Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blessings, Natasha

Natasha Richardson's death feels personal somehow. I do not know her, of course. I don't even know anyone who knows her. But she came into my home roughly 10 million times via The Parent Trap, one of Katie's all time favorite movies. We saw it at the theater and then over and over on cable. Katie can't pass it on the cable guide. For her, it's like a bell for Pavlov's dogs: she sees the words and clicks.

Natasha's death also reminds me how incredibly blessed I am. When I was her age--45--I hit my head with such force it could easily have killed me. On a beautiful spring afternoon, I was rushing to mow the lawn even though the grass was too wet. On a hill, my feet flew from beneath me and life dropped into slo-mo.

The lawn mower flew up and away from me, the blades whirling as it fell within 6 inches of my legs. I fell flat and the back of my head hit the ground with stunning force. A split second after that blow, my brain sloshed forward and hit the front of my skull so hard I saw cartoon stars.

I had no idea our brains could move within our skulls like that. Even today, almost 10 years later, I remember the eerie, fuzzy, recognition that such a thing really should not happen.

My whole body shut down for what felt like ages but could have been seconds or hours for all I know. When I finally gathered enough strength, I crawled around the house to a point where my neighbor angel could hear me yelling through her sewing room windows. She came down, helped me into my house and kept an eye on me. By morning, I was fine.

Natasha hit her head and died. There is no explanation for her fate. Or mine.

Blessings to the family and friends of Natasha Richardson. Go with God, my dear.


kario said...

It is so arresting when something like that happens. Something that so many of us have either had happen to us or seen happen to others. And then it turns tragic.

So pleased you lived to tell your story, my friend.

So sorry Natasha didn't.

Doubting Thomas said...

I was struck with similar feelings by this story——a very routine mishap that turned tragic in the blink of an eye. Waving off the paramedics one minute, flat-lining the next.

A reminder to seize the day, as Saul Bellow once wrote.

Deb Shucka said...

News of her death hit me as well. I think in part because it was at such an ordinary moment. Your story just deepens the knowledge that we only have this one moment. And that we are all connected.

Amanda said...

Amazing how easily we forget how tenuous, how unpromised it all is. Beautiful.