Getting Old, By the Grace of God

I don’t know for sure why I have been so compelled to write this post. As those of you who know me well will attest, I’m not one to talk about my own travails or problems, and that’s not the point. But for some reason I need to share this.

Saturday night I walked into a local bar and was greeted by a dozen or so of my friends, family, and co-workers. Bangie Thing had arranged a surprise party for my 45th birthday, and it was indeed a surprise.  I joked that we were celebrating me having survived that long. It was only a half joke.

The week before I walked away from this.

140321 (1) 140321 (2) 140321 (7)

140321 (3) 140321 (4)I kissed a palm tree at 60 MPH. Those of you in the public safety professions who have responded to motor vehicle crashes know the forces involved to do that much damage to CVPI. I myself have worked accidents involving slower speeds and seen the human carnage that they caused. I have a sore rib cage and an even sorer left hand from where I apparently punched the dash board on impact. I might have broken something, not sure, but I can more or less use the hand so no biggie (Just as long as I don’t try and do anything too strenuous involving my index finger that is.) But that’s it. Not another scratch on me. St. Michael and St. Erasmus were definitely with me that night.

This is what a CVPI looks like normally, with my handiwork in the foreground, just for comparison.

140321 (14)But that’s not the point of all this. This wasn’t the first time I’ve given my Guardian Angel a migraine, that’s for sure. But this time I realized just how precious life is. Maybe I’m just getting old, or maybe when I saw the look in Bangie Thing’s eyes when she saw the car, or maybe when I looked at my princesses; what ever it was I realized beyond a doubt just how foolish I was when I thought before that I was indestructible.

So the next time you kiss your loved one goodbye for the day, be sure to tell them that you love them, and be sure you mean it. And never, ever leave them angry. Don’t let their last memory of you be of anything other than that of the love you have for them.

And thank ever merciful God for every day you have.

33 comments

  1. 1
    CaveChild growls and barks:

    There is much wisdom in what you say.

    I’m glad that you’re okay.

    How scary that must’ve been!

  2. 2
    Lady H growls and barks:

    Thank G-d you’re okay too, Crunchie too. Another friend of ours hit a tree last week as well, and by the grace of Him on High, escaped with just one broken neck vertebra and stitches in his head. He was out of the hospital in 2 days, thank you, Lord. So happy to that you’re BOTH alright!

    And I’m glad you’re another devotee of St Michael the Archangel! Absolutely one of my favorite saints and angels. (Besides my own personal guardian angel, of course. :) )
    Lady H recently posted..New HomeMy Profile

  3. 3

    Wasn’t scared until after I reached up to wipe away I knew must have been a torrent of blood from my head and there wasn’t anything there. I didn’t get scared until I really started to look at the car, and the tree, and start to think about what had just happened. And when I started to wonder just why exactly God had decided to let me walk away from it.
    LC 0311 Sir Crunchie I.M.H., K.o.E. recently posted..Getting Old, By the Grace of GodMy Profile

  4. 4

    Lady H says:

    And I’m glad you’re another devotee of St Michael the Archangel!

    Wear his medal everyday. Sort of goes with my chosen vocations in life. Non Timebo Mala.
    LC 0311 Sir Crunchie I.M.H., K.o.E. recently posted..Getting Old, By the Grace of GodMy Profile

  5. 5
    LC ShadowFox growls and barks:

    Holy crap Brother… He was definitely your copilot that day. We lose enough good ones everyday without you adding to them.

  6. 6
    LC Ohio Right Wing Nut growls and barks:

    From your friendly neighborhood fireman, thank the Lord, I’ve seen less damage with worse outcomes, Heaven don’t want you and Hell is afraid you’ll take over. Glad you’re ok.

  7. 7

    Sage advice.
    Apparently, your terrestrial mission is not complete, yet.
    Mrs.C and I are among the very grateful too. So glad you’re ok.
    We’ll be toasting you and the patron saint of airbags.
    Regards to the palm tree. Funny how they only have a fraction of an oak’s roots and wood density, but retain all the same stationary inertia.
    That was a big bullet ‘just whizzed by.
    ‘Bet y’heard some angel’s feathers there among the chimes.

  8. 8
    Retired Spook growls and barks:

    Glad you’re okay.

    To date, I’ve survived fires, floods, the Viet Cong, and outraged fathers. My guardian angel must get hazardous duty pay.

    Be sure and thank whoever you think is in charge for letting you walk away from that one.

  9. 9
    Emperor Misha I growls and barks:

    By the feathers of Hugin and Munin, Brother, that was a close one!

    Not quite ready for the next stage yet, and I’m thankful for it.

    I intend to keep these pictures for the next twit who looks doubtful when I tell him that I love the safety of those cars, describe the velocity and nature of collision and add “driver walked away with a few bruises. Any questions?”

    As to your larger point: No truer words ever spoken. They apply to whatever you do. Promise yourself that you’ll do everything to come home every time you leave the house and swear that your last words, should your best efforts be in vain because it was your time, will not be spoken in anger at those you love.

