An Accidental Change in Life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A short beginning along a long life of adventure

An Accidental Change of Life

Just an average sunny day that changed my life -- A suspended state between Heaven and Hell was not my first choice in spending the 1997 Labor Day weekend. The sound was complete blackness and deafening all around. My choice was clear, to leave what I have known in this life or move into the unknown. My decision was made as voices were echoing through the murky waters of Keystone Lake. A familiar female’s voice rang out, "Someone's floating behind the boat."

I could feel the numbness burning through my arms and legs but with a floating sensation that cannot be explained within the normal boundaries of words. A special entity had given a perfect peace in my heart but nothing could prepare my friends what had transpired a happy outing into a dreadful event. A quarter after midnight, August 31st, 1997, many will remember the fate of Princess Diana killed in a car accident. It was almost my same fate that night, that exact same minute only I chose to live one more day.

It was a beautiful sunny day in Tulsa only I had to catch up on some unfinished business at the Service shop.  One job led to another. The time moved quickly as I planned to slip away to a more pleasant atmosphere of fun in the sun. I rushed home, slipped off my work clothes and thru on my favorite black swimsuit. The sun shone bright during the drive and was starting to fade over the green hills overlooking Keystone Lake.  My party of friends had reserved us a camping spot for the weekend. This squelched my worries of anyone drinking and driving that night. The plan was simple to make the best of the next 48 hours left of the weekend, a welcome retreat and an overdue vacation from the gruesome pace that occupied most of my personal life.

PIER 51 is the happening spot on Keystone Lake. Besides pampering the boat owners with fuel and snacks, it sported a full-size bar with karaoke, dancing and drinks on the upper deck. The bar was full with casually dressed boaters and a few campers like me. We danced into the night having a great time even my boss was enjoying himself.  As the time came for bar closing approached, we decided to enjoy a midnight dip and cool off from all the dancing. Our little crowd of friends had grown to eight now. It was just enough to fill our boss’s 32-foot cabin cruiser. The quick trip over to Sandy Beach was only ten minutes from PIER 51 and away we went.

The water, spraying in our face, was a welcome relief from the smoky damp air of the bar. We made the trip to the beach in only eight minutes, just a few minutes after Midnight. Everyone was anxious to dive in and cool off. ”Whoa … whoa,” I yelled, as the depth of the water was barely waist deep. Slowly, one by one, everyone disbursed from the boat. I was the last one left and was making my way to the wooden ski deck mounted on the rear of the cabin cruiser. Something went dreadfully wrong. "Where was I," I remembered faintly. The boat was gone. Everyone was gone.

The calmness was evident as I tried to bring things into focus. It was dark, not like the water that kept me afloat. The darkness was as thick as it was eerie. A warm disposition comforted my whole body almost like bathing in a room full of sunlight. The feeling of helplessness faded and a peaceful spirit invaded my being. I can’t explain it but it was there. The whole event seemed to take hours only to find out later, I was in the water less than ten minutes. One of the girl’s voices rang out from the beach, "Someone's floating behind the boat." I could feel the numbness burning through my arms and legs but my aching pounding shoulders and neck were almost unbearable.

The girl with the voice that echoed though the water finally waded over to fish me out. I grasped for air as she lifted my shoulder and prayed to her, “Don’t let go! I can’t move!” My expression and panicked voice got everyone’s attention. Between seven of them, I was lifted and slowly lowered to the middle of the boat while someone held my head from moving. As the boat lurched faster and faster, I could hear the ship-to-shore radio screaming with static. Finally I could hear the Lake Patrol shouting, "Repeat … Repeat …"

As the cabin cruiser slowly docked I could hear the "whap … whap … whap …" of the blades of the medic helicopter landing in the almost vacant parking lot. I knew it was bad when the medic slipped the collar brace on my neck and strapped me down on a slim stretcher. I remember telling everyone, “Its gonna be ok …”, I started drifting out as the morphine kicked in. Funny thing was I didn’t even feel the stick when the helicopter nurse installed the IV. The last thing I remember was landing at St. Francis heliport and seeing the fuzzy EMERGENCY sign and the sliding glass doors. It was several days later after waking up that I found out about Princess Diana accident, her terrrible delimma at the same identical time as mine and my delimma that my C5, C6 and C7 neck vertebra's were smashed. My only thoughts were, "I was the lucky one."

Glen Wicker © 1997

Submitted: November 26, 2013

© Copyright 2022 Wick. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


Criss Sole

Quite ironic that this happened at the same time as the princess Diana tragedy. I'm so happy that you were able to live to tell about it. It's amazing how at one moment you're enjoying life, and the next, you wake up in the hospital. I can certainly relate to that. Thanks for sharing.

Sun, December 1st, 2013 9:53am


Thanks - I enjoy writing!

Sun, December 1st, 2013 3:48pm

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