It was one year ago today that I received the most terrifying call of my life. It was around 7pm on October 3rd, 2011 and I was trying to get my kids upstairs after we had dinner. My wife Alison had gone for her evening run with her good friend Lori. My phone rang shortly after they left and I saw her cell number displayed on the caller ID. I casually answered it to find out what she had forgotten to tell me to do. Instead it was Lori crying hysterically to tell me that Alison had been hit by a car.
The events after that are like a montage of short movie clips that are blurred in many areas. The pieces I remember include me trying to calmly tell my 4 kids (ages 6-13) that I had to go get Mommy, banging on my neighbor’s door to tell them I needed them to watch my kids, and praying the entire way to the scene to find out what had happened and if she was alive.
As I approached the intersection where the accident had occurred, I was overwhelmed and tried to prepare myself for what I was about to witness. There were emergency vehicles all over the road, their lights shining everywhere, and police directing traffic around the scene. It was her screams that told me she was alive and I was grateful to hear her voice. I found her on the ground with the EMS team getting ready to transport her to the hospital. All we knew for sure was that her ankle was broken with the bone visible through the skin.
Alison had been running with Lori as they always had during the week. They both wore reflective vests and while they sometimes ran on the street (toward traffic), they were actually in a cross walk when the driver made a left hand turn into them. After the driver’s side mirror knocked Alison to the ground, its rear tire rolled over, twisted, and broke her ankle.
The outpouring of love and support from our church, running group, and so many friends was amazing. Assistance with car rides for 4 children, meals, and housekeeping are just some of those tangible gifts we received. However, I believe it is the love and compassion shown by everyone during this time which will serve as the most powerful lesson my children will take with them for their entire lives.
I have shared this story with others over the last 12 months to encourage them to help those in need get through difficult situations and help them experience God’s amazing love. However I wanted to share this today to encourage all of you reading this to PLEASE BE SAFE while you are out there training on the road or driving. Too often I see runners on the road in the dark without reflective gear or lights, I see them running with traffic rather than against it, or those who run in the road with headphones.
I am just as amazed at how many people I know who run without ID. Whether you are a best friend or the coach of a high school runner, let me assure that you cannot answer all the questions a paramedic would throw at you and which could save their life… drug allergies? Blood type? and many others that can be accessed with something such as a ROAD ID tag.
I have included these tips and others in the LINK HERE that I hope you will not only use for yourself, but hope you would share these with others.
While Alison has not yet run again, the kids and I are so grateful she is alive. She is still recovering and we pray that she will be relieved of the pain and discomfort she often experiences by the end of each busy day after taking care of our family.
Let us all remember that each day is truly a blessing which we should thank the Lord for and continually ask for His strength and guidance to help us get through difficult situations.