Being in my 70th year I can tell you that my balance is not always tip-top and I find myself thinking more often about where I place my feet. The fear of falling is a very real fear for older people. Lose of mobility is a big deal. But a fall doesn’t always spell disaster. Thank goodness.
Knoxville is home for the largest Labor Day fireworks display in the United States. A friend invited me this year to watch the excitement from her condo close to the Henley Street Bridge. It is a lovely place with a backyard ending at the edge of a hill that drops to the riverwalk.
It was still early, not yet twilight, and people sat in lawn chairs talking while the youngsters played. Jodie brought out Boxie, their 15-year-old miniature Schnauzer, for a walk before the fireworks began. I thought I would help out by walking the dog so Jodie could visit with her guests.
Although Boxie is legally blind she realized that someone else had her and after about four steps she started to resist and pull back on the leash. I was afraid she would slip her collar and became very concerned because I know that Jodie loves God, her family, the UT Vols and Boxie, not necessarily in that order.
So I turned, bending down to grab Boxie and the next I knew we were rolling, over and over, down the hill. A large post in the ground about half way down stopped our fall. Boxie was above my head and I still held the leash. Unhurt but trying to figure out exactly what had happened I lay there. In seconds some of the guys from the party came down to check me out. I told them just to make sure that Boxie got to Jodie and that I thought I was fine. One was an EMT and he scrutinized me for broken bones before letting me sit and then stand up. Miraculously I was ok, with only a cut on an elbow.
Embarrassment set in when I realized people down on the riverwalk witnessed the fall. At the same time two policemen and other rescue people came racing up the hill. I assured them there was no real damage to me and with the help of my heroes from the party I got back up the hill. After receiving first aid on my cut I went to get a report on Boxie who hadn’t suffered any outward wounds.
Other guests couldn’t believe I hadn’t broken a bone and when you consider my age I was very fortunate. I mostly couldn’t believe that I slid on my stomach and then rolled. My t-shirt make it look like I dove into third base. One of the young guests took a look at the mud streaked front and said, “You look like you have been doing art.”
The sun went down and the fireworks display went off with many oohs and ahhs. I sat there, replaying my spill in my mind, shaking my head, and giggling to myself.