Did you ever notice that we have to have something bad happen in our lives before we give credit to good karma?
I realized that myself after I wrote a blog post in August
about having good karma. My car key had broken, and the planets aligned to allow me to get the key replaced and get to work on time. What good luck, I thought. I didn't even consider what bad luck that my key broke.
Later that same day, I had another incident of what I considered good karma.
But it was as I was lying on my back on the ground, that I realized: yes, I was very lucky not to have broken my head open, but I was kind of unlucky to be lying on the ground in the first place.
Grace and I decided to try roller blading.
I used to be pretty skilled at roller blading. When Grace and Spencer were little, before Tucker was even born, I'd swoop up and down the streets of our Michigan town while pushing a double stroller with the kids in it. I had promised my husband that if he bought me a double stroller, I'd have the best ass in the neighborhood because I would use it to roller blade everywhere. I probably got close to that goal.
I continued roller blading as our kids grew and as we moved to Columbus, Ohio. Then, about 12 years ago, I was skating around the block with Tucker and Spencer. Grace was probably curled up at home with a book. My husband had traveled to Florida for a work conference. I lost control of my roller blades and hit the curb head on. I heard a pop from my knee and I lay in the grass knowing something was truly wrong with my knee.
The boys, ages 6 and 8, skated over and looked down at me in fear. I could see tears in Spencer's eyes as he felt my pain and wondered how to help.
"Just give me a minute," I told the boys.
Dad was gone so he couldn't come get me. The boys suggested they'd skate home and get the wagon. Then they could pull the wagon with me in it.
The idea of standing up was excruciating. Lowering myself into then climbing out of a wagon seemed beyond my capabilities.
After a few minutes, I had the boys help me stand. I kept my left knee, the injured one, bent and tried to put all my weight on the right one. The boys both held my hands and pulled me slowly along until we reached home.
I found out later that weekend that I had torn my ACL -- a ligament in my knee. A few months later surgery and physical therapy helped make it as a good as new, but I never went back to regular roller blading.
So on that August day that started with a broken car key, I convinced Grace that we should do some roller blading, but I couldn't find my roller blades. I searched through the box with probably six pairs of roller blades. Mine weren't there.
I put on another pair that the kids had worn at some point during their growing up period. They all have bigger feet than I do now. The roller blades fit, but they didn't roll very well.
Grace and I went around the block and it was a lot of work. I decided to try another pair. Oh my gosh, the second I put them on I was rolling out of control. There didn't seem to be a way to stop myself, which is why I ended up falling on the sidewalk near the garage door.
I feel backward, which is lucky for a woman who broke her nose falling forward two years ago.
I landed hard on my butt and the palm of one hand before I fell the rest of the way onto my back.
I just lay there on the ground, assessing any injuries I might have incurred. Everything seemed okay. I'd be bruised, but nothing broken.
I was wearing overall shorts and my phone was in the pocket on the front. When I fell back, the phone tumbled onto my chest. That's when I thought, my running friends would probably appreciate a picture of me lying on my back from my latest fall.
I held the phone up and snapped a picture.
Then I looked at the picture.
I was shocked to discover that the top of my head was only an inch away from the wooden box garden that held our strawberries. If I'd fallen just a second sooner, my head would have hit that wooden wall and my injuries might have been much more serious.
Good karma, I thought immediately. But wait a minute, would I even have thought of my good karma if I hadn't had the bad karma to fall.
I haven't been roller blading lately, but that doesn't mean I'm giving up. I might need some new ones for Christmas, and next time, I'm definitely wearing a helmet. I can't count on good karma for everything.