A wonderfully warm and charming colleague of ours passed away recently. His funeral was this weekend at a Catholic church in town where he'd recently been confirmed. It was a funny and way-too-soon remembrance of a man who touched many segments of our diverse community. It was also 90-minutes of sitting and standing in a large lit church. Our daughter had many questions (this was her first funeral), and did a great job integrating new ideas like the Passion of the Christ, the Eucharist, and the act of Communion into her understanding.
Afterwards, as we exited the reception, we found ourselves walking back through the now-darkened church. "This is kinda spooky" I said out loud, and we paused just a moment to hear the echo. I had the impulse to show her that solemn spaces can be festive places too, so I suggested, "we could do things we never get the chance to do, like, run around!"
And with that I ran down the side-aisle, then veered left into a pew. Half-way through the pew, my foot caught on something, and I lost my balance. I fell. Hard. Against the corner end-cap of the pew. I stumbled out into the center aisle doubled-over, unable to breath, and barely able to stand. My right hand went immediately to my left side, through my now-torn leather jacket (my birthday jacket!), and there were stars in my head.
Right away I thought I'd broken a rib, but after few minutes was able to speak, breath a little deeply, and stand upright. The impulse to laugh, both from surprise, and also from the stupidity of what happened was pretty strong. I was able to drive home, reverse parallel park, put on a sweater, and walk my dogs, but all with some discomfort. While moving around the next day, I felt my rib pop in place like a knuckle.
I've since gone to the clinic and had it x-rayed. The staff had a good laugh about how I'd injured myself. "Running in church? That's a new one..." The diagnosis was "fractured seventh rib" and "incredibly lucky because it's not displaced or broken."
It wasn't my church, or my God, but there's plenty of meaning one could attached to this latest mis/adventure. It may certainly put a dent in my hopes for epic roller-coaster riding later this week.