A Brush with Death
A Brush With Death by Joy Elizabeth Ballack
The most unusual and bizarre experiences can happen at the most unlikely times, and
more often than not, we are totally unprepared for it. This was the case with my eight-year-old daughter and her brush with death.
It was a cool, quiet evening and Daena was just about to take her evening bath. She was in a very playful mood as she loosened her thick brown hair and let it fall down her back, just past her shoulders. Then she opened the bathroom door to see herself in the long indoor mirror. This way, she could have a playmate without disturbing her older sister who was doing homework in her nearby bedroom. My husband and I could hear her jumping and clapping from our bedroom, as we relaxed and chatted on the bed. It was a happy rhythmic sound, breaking up the silence and we had no cause for concern.
Then suddenly, without warning, came a loud crash and a deep wailing cry. With great alarm, we rushed out to see what had happened. Daena was bending forward on her knees with her face to the ground. Her sister Candice, pale with fear was standing beside her. I was frantic for an explanation, as I picked Daena up from the floor to see if she was seriously hurt. She had one hand over her mouth and the other covering her knees as she fell helplessly into my arms, remaining in a crouched position. Candice confessed to “catching” Daena’s feet as she jumped, but was too shaken to say anymore. I carefully removed Daena’s hand from her knees as her daddy stretched out her legs to see if anything was broken. Then I also removed her hand from over her mouth. With great shock and horror, I saw that one of her protruding front teeth was diagonally broken in half.
My feelings went from panic to anger and I started to shake Candice. My husband held me firmly and told me to calm down. Then he put his arm around Candice and we walked back to the bedroom. We sat quietly for a few moments, giving her time to compose herself. I was becoming very impatient, when my husband finally coaxed her to speak up.
Apparently, she had become excited by the playful noise, quietly arose from her home - work, and sneaked up behind Daena, who was standing sideways facing a narrow wall, looking at herself in the mirror. She was totally absorbed with watching the movement of her hair as she jumped happily, and was unaware of her sister’s presence. Then, to somehow join in the game, Candice decided to “ surprise” Daena by grabbing her feet as she lifted them high in the air; but instead of laughter, she heard Daena scream in terror as she was suddenly thrown forward, face down, breaking her front tooth as she hit the ground.
We were dumbstruck! It had all happened so suddenly; but what was so miraculous and amazing was that besides her broken tooth she did not seem to be hurt in any serious way. She had only slightly bumped her head on the wall, which helped to slow down the force of the fall, and the protruding tooth seemed to have protected her face from injury.
It was such a narrow wall. If she had been one-step closer to the mirror, she would have fallen through the open doorway and hit the ground with full force, and if she had been one-step away from the wall, it would not have helped to brace the fall.
For several moments, we sat in shocked silence, shaken by the realization, that what started out as simple, happy, child’s play on a cool, relaxed and quiet evening, could have
ended in serious head injury or sudden death; and yet by a strange twist of fate or divine protection, this serious calamity was stopped by a wall that was in just the right position, and a protruding tooth, which often made her ashamed to smile.
© Joy Ballack 2010
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