Last night…

Okay, guys, I have some things to tell you. My quest for a subject has been successful, and it wasn’t any of my doing. The problem is, I don’t even know where to start. So I guess I’ll go in chronological order (?) I’m really not sure…

Last night was the First Grade Musical entitled “The Cheese Stands Alone” at my son’s school. He was a duck, and, no, we don’t have any pictures. because we’re just not smart enough to remember to bring a camera. He was in the chorus, so I feel that at least we didn’t miss getting pictures his Broadway debut or anything. But I digress…

It was the night of the musical, and we had to drop off my son in his classroom to get ready while we went to the cafeteria (where there’s a stage) for a brief PTA meeting before the kids sang. It was very crowded in there, all the chairs were taken and people were lining up against the wall. (By the way, if you are young and healthy, get up and give the older people a seat. And the pregnant women, they need a seat too. And if you have a small child with you, put them in your lap, do not save them a seat and turn away elderly people by saying that seat is reserved. It’s common courtesy. And y’all should know better.) It was very hot and stuffy. Also, overcrowded.

There was an elderly gentleman who finally found a seat in the back corner, near where we were standing. The PTA meeting started, and we listened to the basic PTA meeting stuff. Amidst the budget talks and thank yous, this elderly gentleman turned to get up out of his seat. He had his hand on his chest and looked as if he was going to cough. He looked right at me and made a kind of half smile, which I took to mean that he was apologetic about something. He looked as if he was going to have a coughing fit and was trying to remove himself from the room so he wouldn’t disturb anyone. How polite, I thought, that he would try and get up while they were talking and not disturb them.

But the man was not going to have a coughing fit. Oh no, he was not going anywhere. He stood up, took about three steps, and fell face first onto the cafeteria floor. And I’m not talking about a fall to your knees and then go down kind of fall, I’m talking about the kind of fall them meant he was standing upright one minute, then he went straight down with sickeningly loud thud onto the floor the next minute. Face first. Right in front of me, my husband, and my daughter.

There was a moment when I just stared at him, lying there face first, and wasn’t sure what to do. It took a minute for my mind to register what had just happened. And then I remember moving towards him while others rushed to help. I also remember then taking a step back while trying to see of anyone there looked like they knew what they were doing. And I’m very embarrassed about taking that step back. You see, I’m certified by the American Heart Association for Heart Savers First Aid and CPR. Technically, I should have helped the man, yet I was frozen.

Luckily amidst the shouts of “Call 911!” (which my husband did well in his booming voice) there also came help from people who could help him. And then I noticed that my daughter was right there, right in front of the man who had just fell face first onto the floor and wasn’t moving, and she was crying. So we quickly got ourselves out of the way and to the front of the room.

It took a long while to get my daughter calmed down. She had never seen anything like that happen, and neither had I. While I tried to tell her that people were helping him, and it was okay I tried very hard to stop my voice from cracking, but I didn’t succeed very well. (And thank you to Jenni – who probably doesn’t read this blog, but I’ll thank her anyway just in case she does – for coming over and helping comfort my daughter. That was very wonderful of you.) I finally got her calmed down and we sat there on the floor just talking while the EMT people helped the man.

I couldn’t see what was happening in the back of the room because I was trying to keep my daughter from looking too, but from what I was told, the man was breathing and was carried out of the room without oxygen or anything. So I think he was okay. I hope he was okay. But he did crack something on the front of his face. He couldn’t take a fall like that without breaking at least a nose. I can still hear the thud. It was awful.

While they were cleaning up the blood, the PTA played a DVD about upcoming bonds they wanted the parents to vote for, and it all seemed really weird. They continued on like normal. And I didn’t hear a word they said. But I guess, what else could they do? There was a whole part of the cafeteria that didn’t even know what had happened. And there was a musical to get on with.

The kids danced and sang and it was wonderful. My boy was so cute up there moving around and grinning. It was great. Amazing.

But there was some child up there who didn’t have his grandfather watching him. He didn’t even know that while he was in his classroom getting ready, his grandfather had a horrible accident. And that thought just kills me. Anything can happen when you least expect it to.

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