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The Unforgettable Sunday of ‘97

Updated: 3 days ago


For as long as I can remember, Sundays in the 90s were the best, especially in the Summer. Going to the park on Sundays was a tradition in those days, whether it was Inwood Hill Park or Randall’s Island, we had a great time bonding with my mom and dad’s side of the family.

On this particular day in July of 1997, we went to J Hood Wright Park. A local park nearby where we used to live: 177th Street and Pinehurst Avenue. However, this day was a little different. My dad decided to stay at home. My mom went to work. My grandmother, my sisters Jessica and Melissa and I went to the park to enjoy this nice sunny day. While we were at the park, I behaved like a typical 6-year old, filled with energy, running around, not obeying. On this day, not listening turned our day into an unforgettable day. My oldest sister Jessica, who was 15 at the time, kept yelling to stop running. I was running ahead of them and running pretty fast. As Jessica was approaching me (my grandmother couldn’t run), a bike came out of nowhere and ran me over. It happened so fast. None of us saw it coming. The speed of the bike made me spin and then my face crushed into the ground. I began crying hysterically in pain. Everyone that was nearby including my grandmother and my sisters, came towards me. This was 1997. There were no smartphones. If this happened today, people would’ve pulled out their phones to film rather than trying to help out. I’m glad that back then, people had more common sense and took situations seriously. I was in deep pain. I was bleeding from my mouth. I hurt two of my front teeth. As we were walking off the park, I remember this guy, who looked like a teenager or in his early 20s telling my sister Jessica,

“Ay que llevarlo para el hospital.”

When we got home, I knew it was not going to be good. My dad was laying down in bed, probably watching Baseball. The moment I walked into his room and he saw me, he immediately jumped out of the bed. The way he jumped out of the bed, I've never seen him so angry. It was terrifying. He went off on Jessica and my grandmother. I remember feeling awful for them, especially for Jessica because although she was 15, her height and her maturity at the time, was beyond her age. Besides my grandmother, Jessica was our caretaker. She stepped up whenever my parents needed her help. It was an accident and to this day, I take blame for why this happened. I didn’t listen and I got what I deserved. I learned to obey the hard way.

My dad changed clothes and we all went to the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. My mom, who was at work, went to the hospital after finding out. I didn’t stay the night at the hospital. I got discharged at 9pm or 10pm. The doctors said not to eat anything. So I mostly drank liquids. I had no brain damage. My mouth was swollen. It didn’t fully heal for like 2-3 weeks. During recovery, at the beginning, I remember being uncomfortable due to the fact I couldn’t eat because of my teeth, but things started to get better during the healing process.

My dad was furious. He told my mom that he wants to go to the park and beat the crap out of the kid who did this. His father could get it too. My mom being the calm and peacemaker person that she is said:

“Pa que? Tu no sabe quién fue. Y como quiera, eso pasa. Lo muchacho se caen.”

The next day, my dad picked up where he left off and continued to go off. My grandmother who had enough of him, snapped back:

“Mojon! Porque tu no fuiste a cuidar tu muchacho entonces?”

My mom and I, we laugh about her comeback line to this day. My grandmother and my dad had a comical mother and son-in-law relationship. Their relationship reminded me of Martin and Pam. If you ever watched the Martin Show, then you know what I’m talking about. My grandmother always had the funny comebacks, the delivery and facial expression. If my Dad would drink on a Saturday, she would say: “No quiero que tu me diga el proximo dia que te haga sopa”. She would still make him soup the next day to cure his hangover. Despite the back and forth, they had a lot of love for each other. My dad considered her a second mom. My grandmother, God rest her soul, was the heart and soul of the family. We miss her presence very dearly. No one is perfect in this world, but in my eyes, my grandmother was the definition of perfection.

In the first few months after the accident, I was disappointed because I felt that I never got an apology. Looking back now, he was a kid himself. I’m completely over it and moved on. This accident changed me. I learned a valuable lesson at a young age to listen when someone is telling you something. It’s for your own good. From that day forward, I’ve never had to make a trip to the hospital again for an injury. Thank God. When you listen and learn, you’re going to be okay. It worked out and made me become the man that I am today.

About the Author: Miguel "Mike" Medina is a Dominican-American actor, writer, producer and director. Born and raised in the Washington Heights neighborhood in the NYC borough of Manhattan. His acting career began when he performed two One Act Plays: Poison and The Game in City College of New York. Medina graduated from City College of New York with a Minor in Journalism and a BA in Creative Writing.

Following his graduation, he has directed, produced, written five short films, starring in four of them. They include: The Grade, Bittersweet Holiday, Torn Feelings, From Dad, To Bobby, Neighbors, Breakups and Surprises, which received four nominations from Top Indie Awards for Best Director, Best Writing, Best Actor and Best Humor. Medina directed, wrote, produced, edited and starred in his first sketch comedy called, “Valentine’s Dinner.” He also runs Double L 94 Productions, which produces Theater, Independent Films and Web Series. You can find most of his work on the Youtube Channel: Double L 94 Productions.

IG: mikemedina31 and ll94prod

YouTube: Double L 94 Productions

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