    And as a side note regarding those, present company excluded because we all know better, who like to post Hallmark Cards on FaceBork singing the praises of their mums and dads and how much they love them: You know what? Unless they’re dead, then you could have picked up the damn phone and told them in the time it took you to post that.

    Sorry, got sidetracked there. Bottom line: Let those you love know that you love them. Every day, every chance you get. Because you’ll never know when your last chance will come.
    Emperor Misha I recently posted..We Have Done the Impossible, and that Makes us MightyMy Profile

  10. 10
    Jerome growls and barks:

    Glad you made it through ok. None of us know how long we’ll be on this earth so it’s always good advice to live every day like it’s our last.

  11. 11

    Maybe they should ban palm trees if they’re that dangerous! For your sake, and the sake of your family, I’m glad you are okay. Please don’t make a habit of that.

  12. 12
    LC Light29ID - The Imperial Asshole growls and barks:

    Glad to know your safe brother. At least Ford still knows how to build a tank for the street unlike those PoS Chevy Caprice’s that they drove in the 80′s.

  13. 13
    LibraryGryffon growls and barks:

    Indeed, and also thank the Lord for engineers who have the skills to design cars able direct those forces away from the passengers.

    My sister swears by Subarus. We’re pretty impressed too. We had a ’97 Imprezza Outback that bore the brunt of the neighbor’s 50+ foot willow when Sandy brought it down. A huge dent in the roof and unidentifiable rusty bits fell off the undercarriage but every single door and hatch opened and closed properly, and not a even a crack in the windshield. (pictures here: http://ichneumon.blogspot.com/2012/10/well-that-wasnt-much-fun.html). We replaced it with a ’96 Legacy Outback. My sister’s comment was “Oh, the twin of the one that gave it’s life for me!” She had hit black ice in the Colorado mountains, spun out, and rolled several times into the side of the mountain. She walked with even less damage than Crunchy. I have to admit I’m glad neither of my girls drives yet.
    LibraryGryffon recently posted..It’s not been a great day, week, month, or even year so far.My Profile

  14. 14
    LC R6 growls and barks:

    Glad you’re okay Crunch.

    By the way, why were you chasing a palm tree in the first place?

  15. 15

    Dayum, bro! Good thing your time wan’t up, because that would have taken most. :em01:
    LC cmblake6, Imperial Black Ops Technician recently posted..Good thing he was a ways off, yeah?My Profile

  16. 16

    Wasn’t. Captain Morgan is messing with my proofreading skills. :em08:
    LC cmblake6, Imperial Black Ops Technician recently posted..Good thing he was a ways off, yeah?My Profile

  17. 17

    Praise be to God that you walked away, Crunchie! Not a year and a half ago I walked away from one, too. And thankful every day for the blessings He bestows on me, no matter what. I send prayers for a quick recovery from the pains and bruises, honey!

    It isn’t age. It’s the realization that you need to live up to the Life God has gifted you :)
    LC Aggie Sith, a goddess, only different, G.G.O.R. recently posted..Girlie Drink of the WeekMy Profile

  18. 18

    LC R6 says:

    By the way, why were you chasing a palm tree in the first place?

    It was wearing a hoodie. And i damned sure caught it now didn’t I?
    LC 0311 Sir Crunchie I.M.H., K.o.E. recently posted..Six at one blow..”click” “bang”….*BOOOOM*My Profile

  19. 19

    : LC Aggie Sith, a goddess, only different, G.G.O.R. says:

    It’s the realization that you need to live up to the Life God has gifted you

    Amen to that Aggie.
    LC 0311 Sir Crunchie I.M.H., K.o.E. recently posted..Six at one blow..”click” “bang”….*BOOOOM*My Profile

  20. 20
    Terrapod growls and barks:

    Crunchie, bless your luck and that of your family. Once the immediate shock and relief passes, take a good and honest close look at what led up to the event and endeavor to NEVER repeat it. God blesses fools most of the time, not always. Having been in 2 scrapes where I was lucky to be alive the risk gene was finally expunged.

  21. 21
    BC, Imperial Torturer growls and barks:

    Must’ve been one of the exotic palm trees that are notorious for darting out in front of cars when they’re startled by loud noises.

    Glad you’re OK. At least the crash got you out from in front of that damned mirror and stopped you from staring at your ass long enough to post something.
    :em01:
    BC, Imperial Torturer recently posted..Six at one blow..”click” “bang”….*BOOOOM*My Profile

  22. 22

    Glad you walked away from that one Crunch. Now how bout taking it easy for a bit and let your Guardian Angel take a break. :em01:
    Lady M-ITT™-Imperial Sniper G.L.O.R recently posted..Today’s ThoughtMy Profile

  23. 23
    LC Jackboot IC/A growls and barks:

    Good L-rd Brother!!!!! That was a close one…..By His grace you walked away and fulfilled the first rule of law enforcement ….. Go home at the end of your shift alive. My FTO those many years ago put it another way. “I’m going home to a hot woman and a cold beer”….all the Saints were with you and not the ones in N’owlins.
    LC Jackboot IC/A recently posted..Six at one blow..”click” “bang”….*BOOOOM*My Profile

  24. 24
    LC Moriarty, Imperial Goatherd growls and barks:

    Dang.

