Monday, December 22, 2014

Miracles...

Originally written November 2006 - but, when considering the time of year, and our current situation, I thought it was worth reminding myself of God's many graces-large and small.

*****
In 1997, Steven-who was my boyfriend at the time-rode bulls. He had done this since 1994. I was used to it and there was no point trying to change him.

He loved it and that was that.

However, on April 4, 1997 we went to a rodeo about 2 hours from home. Robert, a good friend of ours went with us, and, as usual, we were having a great time. When Steven was in the chute I was no more nervous than usual. The chute opened and out he came, doing his thing...experiencing his high.
 
Towards the end of his eight seconds he got flipped around. Normally while riding (for those who are unfamiliar), the rider has one hand in a rope and his free arm up, body facing (obviously) the front of the bull. But somehow, during the ride, Steven was swung like a helicopter around, with hand still in the rope and his body horizontal to the ground, head facing the rear of the bull. He was jerked down on the bulls horns before his hand finally broke free.
 
While watching this, I really didn't feel like anything major had just happened. He wore a protective vest, so I felt like his chest and abdomen would have been cushioned .....but something was wrong. He just laid there in the arena. Barely moving. My heart began racing and I just thought...."I have to get out there".

 
Now the primary reason for my reaction was my husband's attitude. He was not, and still not isn't, an attention seeker. He always kinda joked about the riders who seemed to constantly get hurt. Whether they laid on the arena floor for a few seconds or dramatically limped out, they seemed to swell up with the cheers of the crowd. Magically cured. He had always told me. "If I lay on the arena floor, you will know I am dying".


He was a man of his word.
 
I went out there and knelt down beside him. "Are you OK?", I asked. It was ridiculous to ask.  I knew the answer and I knew he would lie. "Yeah," he said, straining to speak, "just give me a minute." After what seemed like an eternity he allowed himself to be helped out of the arena. The paramedics looked at him and said that he might want to get checked out at the local hospital and offered to take him.....it was up to him.  He stubbornly declined, stating that we would drive ourselves.


Shaking like I have never before, the three of us rushed to the car and began our 20-30 mile trek to the nearest community hospital. I was unfamiliar with this facility or its reputation, but to get to the nearest reputable hospital was at least an hour away.
 

I tried calling his parents, my parents, ANYONE to let them know what was going on, but my cell phone couldn't get a signal - ON A MAIN HIGHWAY! We were going over 90 miles an hour and Steven sat silently beside me. I kept asking him to squeeze my hand so I would know he was OK.

(Steven later told me that during this drive he kept thinking to himself: "Every breath that you can take will keep you alive that much longer".)

*****
For some reason that I can't remember, we had taken his parents car that night. Apparently going 90+ miles an hour can cause a car to overheat-which it did. And, despite desperate pleas for it to keep going, the car eventually died. I guided it to a stop on the shoulder of the highway. Robert and I both knew it was imperative that we get Steven to the hospital immediately.


He was yellow and not doing well.


Robert got out of the car and began waving at people to stop.


No one did.


We couldn't blame them. There had been a series of murders in that general area of the state and authorities were conducting a widespread manhunt. Nobody wanted to pull over and let a stranger into their car.
 
However, after what seemed like hours, but I am sure it was only minutes, someone stopped.


Actually, two someones stopped. A couple, I believe sent by God, stopped and let Steven and I in their van. Robert stayed with the car, and I told him I would get ahold of someone and send for him. Steven was, in my mind, deteriorating rapidly, and kept saying, "I think I am going to puke!"


True to my nature, I was worried about Steven, as well as about the good Samaritan's car.   I kept silently willing him not to puke... at the very least, not in their car. I felt as if they had been so nice to stop...I didn't want them regretting their choice.


Steven, desperate at this point, yelled for the driver, to "Hurry!" "Please!"


It seemed like we hit every red light on the way.

*****
 
Finally we arrived at the hospital and they took him into the ER. He was yellow and couldn't move much and kept saying that he "felt so tight". They took a CT scan of him and came back with positive results....."It looks like you have bruised your liver. You will be fine. We are going to watch you overnight and you can probably go home in the morning." We were so relieved.
 
 
Little did we know that we wouldn't go home for over a month.
 

The night was terrible for Steven. In excruciating pain and vomiting blood, the night shift seemed incapable. We all knew something was wrong. Why didn't they?
 

Come morning, and with it a new set of doctors, they decided that since he still wasn't doing well they should run another CT scan.
 

