My heart is aching so badly right now but it isn’t going to stop me from sharing inspiration stories that unfortunately come at the most painful of times. Tragic stories aren’t typically something that I write about on my blog, but I decided that what happened today had to be shared. No, not from an Ontario News station, but from someone who was there. Why, you ask? Tragic stories have the capability to show just how beautiful mankind can be, and with today’s incident, it was a pure example of people helping people.
Around noon today, I went outside to walk my dogs when I heard a sudden blast of sirens coming from all directions. I didn’t think much of it since I am currently renting a room from my Aunt Mar who just happens to live across from the hospital. Then, more sirens sounded, and more, and more and within those 5 seconds, I see a man running from our apartment driveway to motion the emergency response services into our apartment. Little did I know that I was about to experience one of the saddest tragic stories. As tons of police officers, ambulance and firetrucks rush into my drive way, I spot my Aunt Mar down near the front doors with a car. She is also the building manager, so it would make sense for her to be there, even if the issue wasn’t as awful as it turned out to be. As I narrow in on the commotion, I start wondering if there was a car accident, but I couldn’t see the other car. I wondered if a car hit the driveway railing… But then why would there be so many emergency response services. Before I could even gather the tragic stories possibilities in my head, my hand immediately went to my mouth in complete and utter shock as I saw an elderly lady’s body underneath the cars tire.
Shocked and saddened, I couldn’t look away. It was like the time stopped as I saw this elderly lady’s helpless body underneath the car, laying awkwardly. I couldn’t even comprehend what exactly was going on. I just felt immediate sadness, and with any story, tragedy stories or not, if elderly are involved, my heart aches even more. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a sweet spot for the elderly. I just adore them and my heart always reaches out to them.
My Aunt Mar turns around to see me standing there in complete shock, and she comes over fighting back the tears as she says, “She’s a 90 year-old-tenant of mine.” As the officers yelled for everyone to get back and put police tape around the “crime scene”, I, for just a moment, realized that I was in the midst of one of the most awful tragic stories that I have witnessed. I couldn’t help but look at the elderly lady who was driving the car, as she stood over her friend’s body which was pinned underneath the tire. The driver was told to step back as she watched the emergency services try to remove her friend’s body from underneath the car. I couldn’t sit there and watch this elderly lady stare at the situation any longer, and this is when people helping people came into affect.
I turned to my Aunt Mar and said, “I just want to go grab her and hug her.” She agreed but we knew we couldn’t pass the police tape. A few more seconds and we said, “Screw it.” We slipped under the police tape, and went towards the driver who was shaken up and distraught. The police officer nodded to us as approval, and Aunt Mar and I just wrapped our arms around her.
Since Aunt Mar works for our building, I took the elderly lady upstairs to our apartment. I sat her down on a chair, grabbed her a glass of water and made her a cup of tea. I removed her jacket and told her to make herself at home. She just kept closing her eyes, fighting back the tears saying, “It just happened so fast. She just got out of my car so fast,” She kept repeating, “She just told me to hold her hand and to help her.” Her eyes would randomly close tight again, reliving what just happened.
My heart ached as I watched this beautiful Grandmother of 14 fight back to tears. I called her family and invited them to our home. The daughter of the elderly lady who was also friends with the lady who was run over, came running into our house. She grabbed her mother in her arms and just said, “It’s okay to cry, mom.” There I sat, with a family who were complete strangers to me and cried.
The family was here for 4 hours as paramedics, forensics, victim services and plenty of cops came in and out for interviews and checkups, and as the elderly lady left my home, she wrapped her arms around me and gave me the sweetest kiss and said, “Thank you.” My eyes teared up as I reassured her to call for anything, and I meant it… Absolutely anything. Tragic stories are always awful and sad to hear but provide the best quotes about life. This one hit home as I watched the hearts break of complete strangers. If it wasn’t for people helping people, the elderly lady could have been left outside, alone, watching the tragedy unreel. We just got notice that the elderly lady who was driven over has passed away. The craziest thing is, she had been talking to people all week long about how something was going to happen to her that would leave her in the hospital. She kept saying for people to take care of her cats. Maybe she knew all along? Maybe she didn’t. Regardless, everything happens for a reason and under these awful and unfortunate circumstances, people helping people has renewed a sense of humanity within my heart.
May you rest in peace, and to the beautiful lady I spent my Sunday with, I wish you strength and love through this difficult time. Although one person passed away today, I know in my heart that the elderly lady also had a piece of her die within her as well. I will never forget the hours that I spent comforting this complete stranger, who will now, forever, have a place in my heart.