It's not a big deal at all. I'm 100% fine and so is my eye, even if my pride still stings a little. That's exactly the thing, though: it's not a big deal, though it very easily could have been a huge deal.
What happened was this: We have a weight lifting thingy in our house. I was taking the weights off the bench press bar, thinking that the bar itself was heavy enough to stay down when the disc weights were off one end. All three of my male housemates, who have weight lifted for real for years, say they've done exactly the same thing (which makes me feel better). They also said that works most of the time, "unless you're dealing with a cheap home set".
Which, evidently, is what we have.
The instant I slid the last weight off the right end of bar, the weighted left end plummeted to the floor, swinging the right end of this 50 pound solid steel bar up through the air. The left end slammed into the floor and the right side swung around and fell into the window. I stood stunned, thinking, "Wow, that could have really hurt me."
Two of my girl roommates were standing behind me. "Oh my God! Andie, did it hit you?"
"No." ...I don't think so, anyway.
"Did it break the window?"
I checked, then turned to them, laughing. "Nope! What a close--"
"What? No I--" I touched my forehead. Sure enough, they were right. They whisked me off to the kitchen, cleaned me up, and helped me find preemptive pain killers and an ice pack. We marveled that it didn't hurt at all -- I still barely felt it -- and how much worse the whole situation could have been. It was starting to sting, but I felt totally lucid and my eyeball istelf was (and remains) fine. I went to bed.
All the next day, as I deflected my students' questions about my shiner, my mind kept wandering back to what a nearly miraculous thing had happened, or perhaps not happened. I truly don't mean to make a big deal out of the whole thing or read too much into it, but had I been leaning even half an inch further forward -- which I had been a second earlier -- well, suffice it to say I don't think I would have gotten off with just a sweet shiner.
As I mulled all this over, I remembered the time my baby sister, at about two years old, escaped out the sliding door and was missing for about five minutes, until our mom found her in the middle of an intersection with cars coming at her from three or four sides.
And I remembered the time my best friend and I in my Grand Am were almost rammed by an SUV. And all the other times, as a kid, when I should have been seriously injured. And all the close-call stories my dad told me. And plenty of other stories in which, had one thing been a millimeter or a half second off, the ending would have been decidedly less happy.
I'm an odd sort of Catholic, probably because I wasn't really raised Catholic per say, and where some people have devotions rooted in childhood, I barely have an awareness. It's taken me years and conscious effort to get to know the Blessed Mother and make her a part of my life. Guardian angels, frankly, sat for a long time in the same place in my brain as fairies.
Like my faith in God itself, though, I am beginning to find the existence and presence of angels an undeniable reality.
See, I don't believe in luck or coincidences. That I and so many I know have skirted disaster so many times does not mesh with pure chance. Like so many other things, my rational brain forces me to look elsewhere for an explanation. It makes perfect sense that the same loving God who made us and redeemed us would keep us safe from our own brilliance, and would do so through whatever means He knows will serve us best.
I could easily have broken something not easily fixed, either on me or the window, or gashed myself wide open. I should have, in fact. If you look closely at those pictures, you can see several neat and parallel scrapes along my eyebrow from the threads of the bar brushing right by my eye. Could we explain this away with simple chance? Sure, this one event, but that leaves... well, pretty much the rest of my life to account for.
My nuns in the convent last year often prayed to their guardian angels, and often had the kids do so as well. A few weeks ago, in a situation where I was concerned about my safety, without thinking I called on my guardian angel and instantly felt assured and secure. My point (finally) is that I'm finally paying some attention to my angel and hoping to get better acquainted.
That, and giving him some public recognition for keeping my graceful tail out of trouble and my eyeballs intact for almost twenty-four years.