Have you faced your dragons today? This is Max Tell with my series of personal stories, "Kill the Dragons".
Episode One: Skydiving Baby.
I only know this story as my mother and older brother Dave told me many times as I grew up.
I was a baby, not old enough to crawl. Dave was four years older and he was playing outside with his friends, while mother was canning pickles in the kitchen.
She told me how irritated I was at the smell of the pickles, often whining for attention.
At one point, I surprised her by rolling over onto one of her feet, just as she was pouring scolding water into the sink.
Surprised, she spun around just as a few drops of steaming water splashed on the floor close to my face, while I stared up at her, laughing happily, having achieved the impossible.
Caught off balance, she negotiated the scalding water back over the sink, almost dropping pot. Then she regained her balance and set the steaming pot down.
My mother had had enough. She carried me up stairs to her bedroom and breast-fed me. Once I was asleep, she lay me on her bed, a chair to one side, pillow to the other, and safely tucking me in - or as she thought. Then off she went back down to her pickles.
A few minutes later, brother Dave started banging on the kitchen screen door, a bit frantic, crying out about something falling from the sky.
Under the circumstances, this only annoyed my mother, until she looked into his fear stricken face. Dashing outside, she found me motionless on the grass in a pool of blood.
After my mother had gone back down stairs, I woke up, and for the first time rolled over the pillow, then crawled to the window, probably attracted by the sound of the children playing putside. The bed was big for the room and was pushed against the window.
Wedged under the window was one of those old fashioned universal screens, the kind that fits any window.
I must have leaned on the screen. The screen popped out, and there I was skydiving - without a parachute.
Though I landed on my head and suffered a severely cracked skull, I was lucky. I had missed the trunk of an old tree, recently cut down and I had missed meeting my maker.
Yes, I survived the day. I call it my lucky day. It reminds me how short yet extraordinary life is and how important it is to face ones dragons.
This is Max Tell. Please join me again as I not only face my dragons but set them free.
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