This Saturday my mom went to spend the weekend with her sister at the family farm. They headed out down the low traffic gravel road on their way to a nearby trail. As they made their way down the hill, three four wheelers crested the hill. My Aunt told her they were coming up behind them and all seemed fine. The bikes slowed, but the first bike was particularly loud and startled both horses.
My mom fell over the front of her horse and his knee took her in the right cheek bone and knocked her unconscious. Her horse lost his footing in the mud and as he tried to right himself my Aunt watched in horror as he tried to stay off of my mom, but managed to step on her back with his hind leg. The family who had been on the four wheelers stopped immediately to help. The woman instantly put pressure on her back where the horse had stepped and said she could feel the instant swelling under her hand. When mom came to, she fought to get up and was a bit panicked, but they managed to keep her down and still. The young girl riding the first bike held her head and neck and talked to her until the ambulance arrived. From the local hospital she was then air lifted to Kingston General.
She has a broken cheekbone, broken wrist, bruised lungs and she broke two vertebrae front to back. She had surgery to place rods and pins on Sunday morning, and in the words of the surgeon, he stopped counting broken ribs at 6 on each side. Her head and neck are fine and though the doctors are amazed, her spinal cord was not severed and she is not paralyzed.
It is a frightening moment when you get the news over the phone that your mom has been in an accident and air lifted to Kingston. Everything you thought mattered, just doesn’t anymore and everything that does can be counted on one hand. I felt unsettled and maybe even a little orphaned in the time between hearing the news and actually seeing her. I played it out in my imagination over and over. I thought about how close we came to losing her and her ability to walk.
I am not sharing this here to be dramatic, but to let you know that I may be a bit absent or inconsistent over the next few weeks. I also hope that you will hug your mothers, your fathers, your children and your friends as you are reminded of how quickly it can all change.
I want to thank those of you who have already sent prayers, kept her in the light or held her in your thoughts; it means so very much to us all. She is broken, but I am hoping it has broken us all open so that we may learn to rebuild ourselves and each other. I found this quote just days before the accident and she liked it.
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” ― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum.
go gently + be weonderful