View Full Version : My Post Christmas Series of Miracles (Including An Almost-Severed Finger or Two)

Papa Tom
12-30-2010, 08:16 AM
It's been an eyebrow-raising few days for me.

First, my wife and I find ourselves at the Tampa International Airport on December 26th, hoping to get home to New York despite the blizzard that is already underway. All flights before us have been canceled, but ours is still on the board. As we watch the LEDS for dozens of flights change from "Delayed" to "Canceled," we assume our flight will also fall victim to the storm, yet Jet Blue keeps insisting the flight is leaving at 11:30am. Ultimately, it left at about 12:45, and after an hour and forty-five minutes circling JFK with zero visibility, we finally landed safely in New York. As we entered the terminal, an announcement came over the PA advising that the airport was closed indefinitely and all flights in and out were canceled.

We made our way to the AirTrain and on to the Long Island Rail Road, where digital signage was displaying constant warnings that the system, our only way home at that point, could shut down at any moment. We waited less than five minutes for a train out to Syosset, Long Island and arrived at our doorstep in a reasonable amount of time. When I turned on the TV shortly after shedding my snow-soaked boots and jacket, I learned that all Long Island Rail Road service was suspended in both directions. Ultimately, it took almost two days to get the trains and the planes back on track. Many of our friends and neighbors were stuck in airports all over the world as the snowstorm wreaked havoc for the next several days. For a totally unexpected change, WE were the ones who got really lucky this time and we wondered if it might be a good week to buy some lottery tickets.

As if all that wasn't enough, yesterday I had to move a large video projection screen at work. This thing was heavy enough that it took three of us (two middle-aged guys and a strapping mid-twenties Irish dude) to move it on a heavy duty dolly. While tipping it over, three of the fingers on my left hand inadvertently got stuck between two moving parts of the dolly frame and were suddenly supporting the entire weight of the screen. The initial pain was so excruciating that my brain must have instantaneously turned off all the nerves in my hand. I was certain I had lost a finger or two, or that I had, at least, broken a few bones. The guys I was working with were slow to react, as they did not understand what was happening at first. And besides, I wasn't even screaming in pain, as I had lost all feeling in my fingers. As they struggled to release the pressure and free my hand, I began thinking about how I would never again play the uke and would never know the feeling of finally playing a banjolele.

When I finally brought myself to look at my hand, I noticed there was no blood. And even after they finally freed it, there was a huge dent in one finger that looked as if the bone might be separated at that point, but there was no sign of broken skin and still no blood. Around the "dent" was massive white swelling around the knuckle and below the actual injury. Three other fingers were bruised and blueish, too. I immediately tried to make a fist and noticed that all my fingers were closing perfectly normally, with only a bit of pressure from the swelling. An onlooker grabbed me a bag of ice, which I applied immediately. The trauma had made me a bit dizzy, so I sat down. Mind you, I am NOT a drama king, by any means. In fact, I am the total opposite, so you can imagine what it took to get me to sit down at this point.

Anyway, to make another long story short, the fingers never bled a single drop and, within an hour, I was back to work moving large speakers and other equipment around as if nothing had happened. A co-worker who is an EMT advised that I might experience severe pain and/or stiffness the following day.

Today, it's as if the accident never happened. I've got a few minor scratches on my middle finger and the three that surround it, but nothing more than I usually have after a day of hard work. Although I have always been a spiritual person, I am not what anyone would call religious and I do not believe that everything that happens can be attributed to "God's will;" however, these past few days, topped off by this almost superhuman occurrence with my hand, have been truly miraculous. I'm thinking, if anything, this latest scare was a wake-up call, nudging me to plunk down my Amazon points and an extra hundred bucks to buy a danged banjole already. You never know when it's going to be too late!

Anyway, thanks for letting me share this story. If you are still stuck away from home, may the skies open up for you soon, and may the coming year be truly miraculous for all of you.

Papa Tom

12-30-2010, 08:39 AM
Few!, that was close, Papa Tom. Glad you came out of it unscathed.

Now go buy that banjolele.

12-30-2010, 09:16 AM
Wow! If the streets are clear enough definitely get yourself out there to buy some lotto tix. Or at least a banjo-lele! That's a pretty amazing string of events Papa Tom. Hope this portends a lucky year coming up for you!

12-30-2010, 10:46 AM
Can I touch you? Maybe some of that will rub off... ;)

12-30-2010, 10:58 AM
Hi Papa Tom,

I can relate to the sentiment that you never know when it's going to be too late. It would be a real downer to find yourself close to the end of your life and realise you never got around to buying that banjolele. I know it sounds morbid, but you just never know what good luck or bad luck is just around the corner. Middle age is the time to reap your rewards. I know, I'm now officially 'old' according to my bank. I get reduced charges, so I can't fight back and say I'm not old yet. I'm not at the age of only buying soft avocados and yellow bananas yet but I know what my older friends mean when they say that.

PS if you win that lottery, I'm more than willing to help reduce the burden of wealth for you :)

12-30-2010, 11:29 AM
Papa Tom, I hope 2011 is filled with more of the same for you.

Uncle Leroy
12-30-2010, 11:54 AM
+1 on the lotto tickets.

mm stan
12-30-2010, 12:06 PM
Aloha Papa Tom,
Sounds like it was a close call for you on both occasions..happy things went the right way...and you got home and the fingers are fine...I used to live UWS manhattan and being snow is without service can be a bummers....I remember getting stuck in Long Beach one winter....i use to like it down the at the end of the tracks....so to speak...in the summer going fishing was my best fun for flounder and bluefish....that
was close around thirty years ago...being middle aged now with a disability, has me limited on many things including the ukulele, but it has been a lifesaver for me...it helps me from my problems through distraction
and make things seem better even if it is not.. UU forums and all of you, have brightened my rough days and times..thank you all!!! and yes middle age is a time to be more careful and always think of the conciquences when doing things, even the the unpredictable accidents and health issues. Glad everything worked out fine for you...Have a Happy New Year to you and your family!! MM Stan...

12-30-2010, 06:17 PM
Great story, and thanks for sharing! Enjoy the banjo uke and your new appreciation of the wonders of living!

12-30-2010, 11:25 PM
That was close maybe the ukulele will never let you go.

Hippie Dribble
12-30-2010, 11:33 PM
howdy Papa

thanks for sharing that with all of us brother. Does seem truly miraculous, or maybe just perfect timing. And as for the left hand, mate, that sounds truly horrific and I'm totally amazed there's no visible or lasting damage. Happy strumming!!! Maybe 2011 will be your year Tom. It's time to buy that banjolele, for, as others have said, time is precious thing to all of us and it's sure important to squeeze all the juice out of everyday. Blessings and a happy new year to you and your wife mate :)