whoa. tonight i'm thankful for life, and longevity. cam's grandmother has been staying with his parents for a couple weeks and we still hadn't been to see her, so tonight, we picked her up and took her to dinner. she's an amazing lady. she has some mobility issues, but other than that is at least as sharp as i am (she saved me from leaving my purse at the restaurant). she's incredibly kind and gentle, but at the same time, she's no fool and when she has an opinion to voice, she does. i admire her greatly, and the relationship she and cam have is wonderful. anyway, we had just begun to peruse our menus when we heard a horrible, gasping, gurgling noise from just a bit across the dining room. it was terrifying. cam, of course, knows the heimlich maneuver, so he immediately jumped up just in case the man who was admistering it needed backup. i freaked out, mostly, i think, because the sounds so closely resembled retching, and i'm incredibly (and insensibly) afraid of all things vomit. first my hands flew up to cover my ears, and then i remember thinking i needed to be calm, and i needed to figure out how to help. it seemed like the man was getting as much assistance as possible, though i couldn't quite see clearly, so i decided my best course of action was to get away, stay clear and out of the way. i did, and soon things seemed to improve, cam returned to the table, and i did too, shakily. the poor man who was choking spent a long time doubled over just staring at the ground. i'm sure his life must have flashed before his eyes - it was very, very serious there for a bit. but as cam reported, later in the car, the piece of steak exited the same way it entered, and while the man was shaken, he was fine.
it was so, so scary. much scarier, sure, for the man who could have died. i'm a little worried about my own overreaction, but since i don't know the heimlich, i guess the best thing to say is at least i didn't get in the way. we went on to have a really nice meal and conversation, and it all turned out ok in the end. it's a good reminder, though, to be thankful for the most obvious thing: life.