When they returned the news was not so positive. I can remember the exact words they said: "Apparently the CT scan machine was broke last night. Your liver is not bruised it is severed. You have been bleeding internally. Actually, you should have died minutes after the impact. We do not have enough blood in this hospital to get you through surgery and you are going to have to be transferred to St. John's. We are taking you there by ambulance immediately".

I remember the feeling of the blood leaving my body.


His parents had arrived during the night, Robert had been picked up by his brother, and we all headed towards St. John's.

*****


Little did I know that God had a plan.  He knew what He was doing even when I didn't.

In fact I believe that God made sure the car overheated.
 
God broke cat scan machine.
 
God turned the stoplight red.
 
He needed to slow us down.
Once we arrived at St. John's we were greeted by the trauma surgeon. He had looked at Steven's CT scans. He told us that, generally,  liver injuries were rated on a scale of 1-5: 1 being a scratch and a 5 being totally annihilated.

Steven's was a 5.

The surgeon then informed us that he had no idea how to treat Steven. He said that the only times he had ever seen someone with a liver injury like Steven's, a "5",  they were dead on arrival. He determined that the internal bleeding had, for the time being, ceased. For lack of knowing what else to do, the surgeon was going to do nothing but wait and see, and play it by ear.

*****
 
While we were watching Steven suffer all night at a rural hospital...

While we were cursing an overheated car...

While we were panicking at every red light...

 God had taken control.

The surgeon had stated that it was a miracle that Steven was even alive when arriving at the hospital. He informed us that, had the other hospital's CT scan machine worked, they would have promptly sent him to St. John's and the surgeon, based on protocol, would have immediately "opened him up".  This sequence of events would have caused Steven, in the surgeon's words, to "bleed to death on the table".

Since almost 15 hours had passed since the accident, and the bleeding had stopped, they didn't do surgery, and, consequently saved Steven's life.

God gave us that 15 hours by slowing us down....by whatever means possible.

*****
 
Two weeks after the accident they ended up doing an exploratory surgery that went well. Two weeks after that, and liters upon liters of bile drained off of him, Steven was allowed to come home, with drain tubes still attached.
 
May 5, 1997
 
There were a few ups and downs, but I felt that if God had wanted him to die, he had plenty of opportunities on the night of April 4th.

This is when I first became acutely aware that everything isn't always as it seems.  God always knows, and nothing surprises him, but it is easy to forget, and so very easy to get caught up in life.....HOWEVER, yesterday, I was reminded of this once again.
 
*****
 
Although Daisy was only a dog, she was an integral part of our family. We loved her. And since my children were born, Daisy got put on the back burner.

I still feel guilty about this.

She was the best dog; well behaved, sweet hearted, gentle and loving. Back before we had kids, we would take her to rodeos with us. Children would come out of the wood work to play with her. I remember two times specifically that two children with Downs Syndrome played with her........a little too rough at times. But I think she knew they were special.

She loved the attention and she loved people.

Daisy was an outside dog during the day, but loved to come inside with the family at night. However, being the meanie that I am, when we built our house, Daisy had to either stay outside or in the garage. She seemed to accept this and just hung out with our stock dog, Rowdy. This change in venue seemed to cut back on how much "hands on" time I spent with her.

It seemed I was always in a rush...fixing supper, cleaning house, rushing around-always too busy to lavish her with affection for too long.

Since Thursday I have thought about how much love she showed us and how little attention she had received lately.....Poor Daisy, if I could do it all again.

As I posted before, Thursday was the last time that I saw Daisy. We had looked. Neighbors had looked.

She was nowhere to be found.

My mind created many possible scenarios ranging from someone abducting her, to the UPS man hitting her on the way down our driveway and then hiding her little body.

I know, I know, a little crazy and far reaching, but I just couldn't understand what could have happened to her.

Yesterday, my father called to see if Steven would come help him build a corral. Steven said he couldn't because I had a couple of appointments and he was watching the kids.
 
I left and went to my appointments and got home early in the afternoon. Once home, Steven contemplated going and helping my dad but decided against it since there were some things he needed to do around the house.


He came in the house a short while later and asked if the kids and I wanted to join him and go check the cows. We loaded up and started towards the location he had been feeding hay. Once there, we surveyed the cows and realized that we were three short.

We went hunting for them.
 

We found the cows on the back side of the place, contentedly eating grass that was poking up through the snow. Since we had traveled so far back, we decided to circle back to the house a different way.


As we headed down the old road towards the house, Steven spotted a tree that had fallen over the fence separating our land from the neighbors, blocking the road. Stating that he needed to mend some fence, he headed to the house to drop the kids and I off.


