For most people, Black Friday is that crazy day after Thanksgiving when hordes of otherwise reasonable people frantically swarm the malls looking to get something for practically nothing. And unfortunately for me, from this year forward, Black Friday will always represent the agonizing day that I almost lost my baby.
What is it about this day that turns bargain hungry shoppers into deranged lunatics? These seemingly normal people appear to lose all sense of reality as they camp outside of Wal Marts and Best Buys for days, and then trample over each other for the honor of being one of the first inside when the doors open. The evening news reports are full of stories about innocuous soccer moms fighting like mad dogs over PS3 consoles and Let’s Rock Elmo. Oh, and let’s not forget those silly Lalaloopsey dolls. What is wrong with people?!?! No, thank you – not for me! There isn’t any material thing in this world that I want or need that badly. It’s insane!
At around 4:00 pm on Black Friday, I decided to stop by a local gift shop that a friend of mine owns. I spent half an hour or so visiting before I left to go home. As I drove out of the parking lot, I noticed that there had been a car accident at the nearest intersection. The fire department and a few police cars were already on site. I remember looking at the crumpled cars, thinking that it looked pretty bad and that I should turn off as soon as I could so as not to get in the way. I drove about six blocks when my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, but I answered the call anyway. A disembodied male voice asked me if I was Mrs. SCGG. I started to get an uneasy feeling in my gut. When I replied that I was, the man told me that my daughter had just been in an accident and was injured. At that point, I think my heart stopped for a minute. Then, I asked the question that I suspected I already knew the answer to: “Where is she?” He told me that she was at the very intersection I had just passed. My blood ran cold! Filled with dread, I turned around as fast as I could and raced back to the scene. I called Mr. SGCC on the way (using my hands-free Bluetooth).
When I got there, Mini SGCC was in the back seat of the car. She was obviously in pain and I think, in shock. She complained that she couldn’t move. The man who had called me was with her. He had witnessed the crash and rushed over to help. God bless him.
Mini SGCC had been riding with her BFF and the friend’s father, who was driving. Apparently, some stupid woman, probably high on shopping, had run a red light and plowed right into them. Now, no one except her will ever know for sure why she ran that red light, but I’m betting it had something to do with a cell phone or some other distraction. Drivers that are paying attention to the road do not randomly run red lights.
When the EMTs arrived, they told me that Mini SGCC might have a broken back. I thought I might die right there and then. They strapped her to a cold, hard spine board and lifted her into the ambulance. At the Emergency Room, we were elated to learn that Mini SGCC “only” had a broken right clavicle, a broken left wrist, a few cracked ribs and lots of bumps and bruises. Hah! Imagine being elated about several broken bones? Well, as bad as that was, I was happy to hear it because it meant that my baby would eventually be okay.
Mini SGCC is in for a long recovery. In the meantime, her right shoulder and arm are in an immobilizer sling and her left arm is in a cast. She had surgery on her wrist a few days ago. They put a huge steel plate in her arm and screwed it into what was left of her wrist bones. The prognosis is good, but she will never be whole again. And, for the rest of her life she will have the dubious distinction of setting off metal detectors wherever she goes. But, I’m not complaining. It’s a small price to pay.
Hopefully, Mini SGCC will be able to go back to school soon, though she will need a full time aide for a while. With both of her arms out of commission she can’t do anything for herself. But it’s her senior year, and I don’t want her to miss any more of it than she has to.
I realize that this post has nothing to do with cooking or baking, but I had to get this out. In fact, I think the Thanksgiving leftovers are still in my garage fridge waiting to be transformed. But, I don’t have the energy or desire to worry about them right now. As incredibly thankful that I am that Mini SGCC wasn’t hurt worse than she was, I am also angry – so very, very angry. I’m angry at that reckless woman who wasn’t paying attention and ran the red light. I’m angry that my child was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’m angry that she’s had to suffer from so much pain. I’m angry that the memories of what should be the one of the happiest times of her life will be now marred by these events. I’m angry for her scars. I’m also angry that our society has become so engulfed in commercialism that Black Friday even exists. And, I’m angry at the Wal Marts, Best Buys and other stores in this country that whip consumers into a frenzy promising “doorbusters” that can’t be passed up. I don’t remember it being like this years ago. Seriously, people, is a good deal on a TV really worth risking someone’s life?