12-13-14 CRASHING CARS AND TAP-TAPS IN THE NIGHT
Dec. 13 2014 Some things need to written as a therapy of sorts. This is that. Yesterday , dec 13 started as I woke up around 4, made a cup of coffee and started packing up the boxes that we would take to Port for the Artisans Market.
5 am everyone was up and by 5:45, our wonderful little car was loaded and hilarious conversations began as we had Kevs, Bess and the visiting Barnabus Furth crammed in the back seat. Bessie had made the unfortunate claim to the side of the vehicle that faced the warm morning sun, Kevs squished in between and Barnabus, clearly much bigger than either of them , complained not at all
After our pit stop in St. Mark for the famous morning pate…( best deal for 25gds! I can’t even eat a whole one) we headed south along the ocean while laughing and munching away.
About this time we started reading out loud from Brian Healey’s book, The Veil…interesting accounts of his seeing behind the veil…into the clearly visible spirit realm all around us. I recommend it. So well written, not weird or spooky, just beautiful clear stuff. Got us all thinking about the other beings in the car, wondering how we all fit ! ha ! As the day unfolded , I think this may have been way more important than we knew at the time.
We arrived at Pizza Amour in Port for the artisan festival and had a lovely day connecting with friends, old and some new. Beautiful souls abound here ! We sold a good bit of 2nd Story Goods, ate delicious pizza and by 3 o’clock the kids started packing us up to leave.
We were headed to Kaliko Beach, an hour up the road, to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening celebrating my birthday at a place I have come to really love .
About 5 minutes later, a tap tap stopped suddenly in front of us and unbelievable to us, we smashed into it’s substantial bumper frame, the last gentleman to have climbed in was injured in the impact and he climbed out and onto the road . The front right panel of the Rav4 folded up toward the passenger seat and then everything stopped.
We jumped out of the car and got the man to the side of the road, lying down. Barnabus, knelt by his side and speaking French, found out the critical injury was to his arm, clearly broken. The crowd began to form. Beaver sent Kevs back to Pizza Amour on foot to find some help. Not knowing if the Rav 4 would crank back up, we needed to get this gentleman to a hospital as quickly as possible.
A moto motioned for him to climb on, the quickest possibility to get out of there, I grabbed my bag from the car and climbed on behind the injured man. He rested his misshapen arm on my leg and we sped through a dozen rough, back alleys…headed to a hospital. ( side note: this moto ride was probably the worst part of the entire day, as the guy was trying to go so fast over really rough unpredictable terrain… unfortunately my imagination is too familiar with wrecking motos, so afraid we would end up on the ground and this poor man, clearly in a lot of pain, was going to get multiple injuries…and honestly, me too… I really don’t like hitting the pavement from a moving moto! )
10 minutes later we arrived at a small local hospital run by doctors without borders. We jumped off the moto and rushed the gate guard to open up and let us in. He looked at the mans arm and opened up. Inside they laid him down on a gurney and told me to go sit down. The mans’ brother appeared from somewhere and took over getting him signed in. I sat down and prayed for peace and healing for this gentleman’s arm.
Shaking, and not so sure I was not going to pass out myself, now that the adrenaline rush had played out, I reached in my bag to let Beaver know what hospital we were at, only to find, my phone was not there. ( btw..the last thing Beaver said to me as I climbed on the back of the moto was, you have your phone? Yes. Of course I did, right?)
So I sat holding my head in my hands, feeling the sinking feeling of doom. Was this guy going to be ok? Is he going to lose his job because of his broken arm? What about his family? Were these medical bills going to cost us thousands of dollars the Brooks family does not have? What about our wrecked car? Will be able to repair it? How will Beaver figure out where I am since I don’t have a phone to tell him what hospital we went to?
And then this tiny thought…I wonder what my angel is doing right now? Like we were reading about this morning.. I know he/ she hasn’t left my side. And then the thoughts come… “let’s put this all in perspective: no one was killed, there were no children involved, only one person was injured and he has a broken arm, and I was praying for a very quick healing. The crowd did not turn on us. Our car would be fixed in time. We are all ok. Much worse things can happen.”
And then the peace began to come. And a song of praise was forming in my soul. About that time, the brother came to sit beside me. HE started trying to comfort ME ! ha! He began to tell me in creole, the thoughts that had just been going through my head. He said, it is just a broken arm, no one died, no children. He showed me the scar on his own foot from an accident he had last year. He went on to say that a lot of times when there is an accident people leave the accident, he said the crowd could see that we didn’t try to leave, that we stayed to take care of him, and that we have a good conscience.
Then I realized he had a phone in his hand. I borrowed it and phoned my number, Bessie answered and said she was with a young man that had come to our aid from Pizza Armour, he was driving her to find me. He came to play as a human agent of grace in our day. And it just so happened, it was his birthday as well . Beaver was with the boys, headed to the mechanic to drop the car.
We spent some time with the family members and hospital staff… The hospital told us that their services were free, no bills to pay, but the family would need help caring for him in the weeks to come. We offered that amount of money to see him cared for and the hospital staff asked us to leave.
We were taken to meet Beaver and the boys at the mechanic shop across town. They had found a vehicle we could rent to get us to Kaliko , then to Goniaves and then back to Port on Monday . Reasonably priced.
We moved our load over and headed out just as darkness set in.
We were almost 20 minutes down the road, coming to the end of route 9, at the new Olympic training park …btw…the best lit area for 100 miles … and the car went suddenly silent. The boys jumped out and pushed us into the parking lot. Our newly rented vehicle. dead.
We couldn’t have asked for a better place to break down.
Phone calls. Key hiding. Son Kevs hard conversation with a not so helpful police officer. The last tap-tap of the night employed to take us the rest of the way, with the last of the cash in our pockets. Loaded up all our goods, yet again… and headed off in the dark. Realizing there were empty sockets where lights should have been, we took turns using our cell phone flashlights as make shift taillights from the back of his truck.
The tap tap was precarious…making thumping sounds with every tire rotation and terrible gaseous fumes making our eyes sting. But we were grateful and we made it the hour drive… all the way to Kaliko. Once again we loaded all our goods …boxes of product and a giant basket, our overnight back packs as well and toted them down the well lit path to the reception area. With a grand THANK YOU GOD…we landed. Safe and sound . ( and in time for dinner) ( :
This week we will go back to Port and check in on the man and his family and our little car.
I was thinking about other events of this week. A phone call at 7 in the evening from Katie, can we come over and make a casket for baby Steve. He and his momma had been with us for thanksgiving. Katie has been reaching out to his young woman for a year. Her 3 month old baby was so, so tiny. We had all taken turns trying to get him to eat first with a bottle, then a syringe. He went to heaven this week. We took a small wooden box we use for storage and fashioned into a baby casket lined with soft blue cloth and a lid with an aluminum pendant of a key.
the next morning, at 5 am phone call from Benson, his wife had been out in the village of her family and had gone into labor 4 weeks early. ” can you drive me to go get them and bring them home? ” of course, i can. this one a happy story.
as i celebrate this life of 52 years and the events of my days… i am so acutely aware of the way God knows me…and how He lets me live this life that i had only imagined . even in the crazy, messy slightly scary parts, His kindness abounds.