    No one ever gets in a car and thinks, “Today’s the day I’m going to eat this airbag.” Glad you’re (relatively) unscathed. A generation or so ago things might not have been that way:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtxd27jlZ_g#t=21

    Things like this make you haul back and appreciate the finer things in life: The miracle of a sunrise, the joy of hearing the laughter of a child or that first, delicious sip of a cold beer. As you give thanks, enjoy those things too.

    Again, glad you’re still standing among us.

  25. 25
    LC R6 growls and barks:

    Another thing I noticed that contributes to LEO being made fun of. If you guys would stop having pillows installed in your steering wheels so you could take naps on the job you probably would catch less grief.

  26. 26
    LC SecondMouse growls and barks:

    Ouch. Glad you walked away from that one, Crunchie. Much is owed, as has been said, to the choice of automobile. It is incredible to me that the human body can endure the forces exerted on it when this happens. In this wreck, I would guess you pulled at least 60 g’s, and judging by the relatively short stopping distance, perhaps a lot more. Amazing. Oh, and please be more careful in future. That would simply not do.

    LibraryGryffon, I have had the same experience with Subarus. I deliberately put both of my sons in Impreza wagons for their first cars. The eldest wrapped his around a telephone pole, completely destroying it, and walked away. The passenger cage in those things (at least in the mid to late 90′s) is impressive. The youngest rolled his into and out of a ditch and across the road at speed on the roof, managing to ball it up into a shiny lump, and didn’t have a scratch on him (why he stubbornly refused to learn from his older brother is a story as old as time).

  27. 27

    Terrapod says:

    Once the immediate shock and relief passes, take a good and honest close look at what led up to the event and endeavor to NEVER repeat it.

    Stupidity, pure and simple. BC, Imperial Torturer says:

    Must’ve been one of the exotic palm trees that are notorious for darting out in front of cars when they’re startled by loud noises.

    Yup, I hate those damn things. BC, Imperial Torturer says:

    At least the crash got you out from in front of that damned mirror and stopped you from staring at your ass long enough to post something.

    Right. The ass is still magnificent though. :em01:
    LC 0311 Sir Crunchie I.M.H., K.o.E. recently posted..Six at one blow..”click” “bang”….*BOOOOM*My Profile

  28. 28

    Lady M-ITT™-Imperial Sniper G.L.O.R says:

    Now how bout taking it easy for a bit and let your Guardian Angel take a break.

    Workin’ on it milady.
    LC 0311 Sir Crunchie I.M.H., K.o.E. recently posted..Six at one blow..”click” “bang”….*BOOOOM*My Profile

  29. 29
    LC Roguetek growls and barks:

    LC Moriarty, Imperial Goatherd says:

    Dang.

    No one ever gets in a car and thinks, “Today’s the day I’m going to eat this airbag.” Glad you’re (relatively) unscathed. A generation or so ago things might not have been that way:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtxd27jlZ_g#t=21

    Things like this make you haul back and appreciate the finer things in life: The miracle of a sunrise, the joy of hearing the laughter of a child or that first, delicious sip of a cold beer. As you give thanks, enjoy those things too.

    Again, glad you’re still standing among us.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but every time I fire up the bike and roll out of the driveway, the possibility crosses my mind.

  30. 30
    Delftsman3 growls and barks:

    Dang Crunchie ! Really glad that you made through another one again ! As i get up to my 60 (dang only 23 days !) I find that I really didn’t really earn that time and I hope that soon I won’t be so damned stupid any more…after being thrown after 5 times in motorcycles, you’d THINK that I’ve learned, but HELL NO, at least the last one does me ! LOL

    I Am glad that Bangy and the girls still have you around and that it lasts for a LONG time still too !
    Delftsman3 recently posted..I’m back !My Profile

  31. 31
    LC hilljohnny growls and barks:

    Might should change the title of the post to “Getting OldER” by the grace of God.
    :em01:

  32. 32
    Radical Redneck growls and barks:

    Yow that’s one scary looking wreck. :shock: Thankfully you didn’t resemble your nic literally! :mrgreen:


    Get well soon and Happy Birthday! I got a package here as a belated gift – hopefully it will lift your spirits!

  33. 33
    Lizard, G.L.O.R. growls and barks:

    Crunchie, I forgot we were so close in age(though you are still older). Glad you are alright!! Takes you crashing into a palm tree to get me to log in to post. NOW I hope Mrs. Crunchie gave you a smack to the back of the head for scaring her.