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Charlotte Smith: One misstep turns Easter weekend into ordeal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - I  am generally one to skip the hard part as we head into a happy, celebratory Easter Sunday.

This year I went for the entire experience, or most of it, anyway.

The church sanctuary was open Maundy Thursday with Stations of the Cross flashing across a big screen. Good Friday service was somber and reflective. On Saturday morning, people from churches throughout the community gathered for a long walk as a sign of unity among the denominations.

As Saturday afternoon arrived, I was happy that it was nearly time to head to my daughter's home for a turkey dinner.

First, I was going to wash my car.

As I walked across my driveway something happened, and I fell with such force it was as though I had been pushed. I landed on my knees and my face smashed into my car.

I pushed myself to my feet and scampered inside to bury my face in a towel. Chips on my two front teeth formed a perfect V. My lips were cut. The towel was soaked with blood.

My first inclination was to crawl beneath a blanket and sob.

Then I said to myself, "Get a grip. Figure out what to do."

I called my dentist/friend on his cell phone. He said, "Oh, Charlotte, I would be there in 15 minutes if I were home. I just got to Florida. Let me see what I can do."

He found a dental friend in Charleston who agreed to meet me at his office on his day off. My son said, "I'll drive you." I said, "That's good since I apparently can't even walk."

The dentist spent about an hour repairing my teeth and said they seem OK, but I could need a root canal down the road.

My car was damaged in the incident. There is a dent and the taillight is broken. The estimate for repairs is $724.

Did I mention that in my panic I also called a friend who is a nurse and whose husband is an oral surgeon? I sheepishly said I called out the troops and was reassured, "That's what the troops are for."  

I am so grateful to everyone who helped me through this drama with expertise, encouragement and caring. Thank you, Dr. David Pearcy, Dr. Michael Richardson, and Julia and Dr. Byron Black!

As I left Dr. Richardson's office on Saturday afternoon, he said, "Happy Easter. Go to church tomorrow."

When I awoke early Sunday, I had a splitting headache, went back to sleep and missed sunrise service.

But I was there for the later Easter Sunday service when the message was about resurrection and the amazing love of Jesus Christ.

As I reflected upon my little trauma and those who helped me, I was reminded of the many ways we can all use our gifts to reach out in love.

Contact writer Charlotte Smith at or 304-348-1246.


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