Following the labor and birth of my two boys, this is the scariest event of my life.
It all happened just two weeks ago.
My husband and I were teaching at a creative arts camp, the worshipping arts class to be exact. It was loads of fun! Besides teaching on our favorite subjects, we swam, sat around campfire late at night, made s’mores, and… rode horses.
I shudder at the last activity.
I suppose didn’t exactly ‘ride’ the horse. The last morning of camp, several leaders and their families hadn’t yet had a chance to ride, so the owner of the ranch invited us out to join him.
My husband and I each rode with one of the boys. Shannon has had a great deal of experience with horses, having broken and trained his own growing up, and thought nothing of a quiet stroll with the boys. Shannon jumped on his horse with the 5 year old, & I rode with the three and a half year old. To tell ya the truth, the horse was acting funny from the minute I got on the saddle. He didn’t seem to be following my lead AT ALL. My husband even noted that I didn’t have control of the horse (I’d been on him no more than a minute) – he just didn’t seem to be responding to my reigns. Shannon was watching us closely from his horse, giving me directions to see if the horse would respond. It had been a good trip so far, we were with friends – I told myself it would all be fine.
We gathered around the ring, then somehow one of my reins came untied and dropped. My husband said “THAT is NOT good” and began trotting my way to help, and the owner also took note and headed our way.
Our horse stumbled on the reign, and took off. First a fast trot, then a run, then full gallop. We were flying. I had only one reign, to which the horse was not responding, as we sped along the fence-line, flopping up and down, higher and higher, finding it continually harder to hold onto both the horse and my son, who was – at this point – crying loudly.
Tucker began to slip from the right side of the horse – each bounce we had less control. Suddenly I had a thought: I have got to get off this horse before I am thrown off.
Then I heard three-step directions,
1) Wrap your right arm around your son 2) Dip head down 3) Let yourself fall to the left.
I followed the directive, knowing full well it was from the Lord. The directions were calming and quiet – two character traits I did not possess at the time. I was panicking, and screaming. It had to be God.
I wrapped my arm around him – I remember my ponytail flapping behind me – we were at a crazy speed. I felt the air whirring past my cheeks.
Then all time stopped. All I know about the next few minutes are what people told me later.
Apparently, I fell on my head and back (it definitely feels as though I did!) – I was limp, back to the ground, unconscious, and spread out on the ground like a thrown doll. My son fell on my belly and chest, and literally bounced right up, unscathed but frightened, started wailing for me to get up. I couldn’t hear him and have no memory of this. In fact, it really, really bothers me that I can’t remember this. The boys were taken back to our cabin.
I awoke up to lots of people around me, one lady friend – a nurse – was urgently asking me to squeeze her hand, asking if I could hear her. I heard them long before I could answer. It was like I was trapped in a tunnel.
Then I opened my eyes and cried because my head was pounding. I heard the words “ambulance”, “seizure activity”, & “unconscious”, and I wonder who they are talking about. Who got hurt?
Then a paramedic appeared asking me what happened? What day is it? It occurred to me they think I may have brain damage. I wanted to prove to them that all my marbles are intact, so not only did I tell him what day it is, I told him the date, approximate time, my name and age.
Before I knew it I was on a stretcher, in an ambulance. The ride was an hour to the nearest quality hospital. Shannon rode in the front and was making phone calls I considered asking him to sing to me, because his voice is soothing, but dismissed the idea for some deep breathing, since my heart rate was skyrocketing and the paramedic told me I must be nearing serious panic. I managed to get the rate down to normalcy with ‘breathe in through nose and out through mouth’ in segments of ten.
I had my first cat scan, lots of x rays, lots of pain, pain medicine, muscle relaxants, anti-inflamiaories, and lastly I am dismissed with no broken bones, and no permanent brain damage – I was told I suffered a concussion and must follow up with my doctor. I walked out of the hopsital in a blue hospital gown – the epitome of style – since my jeans had been cut off of me when the doctors were still unsure whether or not I had any broken bones.
I was hurting but nothing compared to waking up the next morning. I honestly didn’t think I could move. Muscles hurt that I didn’t know I had. It was like p90x hurt times 90,000!
The first few days home, I was in pain, getting dizzy and resting a lot. Saw my chiropractor several times, am still regularly icing, getting dizzy some more, and am still getting upset that there is actually a portion of my life I can’t remember. I mean, I never forget anything.
I cant get Tucker to talk about it at all. He might say something like “the horse was going real fast” and walk away. Today I felt a strong urge to discuss it with him. He’s been sad because I have not picked him up much lately.
He said “Feeling better? You can pick me up now”?
I said yes, and then he said it.
“I thought you were dead when the horse threw us – I really thought you were dead. I screamed a lot.” I asked, “Why did you think that?” He said “because you were laying there like an angel – you looked like an angel.” Next, he laid on the floor sprawled his arms and legs out to show me what I looked like.
That’s not exactly what people at the accident scene told me. That’s not what my husband told me I looked like.
Then I remembered the directions from Jesus, the nurse that told me its a miracle I didn’t break anything. The picture my three year old has of his mama looking like an angel.
He is so merciful and kind, It is the hard times that he seems nearer, even when hard time after hard time comes, we can always find Him in the story. He is somewhere in there. There have been times I honestly couldn’t profess this. One day I was reading scripture about how He will never leave us nor forsake us, I began to pour my heart out to him, saying I feel as if you have left me and forsaken me. I heard him say “Ask me to show how I have been there“. I did this and I was amazed at the memories and realizations that came showing He was always there I just didnt always see it.
Thank you sweet Jesus for protecting my son from injury, and thank you for protecting me, his mother. Thanks for allowing me to stick around to see him grow up. I love You.