The Survivor: A Story of Gratitude

By Billy Pierre, Staff Writer

It is customary to start a new year with resolutions. Most of the time, these do not hold until the end of February. I would rather dedicate my first article for this semester as a gesture of gratitude. Gratitude first to be alive. For that, allow me to share with you this incident that happened to me when I was only a child.

It was a Tuesday afternoon, on June 30th. I remember the date because the next day, my father should have taken me to spend some vacation with my grandmother. It was not only an opportunity for me to visit the city where my father had grown up but also my mother had surgery a week or so ago. Therefore, going on vacation was also leaving the house free so that my mother could recover more easily without worrying about us.

It was a beautiful Tuesday. My older brothers were playing soccer at the public school near our house. One of the friends of the family came to see my mother and she was combing my sister’s hair. Me, after taking my shower, I decided to ride the bike in the street. I was so happy. But this happiness was not going to last.

Where did this motorcyclist come from? I do not know. What happened exactly? It was not until much later that I was told the story. However, when I came back from my coma, I was on my way to the hospital. My neighbor sat on the back of a motorcycle and carried me on her lap. I heard her tell the driver that my leg was broken. She did not know I was already awake. Naturally, she tried to say no when I asked her if it was true.

“No, it’s not necessary to hide the truth. Besides, I do not feel anything, ” I told her.

She remained silent. In the meantime, I was trying to move my leg. Yes, it was broken. I passed out again. God knew that I would not be able to withstand the pain.

The irony is that to get to the hospital, they had to carry me on a motorcycle – after another motorcycle struck me. In the small town of Port-Salut, in the south of Haiti, there was no ambulance yet. There was no comfort being carried on the back of a motorcycle. My thigh was broken, my head was bleeding. What kept me alive? My body was so small, so fragile and vulnerable. That I am still alive without any physical or mental handicap is what I call a miracle.

Tears always come to my eyes when my family tells this story to others. It is especially my mother’s habit of talking about it at church as a way of testifying of God’s greatness and faithfulness. Indeed. It is also a story of heroism. I am not talking about myself. There was not much I could do to stay alive. But I speak of the heroism of this lady, my neighbor who dropped everything to take me to the hospital with the help of this good Samaritan who was driving the rescue motorcycle. She spent the whole night with me in the hospital. My mother was still recovering from her surgery. There was nothing she could do to help. My father was still at work, in another city. Too far to help me.

This lady was the mother of my childhood best friend. Unfortunately, she was murdered in front of her residence a few years ago. I regret that she is not here to see what I have become today. I owe her my life. I remain convinced that she is in the felicities with the angels where she is.

I owe her my life.

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