Steven backed up and we retreated back the way we came. Once home, I took the kids in the house and began thinking about supper. Approximately 30 minutes later Steven yelled through the front door...."Grab the kids, grab a camera.....Hurry! I found Daisy!"

What? Daisy? Is she dead? This couldn't be.  Where is she at? What is going on? It has been 7 days! Is she alive?
 
Questions came to mind quicker than they could come out my mouth.  With my adrenaline pumping I grabbed everything and we jumped in the ranger and headed off.
 
 
"What is going on? Where did you find her? Is she OK?"

 
Apparently while Steven was cutting up the fallen tree and repairing the fence, he heard something that made him stop and listen.


Kids? Maybe the neighbors, but they aren't close enough in proximity.


A bird? Maybe.


Still not certain, and for some reason being driven to know it's source, he decided that it definitely sounded like something in distress. He followed the noise and came upon something sticking out of a tree that had fallen and was hollowed out.


He thought it was possible a fox? It had red head. However, upon further inspection, it was obvious what, or rather who, it was.....DAISY!
He tried to get her out and couldn't. Apparently she had chased something into the hollowed out tree.  Apparently whatever she was chasing was smaller than she was and had gotten out of a TINY  hole. Somehow, we do not know how, she got her head through this hole and couldn't get it out.

Even we couldn't get it out!
 
The snow had covered up the entrance to the log proving that she had definitely been there the whole time: seven days of rain, sleet and snow.
 
 
Her body was protected but her head was exposed.
 

Steven cut the log on both sides of her body, allowing enough room for her. I could touch her body but we couldn't get her head out. He then took an axe and split the log. Her body was then exposed, yet her head was still on the other side of the log. Finally, with me holding her up, we turned what remained of the log on its side and he hit it with an axe. As it started to split he took his hands and pried it apart, down to the hole.........freeing my Daisy!

 
Aside from being extremely weak, thin and stinking to high heaven, she appeared to be fine. Still shaking, I took her inside and gave her food and water. She didn't want the food at first but drank the water. I then bathed her twice.....hoping to get rid of the putrid smell.
 

This experience has "awakened" me yet again.


All things are possible.


 A tiny little dog, stuck in a log for seven days, nothing to eat, "drinking" the snow...


If not for my hubby staying home with the kids, he wouldn't have been home until dark.


If not for the cows being separated, or the tree falling on the fence, or the snow falling so that she would have something to drink...


If not for miracles.


Once again, God slowed me down. He slowed me down to help me to realize that I need to not take for granted that which I hold dear.


Miracles come in all shapes and sizes. This one came in the form of a tiny dog stuck in a tree.

Sorry the picture of her in the log is blurry. I was shaking so bad and didn't want to take the time to focus while she was stuck........

16 comments:

The Medium Swede said...

I am having a difficult time even responding.

I am moved and that is all I can muster at this point.

SharnJean said...

That was a trip back in time. Miracles are Amazing.

The Sour Kraut said...

Oh my gosh! I am so happy she has been found. Does she get house privileges again?

I am a big believer that someday, when we get to Heaven, we will have the capacity to understand God's mysteries. For now, I don't ask why things happen the way they do. It's nice to see you must feel the same way.

What a miracle it is that your wonderful husband made it through that horrible accident.

Thanks for a great post.

Karen Forest said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
p.u. said...

I on the other hand receive full house privileges.

Karen Forest said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Sour Kraut said...

Is this the dog that "performs" on your cows? I bet the cows really missed her.

The Sour Kraut said...

P.U.-You're the only Lab that hates the outdoors and hates water.

The Sour Kraut said...

Did you notice in the photo that the snow beneath her head is all licked away? The poor pooch, she must have been scared.

Karen Forest said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Sour Kraut said...

Yeah, that was it. I knew something weird was going down on your farm.

Colin said...

I'm mapping miracles around the world over at miraclefinder.blogspot and I just found your great story. I've mapped it. Merry Christmas

Becca Boodle said...

Wow. You did a great job of sharing your stories- very well written.
However, after readng the responses, I have a very disturbing picture of Daisy and a calf stuck in my head...

Mama Goose said...

I stand corrected Kim. This is beautiful. I, too, am a firm believer that all things happen for a reason. These two events are proof that we are constantly directed by a higher power. What amazing stories.

Misti said...

Wow, just wow.

Amy said...

What a MIRACLE!!! This story has such a happy ending (both of them acutally). I am so glad you found her and I sure hope she gets to be a house dog now.