Monday, May 19, 2008

47 Heart Attacks

When I was 14 I babysat for a family that lived around the corner. Lovely Mom, Dad, and two little daughters--the oldest was about two and a half and the youngest was an infant. They lived in a two-story yellow house with a big front porch--you could put them on the cover of "The American Dream" magazine.

One day they asked me to babysit so Mom could go to a church group meeting while Dad re-roofed the house with his friend.

The Dad fell off the roof, catching his foot in the gutter. His head hit the ground first.

I had to call 9-1-1. I dealt with the situation the very best that a 14 year-old could... which is to say, not well. Thank God for those fridge magnets listing the address and important info for babysitters.

I will spare you--and myself--from the details.

The Dad died after arriving at the hospital. I never saw Mom or the girls again.

This past weekend Jason said we had to clean out the gutters (which became very obvious during our recent rain storm). My parents got us a super-cool ladder as a housewarming present so, aside from my panic attacks, we were set.

This is one of only photos I got, because once he moved to the upper gutters I was too busy holding the ladder and having 47 heart attacks.

Here he is discovering that apparently at some point before we bought this house, a tree fell onto the roof:

The plywood underneath is rotted and will have to be replaced. Can I tell you how much I don't even care about the roof damage? How thankful I am that this is a problem easily fixed by time, effort, and money? [Not to mention how happy I am that it is on the first floor part of the house.]

Sometimes it's all about perspective.

Thanks for letting me get that out of my head.


amy said...

wow, i don't even know what to say about that story. i'm so sorry. where was his friend when he fell?

zanne said...

Wow Cameron, what a horrific thing to experience as a 14 years old.

Cynthia said...

whoa Cameron that is scary. I can't imagine. The story gave me goosebumps.

Jaime said...

How scary! And at the age of 14... wow...

Jilliene Designs said...

that is a powerful story and a real reminder that life is precious. i think i'll go kiss my kids.

Heather said...

I am just catching up on all your posts.
That is such a traumatic event to witness as a kid and when you are alone even worse!
I would of had to leave the house and have someone else watch and hold the ladder because I would be a basket case...well more so then usual:)