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Yesterday was a crazy day for my family. My 13-year-old son, Aneil, was involved in a car accident, he was hit by an SUV in Forest Hills, Queens. When I received the phone call from an unknown number, I was going to ignore it, but something told me to answer this one. When I picked up the call, it was my son informing me that he was hit by a car. At first, I thought it was some sort of a joke or something; my initial reaction was that of disbelief. Once I realized that this wasn’t a joke I really didn’t know what my first steps should be. I kind of froze, but I regained my clarity after a moment, and I knew that I had to get to where my son was and I had to get there fast.
You see the accident happened while he was over at a friend’s house. They went outside to hang out and in the process of playing on the streets as teenagers do, my son jumped into the street, and an oncoming vehicle hit him. He was side swiped and sent flying to the ground. Fortunately, he was not hurt too badly; he got a few bumps, scrapes, bruises, and he was a bit shaken up, but he wasn’t severely injured. When I arrived on the scene, I was immediately invited to enter the ambulance where my son was. I was asked if I wanted to take him to the hospital for an examination, or if I wanted to walk away and take him home. Obviously, I opted to go to the hospital to make sure that everything was okay. You can never be too careful when it comes to these types of accidents. We went to a hospital in Long Island where he was examined by several physicians and had some x-rays done. The doctors eventually determined that he would be okay and could come home.
His mother met us at the hospital, and understandably she was freaking out. She was upset, and she was looking to place blame. As is the case with me most of the time, people can’t understand how I can remain calm and collected during these types of situations. The thing is, that though I may appear calm and collected from the outside, I’m just as scared and worried as anybody else would be on the inside. However, I recognize that I have to keep my cool; I have to stay focused, and I have to get things done. If I lose my head in a situation where everyone else is losing their heads, then things will not be accomplished, and this will only make matters worst. So yes, I may appear as though I am calm, but the fact of the matter is that I am aware that a cool head is best for my son’s safety. If I panic, and I freak out, then my son will not get the treatment that he needs and things will not be handled correctly. In my mind, there is a time for panicking and freaking out, but as the person everyone depends on, that time is not during a crisis. That time is not when your son needs you to be there, and to take care of him, to protect him, and to make sure that he’s okay.
So no, I am not made of steel, I’ve had a headache for the last two days, and I am certain that this headache is due to the stress of this whole situation. However, at that moment when I was needed, I performed my duties as a father and as the caretaker of my child. I cannot afford to lose my cool; I cannot afford to lose my focus, and I cannot afford to be an emotional mess during the time when I am needed to perform. Perhaps it was my time in the military that gave me this focus? Perhaps it is my civilian job on the trading floor where I have to remain calm that gives me this focus? Hell, maybe I’m just one seriously screwed up individual? I don’t know what it is, but it is what it is.
The accident happened yesterday, and since getting to the ER last night I have had a massive headache, and I’ve felt this physical drain to my body. I think the magnitude of this situation is finally hitting me, now that I know everything is okay in terms of my son safety, maybe that is what is happening to me. Maybe the realization that now I have to ensure that the driver’s insurance covers the massive medical bills is starting to hit me. Obviously, this was not one of my concerns yesterday when addressing my son’s well-being, but it is there, and it will have to be addressed.
I don’t know my friends, but I assure you that I am a human being just like you. I love my son, and don’t let the fact that I kept my cool, or that I appeared calm fool you. It is 3 AM in the morning, and I’m running to the bathroom with discomfort in my stomach. I still have a pounding headache, and though one may think by looking at me that I’m perfectly fine, ladies and gentlemen these things catch up with all of us. In life, we have to do what we have to do, and if that requires remaining calm so that we can take care of our family, then that is what we must do.
My son is on his second day home resting. He’s a little banged up, but his spirits and mood seem to be ok. He’s still himself and doesn’t appear traumatized by the event. We all recognize how lucky we have been on this one, and we are thankful to God and all those that offered their prayers and support. My son understands now, more than ever that he must exercise great caution when walking or running through the streets.
Growing Up Bronx