Tag Archives: broken neck

Florida’s “Feast of Flowers” and the Spirit of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Florida was named for Spain's Feast of Flowers...(Photo Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch)
Florida was named for Spain’s Feast of Flowers…(Photo Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch)

Florida was named “Pascua Florida” by explorer Ponce de Leon on Easter in 1513. Translation: means “Flowery Easter” or “Flowering Easter” (after Spain’s “Feast of the Flowers” Easter celebration)

Historic map of Florida...
Historic map of Florida…

With the approach of Easter, I am reminded of how lucky I am, and how in spite of the crushing blows of our physical existence and our difficult world, we are always able to heal, to “overcome.”

This applies to our lives as well as to our fight for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon…

In 2001, in a “previous life,” the day before Easter, I fell from the balcony of a home under construction and broke my neck. It happened in one second. And in that second, when what I thought was solid ground under my feet collapsed, and I was falling, watching the world turning, the shining St Lucie River and blue sky before me, I clearly remember saying to myself: “I can’t believe it; this is how I am going to die.” And then, “crash.” My thigh struck a metal stool, and my shoulder hit the ground. Silence. Excruciating pain. My dog, Dash, barking like crazy running around me while I lie flat unable to move…

iris
iris

A neighbor, hearing the crash, called the police, the Life Flight helicopter came, my fiancée  at the time looked on in horror, while Bennett Richardson of the Martin County Fire Rescue Team yelled: “Do not move!” “Do not try to get up!”

The team fastened me into a stretcher in a full body brace. I was numb, in shock, and afraid.

I recall the helicopter ride: on my back, wind blowing, looking up, hearing the sound of the blades whipping through the air….it was like a movie….I kept wondering if I would be paralyzed. Wondering how my life would change. But somehow during that helicopter ride to St Mary’s Hospital, I came to know that even if I couldn’t move my body, I wasn’t my body anyway. I was something much larger, something connected to everything greater than myself; I was spirit….such are we all…

The next day, on Easter morning 2001, I lie by myself and knew my life would never be the same. I spent that Easter Day mostly alone. For me, Easter has become a “homecoming” of sorts….a  reminder…..of life’s spirit.

Happy Easter. Happy Passover. Happy whatever makes you inspired.

 

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