Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: CLUMSY (04/11/19)
- TITLE: My Busy Guardian Angels
By Laurie Staples
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They claimed I had zero hand-eye coordination and was only going to get hurt trying to ride their mini bikes and and go-carts. I tried so hard to do the things that came naturally to them, but I was a dismal failure.
Being the accident prone person I’ve always been, there were several occasions my younger brother, Craig, thought he was losing me. When I was seven and he was five, there was a big snowfall and we couldn't wait to get out and play in it. After bundling us up in snowsuits, mittens and hats, my mom let us out to brave the elements.
Though it seemed like we'd trekked quite a distance, it was probably only a few houses down. I spotted some ice and decided I’d slide across it. I broke through the ice and was completely submerged. When I bobbed up, I screamed for Craig to help me. He did his best to pull me out—me screaming at him to pull harder and him crying and saying he was pulling his hardest, but he wasn’t strong enough, he couldn’t do it—he needed to get help.
I begged him not to leave me. He ran home sobbing hysterically—saying I was drowning and he couldn't help me. My dad ran out in his bare feet and found me curled up beside the hole I had fallen through. Nothing but a guardian angel could have lifted me out of that water—weighed down as I was with all my sopping wet snow clothing.
A few years later we were on our snowmobile. Craig and I were both too weak to pull the cord to start it, but we knew how to use a can of ether to get it going. I'm not even sure what ether is, I just knew if we sprayed enough of it, we could start the snowmobile.
I was driving and there were three of us on it. We had our friend's little girl with us. When I tried to slow down to make a turn, the throttle stuck and I froze up as we headed straight for a fence at full speed. Craig managed to get off and pull the little girl off with him. He wasn’t able to to pull me off, but miraculously he was able to hit the kill button--slowing down the snow mobile considerably. But it was still going fast enough that I was thrown over the fence and split my head open (mind you, these were pre-helmet times).
Again, Craig ran home, sobbing hysterically, saying he couldn't pull me off, he couldn't save me. Again, my dad came running out to get me, carrying me home while pressing his hand firmly against the gash on my head.
Sadly, Craig died in a plane crash when he was only thirty-seven years old. On the fateful day his plane went down,an angel didn't step in to save him, but I believe it was a reward for Craig. I believe that with all my heart. Just a few weeks before his accident, Craig told us (eerily enough) that we'd better view his death as an event to be celebrated, because it would be well worth celebrating. He could sincerely say that because he lived believing that "to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21)
When he was little, he used to sing an old song with his own twist on the words: "When those gates are open wide, I'm gonna shove my butt inside; I'm gonna sing, I'm gonna shout, praise the Lord!”
His words are so entrenched in my mind that I can’t even think of the right lyrics. But I am sure of one thing-- those gates were definitely opened wide for Craig.
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