn’t come out late from school. I think we just can’t fathom what our guardian angels are doing for us behind the scenes….and yeah, he’s a tricky one. 🙂
Cyndi - My Kitchen Craze says
I loved reading this post. Thanks goodness your son landed in a chair. I can’t imagine what was running through your mind in those seconds. Someone is watching out for you and that is awesome!! What a great ending to a nice day with friends and family. 🙂
Dear Cyndi, thank you so much. I’m still breathing a sigh of relief…so very grateful.
I cannot imagine how horrible those few seconds must have been for you. Praise God for his protection on Charlie that day!