Catch a Grenade <– click on the link to hear the song.
About a week ago, I was introduced to this singer when I was getting Facebook updates from the Ellen show. At first, I thought, what an odd name; Bruno Mars. Finally, after seeing several links to his performances, I was curious and clicked on one of them. The first thing that caught me was the register and timber of his voice. It reminded me very much of Michael Jackson when he was younger- before he got all weird. Lovely, very lovely. One of the songs I heard was Grenade. I immediately loved the music of the song, and was drawn in by the imagery of the lyrics: “I’d catch a grenade for you, throw my hand on a blade for you, jump in front of a train for you,” and on it went. The young, intense love is not returned, however. “I’d die for you, baby, but you won’t do the same.”
It got me thinking, how many people, given the chance, would put themselves in harm’s way to save someone they love. (I realize this is not quite the scenario in the song.) People say they would die for someone, pretty easily. But when it came down to the moment in time when the choice has to be made, would they really do it?
When my son was a toddler, he was perpetual motion, always on the go. His nickname was Motor Boy. One day, when we were at a niece’s birthday party, I was watching my son toddle around the front yard of my sister-in-law’s house, and all of a sudden, he bolted for the road. It’s a country road where cars often go 40 to 50 mph. Calling his name did no good. As I took off after him, I saw a Suburban rolling down the road towards us. The faster I ran after him, the faster he ran away, thinking we were playing a game. There was no stopping him. Then, time slowed down. I realized that as fast as I could run, I was too far away from him to physically stop him before he got to the road. And the Suburban would not see him because of trees, until he flew out in front of them. Having spent a living watching targets on radar, comparing speeds of advance and angles of intersection, in order to practice collision avoidance, I knew that this behemoth of an SUV and my toddler were on a collision course.
Few options came into my head: I hoped I would get to my son in enough time to push him beyond the Suburban, leaving my body to take the blow instead of his little one. I knew this would hurt, a lot. Maybe I’d only break several bones, and wouldn’t be killed. The other option, watching my son get hit before I could get there, was not a viable one. So, I poured on every ounce of speed I had, running full-bore across the lawn, ready to dive in front of that truck of a car. I was ready to take the hit for my son. It was a completely conscious decision. That was the first time that I knew I would die for someone.
The end of the story is that the people in the Suburban were coming to the party that we were attending; and they turned into the driveway about 15 ft. before the spot on the street where I finally caught my son. I grabbed him, wrapped my arms around him, and bawled my eyes out. I would take a grenade for him.