Day 18, Saturday: Tell a story from your childhood. Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt.
Please read the below post whilst humming along to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s theme song, which you will have hopefully stuck in your head by the end of this story. At first, I wanted to write it as though it were a chapter from a novel, but I decided that a more frank and upfront storytelling is more my style right now.
My childhood is full of stories, but that is a trait common to all of humanity whether we track the stories of our lives or not. I’m going to dig deep and see if I can properly remember something story-worthy, but for now, please enjoy this little tidbit of a story from when I was 4 or 5 years old!
THE STORY –
My brother was not one year old, but that doesn’t help me date the story much since he is born in December. So it was before December 19, 1996 and I was either 4 or 5 depending on whether the incident took place before or after July 30, 1991. It was nice out and I remember wearing a tee-shirt, no sweater, so I was probably still 4.
At that time, we lived in an apartment complex in Flushing, New York. I can’t remember our apartment number, but we may have lived on the 4th Floor. Maybe we were in the lobby…? I was only there for a short while and cannot remember. We were heading home after doing some grocery shopping (Or maybe we were just at the park across the street?) and my brother was pushing along my younger brother in his stroller.
I ran ahead of her as we neared our apartment building (Don’t worry, there is no car accident involved) and bounced towards the glass double-door entry. The doors were impossibly tall and my 4-year-old self found them to be heavy as well. They seemed to stretch upwards forever, though in reality they were probably only 7-8 feet tall.
As I went to open the doors for my mommy to push my brother’s stroller through, the entire glass door shattered at my touch.
I am not kidding when I say that the glass door broke into a million tiny pieces. (Maybe only several thousand?)
At the time, perhaps shatter-proof glass wasn’t a thing or maybe I was just the straw that broke the camel’s back and the glass doors were already old, weak, or in need of repair but whatever the reason, I simply pulled on the handle to open the door and it fell apart on and around me. Nowadays, if you shatter a glass door like that it will develop millions of cracks throughout but it won’t actually physically fall apart (Unless you then smash at it with a hammer or something), but whatver the amazing technology is that allows that, it wasn’t around yet.
So there I was, four years old and terrified, with glass all around me. I wasn’t going to panic until I looked down at my hands. Uh oh. I was bleeding.
Well duh, you are thinking. An 8-foot-tall glass door just shattered all over you. You are obviously bleeding, you are thinking. The problem is that because I was so close to the door and was the one who turned the handle, my hands were cut up pretty badly. Looking back at this story, I still thank God that my mother was behind the stroller and my brother’s stroller wasn’t yet right at the doorway when I ran ahead to hold it open for them. The most terrifying thing about this incident: A tiny sliver of glass nicked him in his right eyebrow, and to this day, no hair grows back in that area. A little bit lower and to the left and it would have embedded itself in his right eye. I am not very religious, but I am certainly thankful that this luck, coincidence, fate, or what-have-you saved his eyesight.
My mother was crying hysterically because I was going into shock from the incident and just staring dumbfounded at my bleeding hands and then at the glass door, or lack thereof. She called her brother, who lived nearby, but in her hysterics, he couldn’t tell if she was laughing or crying. Somebody else at the scene called 911 and within minutes, we had an ambulance parked in front of the building.
I was taken to the hospital and thankfully, they were able to remove all the little tiny bits of glass from my hand, though I was left with 12-15 little tiny scars wherever the glass had struck my hands. To this day, I can probably sit down and count off most of them, though the smaller ones are no longer there and they all have faded so significantly that they look very minor and unassuming.
Thankfully other than the little scars on my fingers/hands, I escaped unscathed. As unscathed as one can be, all things considered. We sued the building but the personal injury case was settled before we went to Court and we (My parents) were happy with the monetary compensation received.
The interesting part is that this personal injury lawsuit we filed (Though I didn’t know the terminology then) is the reason I stepped inside a Courthouse for the first time and fell in love with the Profession I am now pursuing – A career as a lawyer.
My roots are deep and my desire to pursue law has remained fairly unwavering (Though I have had bouts of self-doubt recently) since then. I have always known what I wanted to be, and this accident is the reason I was privileged enough to just know.