Crisis Averted: Why I Now Have an ‘Everything Happens for a Reason’ Life Outlook

Halloween came early for me this year.  My older sister visited me a few weekends before the holiday, and since the weather was still relatively warm, we decided it was a nice day for a walk. It took us a while to figure out where to go and to gather up the energy to make our way out the door. Eventually, we ended up walking around Lake Winona and we were headed back to my dorm when we heard the most gruesome noise. What sounded like something falling off the back of a pick-up truck was actually a woman being hit by one. While my sister and I were grateful to have not actually seen the impact, the effect of what we saw immediately after was scarring, to say the least.  


Unlike what feels like 90% of the students attending Winona State University, I am not a nursing major.  I am not good with blood or anything that has to do with the functions of the human body (the digestion unit in my Nutrition class was a real struggle), so when I saw the woman lying in the street I was in shock.  


The accident happened about 50 feet behind us in the middle of the street. I was goofing around with my sister and we almost didn’t turn around when we heard the crash. But when we did, we saw a figure in the street, and it took us a moment to register that it was a human being.  The only other people around were construction workers, so since we were the closest, my sister called 911. We walked out to the double yellow lines and pretty soon there was a whirling commotion of other pedestrians and drivers approaching to find out what happened and to see if they could help.  


(I’ll warn you that my description may be a bit gory, so if you have a weak stomach, I’d recommend skipping this paragraph.) The image of this woman in the street will be something I remember for the rest of my life. The first thing I noticed was that she was laying on her left side and could not move, but she was still breathing. She had on a WSU windbreaker, blue jeans, and white socks—one of which had ripped open so you could see her toes. Her white New Balance shoes had somehow come off, along with a pair of sunglasses, and both were laying in the street. Once I noticed that her right leg was broken at the shin, I winced and had to look away. But as I looked back, I realized she was extremely injured with broken wrists and blood coming from her face.


While my sister was on the phone and squatting down next to the woman trying to comfort her, I was standing up and watching the commotion unfold.  


I feel like my sister and I were so incredibly lucky with how the timing of everything worked out.  Had we started our walk at a different time, walked somewhere else, or done something entirely different that day, we wouldn’t have been the ones trying to comfort, help and protect that woman after she got hit.


I’m not religious, but this truly did feel like an everything-happens-for-a-reason moment that we were meant to experience.