Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gratitude Day 10

While dining out with some friends at lunchtime, we suddenly noticed some commotion around a lady at the next table. I couldn't see her face, but she was making scary strangled sounds, her hands were shaking, and a man in scrubs from another table stood behind her, ready to administer the Heimlich maneuver. A waitress asked if she needed to call 911, but when asked if she was choking, the woman shook her head. She then started gasping for breath. It turns out that she had aspirated some water. As the small crowd dissipated, I realized that I was lightheaded. I don't think I had taken a breath since the commotion started. I had been terrified that I was going to witness an accidental death on a normal Thursday afternoon and that someone was going to lose a wife, mother, sister, friend.

Later, while I was enjoying the peaceful time of night after the boys are in bed, red lights flashed in the darkness outside my window. A fire truck and an ambulance were driving down my street. Again, I felt panic. I went outside to see the lights stop at a house at the end of my street. I don't know whose house was the destination for these ominous vehicles. But I can imagine the occasion was, if not tragic, then at least traumatizing.

I guess my gratitude today comes at the expense of strangers. I am so thankful that all of my immediate family members are safe and healthy. I know this will not always be the case, so today I am thankful for this temporary peace of mind.

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