Friday, May 13, 2022

Microstory 1885: Put on Ice

Yesterday morning, I was walking my cat by the frozen river. Yes, I walk my cat. I know it’s weird, but he likes it, and I like it, so I don’t owe you an explanation. That’s not the point anyway. This is a story about how I nearly succumbed to death, and how that would have been okay, because I still would have saved a life in the process. The trail doesn’t run exactly parallel to the river—it bends away at places, to get around trees, and the like. As we were getting back towards it, I started hearing what I initially thought were birds. It was Buttons who heard it first, actually, he has such great hearing. I’m sure he knew right away that it was a human. Once I realized this myself, I dropped the leash, and left the trail. It was tough, getting through all the brambles and thorns, but I couldn’t wait until we got to a clearing, because then we would be too far upstream. Buttons followed me, he’s loyal too. Finally I reached the bank, and nearly slipped onto the ice myself, which may seem like it wouldn’t matter, because I was ending up out there anyway, but not right there. I discovered how unstable it was right there. I looked across, and saw a child on his stomach in the middle of the river. There was a rope swing nearby that kids use in the summer, so I assumed he came from that side. Irrelevant. He needed help, and there was no one else around, so I found my footing, and crawled out to retrieve him. I know now, you’re supposed to urge them to come to try to come to you, but he was so little. I tried talking to him, but he just kept crying. He wasn’t capable of meeting me halfway. Man, I wish I had been on that other side, though; then I could have thrown him the rope! Or maybe I would have tied it to myself, and been safer.

Well, crawling started feeling dangerous. I could hear the ice crack under my weight, so I decided to lie flat, and slide to him. I dug my fingernails into the top layer, hoping not to disrupt its integrity, and pulled myself closer little by little, ignoring the blood turning the snow red. He was facing away from me, so even though I kept talking to him, I didn’t think he knew I was on my way. Finally I was there. I took him in my arms, and together we kept going to the other side, because we weren’t exactly in the center. We were almost to the bank when the ice just fell out from under me. I held on as best I could, but the current was so strong underneath. The only thing I could do was push the boy forwards, and get him onto the ground. When he looked back, I told him to run for help, but it was too late. I was under. Another random citizen pulled my body out of the river more than twenty miles downstream, where the water was calmer, and not iced over. This was eleven hours later. He assumed that I was dead, but that didn’t stop him from beginning CPR, and having his niece call for help. The paramedics took over when they arrived, and my heart miraculously started beating again. I wasn’t conscious, but I was alive. They drove me to the hospital, where doctors continued treatment. I woke up several hours later, feeling terrible, but still alive. My family was all around me, crying because they thought they had lost me. They were all talking about how God saved me, and I don’t know about that, but I did feel lucky. My own niece was holding Buttons, having snuck him into the hospital in her purse. I was grateful that he was okay, but I told her to take him back home, because there are sick people here, and they don’t need any dirty animals. I was feeling tired just in time for visiting hours to be over, so I said goodbye to my family, and tried to get to sleep. But I never woke up.

No comments :

Post a Comment