A recent experience has shown me that when I love myself so much more than I used to, I am more open to others and there are many supportive people with me at all times, especially in times of need. This was demonstrated to me recently when at 85 years of age, I had a car accident. I had been to work at the Hospice Op Shop and as it was so busy with staff away on holiday, I chose to stay on longer than I should have, as I was tired.
I got out of my car and a couple of ladies stopped and asked me if I was okay. I remember saying “No”, as I immediately went into shock. One lady got me to sit in her car until the ambulance came. Somewhere in my shocked mind I knew I wanted to say sorry to the person whose vehicle I had hit. She helped me over to him and he said, “Don’t worry, it is only an accident.”
I was helped into the ambulance where they took my blood pressure and said it was sky high and that they would not move until that came down. A policeman came into the ambulance to ask questions. It turned out that he had seen it all happen.
Being 85 years of age I was worried in case I should lose my driver’s licence. He asked me, “How many accidents have you had in the last 6 months?” “Well none” I replied. “In that case you will not lose your licence,” the policeman informed me.
Before the man whose car I had hit moved away, he came into the ambulance and asked me if I was okay. I was blown away by his gentle concern. Neither of us was physically hurt, only me in shock.
Once at the hospital every one was so gentle and supportive. On my papers I have my friend Anne noted as one of my carers. When the nurse saw the name, she said that she knew Anne. Once I started to feel a little bit clearer I asked the nurse if she could find Anne, as she is a nurse as well. Anne was just finishing her shift to go home and she came down and took me back to her place for tea and took me home afterwards. At that stage all I wanted was my own bed and sleep.
When I arrived home my next-door neighbour asked me where my car was? After I told her she said, “If your car is written off do not do anything as my husband Howard will sort something out for you”. Who better to support me to get another car as in his working days he had been a mechanic as well as a vehicle inspector.
After a week the insurance company rang to say that they would write the car off, and that the money would be in my bank in two days time. From there Howard was on ‘Trade Me’ and other car sites. At one stage he said that if there was a car in Auckland that he would come with me to inspect it. That blew me away! He eventually found a suitable car in Auckland – a 2008 Nissan March, a gold colour. We went up in the bus for the four hours drive. As soon as we went into the car yard I saw it and knew it was the right car for me. Howard drove it home, as there was no way I was ready to drive home as my body was still in shock. By buying a car in Auckland the car was nearly $2000 cheaper than in Tauranga where I live. The strong advice from Howard was that the next day I should get into the car and drive! I started with short drives and I am really enjoying my new car now.
Talking to the insurance lady I said I was impressed with the gentleness of the young man whose car I had hit and she answered that she had seen him as well and even then he was concerned about how I was. I rang him later on to see how he was getting on with his vehicle. He said, “Don’t worry it’s only a bit of metal”.
I feel that because I love myself so much more than I used to, my relationship with others has changed and now there are only gentle, supportive people with me at all times.
Before going to the hospital, I kept getting messages such as, “Do not worry as it will all work out better than you think”. That turned out to be true.
It was an amazing journey experiencing such gentleness and caring not only from friends and neighbours but also from people I had never met before.
Dorothy C., New Zealand