Wednesday, August 29, 2012
I looked up the word "OK" in the dictionary, not actually expecting it to be a word but maybe a set of initial's that we all understand like P.O'd or LOL or B.O. I was surprised to see it along with the written version "okay" The thing is, we all use the term regularly and even foreign friends understand it but recently I was impacted by what exactly it mean't and how comforting a tiny phrase it could be. Often times if I ask someone how they are doing and the response is "okay" it means, less than great but I'm getting along. Someday's, ok is all we have to respond with, at least it is honest and not the British lie of "fine" (see previous post on translation :-)If I care enough to dig a little deeper I might find that OK actually means "well somehow I am still breathing even though my son is in big trouble or my husband wants to leave me or it might just mean, I'm so busy, not sure how I'll get through the next few days but I am leaning in. 3 weeks ago I had a life changing experience. I was in a car accident. The kind where, if you drive by after the fact, you take a gasp and then can't help staring(why do we do that? you know you totally do :-) hoping to see a body or limb or something but not really wanting to but sort of...) I was just a short distance from my home, heading to a Saturday baptism of a new young woman in our neighborhood. Whilst waiting in the canyon road to turn left, the equivalent of a quiet dead end country lane, into the church parking lot(crossing oncoming traffic for my Brit buds)I notice 3 little boys at the side of the road. Far too young to be alone and far too young to have common sense to look before running or crossing and so I watched them intently. I slowly crept into my left turn and then out of nowhere I hear this almighty crash, watch my airbags deploy and yes they really do drop puffy curtains from the roof, my car is spinning and moving and pops up the curb and down again finally coming to a halt as another car (the first time I have seen it) goes up the curb on the inside of me and comes to a halt about 30 more feet ahead of my final resting place. WOW!! I take a breath, I move my head and shoulders slowly. My first thought......"I'm OK!" and that's what THAT feels like. A young man from the parking lot runs to me with tears in his eyes "Sister Wold, Sister Wold?...." because EVERYONE is arriving at the same time, (attention seeker) "I'm OK!" There were 3 little boys? I can't see at this point because my airbags were blocking my view and I was aware of my suddenly swelling foot and the feeling that someone had taken a razor blade to my left shoulder (seat belt burn)so I didn't want to move too much. Again came the beautiful word "OK" The other driver? another OK. What sweet, sweet words of comfort. I will never underestimate the power of the word or words. After a worrying doctors appointment, everything's OK. After a complicated pregnancy. After a call from the school. Ok is what we need to hear, even if it just implies that we are putting one foot in front of the other and still breathing, because it means we get to continue to do that another day. Oh and in case you haven't seen it, Here's what was left of my favorite little car plus my favorite sunglasses which have now vanished with it.