A few years ago, my sister Brittany and I played on the same softball team, with whom we went to the NSA World Series. In our hotel, there was a wall of plate glass windows, angled in such a way; it looked like an open door. I had bumped into it countless times on the trip, and been embarrassed each time. My teammate and I were waiting just outside of the windows for my sister so we could leave for our game. As I turned around, I saw my sister walking towards us. Within a second, she walked through the window, which was not tempered, causing shards of glass to fall on her. At the sight of her blood, I screamed, terrified of the possibilities of what might happen.
There was blood covering her body, making it impossible to see if glass had gotten into her eyes, cut her throat, or hit her chest. The possibility of death entered my mind a thousand times within the few minutes it took for the ambulance to arrive. The only thing I could see, was the large part of her knee that hung by a small section of skin. As my friend’s father came rushing towards us, he ripped off his shirt and tightly wrapped it around her knee, to both contain the bleeding and prevent her from seeing it. Nobody would let me near her, saying she needed room, doing nothing more than encourage my fear.
Our coaches insisted that we play our game, and dedicate it to my sister. While she spent most of the day and night in the hospital, I had to play in my game, but still could not distract my brain. Brittany returned to the hotel that night with my parents, in an immobilizer and had over 70 stitches. Luckily, her visor had flipped down covering her face and neck, which later the doctor told us had saved her life. Still, the glass cut her hands, legs, face, and knee, with which she still has problems.
While my sister was devastated to learn she would never be able to play competitive softball again, she battled through and found something she loves even more; golf. She has played on LT’s varsity team for three years, going downstate every year. Brittany found the positive side of this horrific event, and acted upon every opportunity to progress. She saw that life could disappear in the blink of an eye, and has made the most of it. When I think about her accident, I realize just how lucky I was. It could have easily been myself who walked through the window, and with over three fourths of my year dedicated to softball, I am not sure that I could have been as strong, and probably would have given up. Nevertheless, my sister’s accident will always be in my mind, reminding me of my belief, to always find the positive side of things, no matter how hard it is.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.