Oh man… I kept thinking if “If I can just ride him home… if I can just make it back I will be ok.”
It is 10 weeks to the day as I type this that I was in an accident. It was an accident that changed our lives in big ways! We learned so much, clung to each other and to Jesus, and have worked so hard towards healing.
It’s hard to share some of this… even as I looked back through the photos today I got teary. It was a big deal. And yet I am so thankful to even have the ability to be able to share my story. Warning: there will be a vulnerable photo or two. But while we never really want to share all of the ugly photos of ourselves I think its important because so much healing really has taken place. There is beauty in all of the brokeness! I keep hearing lately… “you can’t even tell you were in an accident.” My current standard response is “I can still feel it… right about here” as I motion to the whole right side of my head. 🙂
Of all of the things we have learned it is that people are important. And at the end of the day when trauma surrounds us it is our love of God and our love of people that remain. The house, the chores, the jobs, the rushing around, insert your extra stuff… it really isn’t that important. And we saw people show up for us in ways that we never would have imagined. This has been hard but despite all of it… we are grateful! Grateful that despite the extent of my injuries – it could have been way worse. And grateful for a God who is faithful. And grateful for people pouring love on our fam.
On February 22nd, 2019 our world was shaken a bit. I went out for a trail ride on our horse. I went out with a friend… our horses had ridden together before… out on a trail we had been on but this day was a bit different. It was almond blossom and it was a beautiful spring morning. We were out a ways when we rounded the corner we came up on some bee boxes. So our horses got a bit jumpy. And we turned around. We headed out for a different way around a field and it had just rained lots and that way wasn’t a great one either so we turned around for a second time. It was then that our other horse at home nayed and called out to the horse I was riding and he lifted his head, broke pressure and bolted home. He ran… full speed… orchard after orchard. And I remember thinking if I can just make it home I will be ok. We made it home. And the last thing I remember thinking is “we are home! why is he not stopping?” And then it was lights OUT!
This is the time where I like to point out the mini miracles! We often talk about what did happen. With this situation… I am thankful for what didn’t happen. Thankful for the Lord’s protection over our fam. It is super normal for me to bring a kid out with me. Ride on with me or pony behind me. On this day… I had saddled on up and had asked Jax if he was ready to hop on. Even though he had his helmet on he said he wanted to stay back with Jared and headed back inside the house. I am so thankful that he wasn’t with me. Thankful he didn’t get hurt!
The next part of the story is the part that Jared tells… It’s a lot of the stuff that I don’t remember. He had that Friday off and he said that he just had a weird feeling. The feeling that something wasn’t quite right. So he got up to go look out at the back yard and he saw my horse. He was all saddled up without a rider. He knew then something wasn’t quite right. Jared went to go put my horse away and that was when he said he heard me before he saw me. I have a feeling it was a little on the messy side and it was clear that there was some head trauma. Jared said I was moaning and that it was pretty messy. At this point I am so thankful for his training as a first responder and him knowing how to handle me when I was down for the count. We are also so thankful for the Ripon Police Department and Ripon Fire for responding and getting me transported to a trauma hospital quickly.
It was after arriving at the hospital and lots of scans, xrays and tests that we learned of the extent of my injuries. Again I don’t remember much from this time at all. But what I do know is that even in these early times we had incredible support! One of Jared’s good friends stood for hours in the ER with him. Another friend brought him his truck. And another friend brought our kids food for dinner. People just being there… showing up just made all of the difference in the world. We were well taken care of!
I kinda remember that all I wanted was to hold his hand. Jared said I wouldn’t let go. Not even for him to step outside the room and talk with the doctors. We soon learned that I had fractured my neck, my skull, my cheek, my nose, my eye socket and had two displaced fractures in my jaw. And because of the breaks to my jaw it had to be wired shut.
I was in the trauma hospital for about 6 days. Learning how to drink, eat, all of the things while being wired shut. I was then transferred to a Kaiser hospital to continue the healing process. It was shortly after arriving there that I had a big time infection in my face and was taken into surgery to flush out the infection. This process delayed me getting home and was a bit of a discouragement. I am a momma to four kids and because of flu season the kids weren’t allowed back to my room. I missed my babes! I wanted to get home! My momma in law loved our kiddos well while we were in the hospital and we were so thankful that they were with her… but I still missed them like crazy!
It wasn’t all serious stuff! We had quite a few laughs at my expense. I have a feeling there were a number of times… but one time in particular…. I had been working on walking my laps around the 4th floor! I was working hard to get them to send me home!!! But this morning… we had just passed the entrance door to the floor and my momma in law yelled out Jared’s name… and then pointed to my hospital gown – which was gaping open. Y’all this wasn’t our first lap! We got some good laughs out of it! I pushed my walker around, my iv, then slowly took those unassisted steps around. I was working my way home!
After being in the hospital for 12 days they let me head on home! I remember leaning in on Jared’s arm as we drove out of the parking lot with tears streaming down my face. He asked what was wrong and all I could say was that I was grateful. I was grateful that I could walk. And talk. And be his wife. And be a momma to my kids. I was so grateful that this wasn’t so bad I couldn’t heal from all of it.
While we were in the hospital family and friends showed up. Both for us in the hospital and for our crew at home. Friends came in to help relieve Jared and our family. There were friends and family who kept an eye on me so Jared could get a break. I was thankful for friends who came in from so cal, and down from Washington and local friends who kept showing up with Jamba in hand. We are thankful!
Recovery has been slow. Slower than I would like. I had a neck brace on and jaw wired shut for 5 weeks and there were studs literally screwed into my jaw to keep everything closed. It has just taken time for me to heal from all of that. I had a third surgery to remove those studs and it was that same day that I was able to take the neck brace off.
Recovery is slow
Healing is hard
But it is good work!
There has been a lot of down time over the last 10 weeks and just as my body has needed to heal so has my heart. We have taken this time to get caught up on some of the behind the scenes stuff as well as taking some time to dream and plan some fun stuff to come. This week is the first week that I am back in the office and we are so excited to shoot a wedding of friends of ours! My little brother grew up with the groom and it will be an incredible day!
We have a heart to share stories. Especially the stories of other people doing some pretty cool stuff. We know that life can be hard as we have felt it this spring. Yet when we remember what we have fought through it can help us encourage each other.
There is power in our stories as it empowers our why, bring meaning to our day to day and connect us with the world around us. We have been thankful to share a bit more about our story with you and we look forward to sharing lots more stories in the future!
Again, we are so grateful to everyone who supported us in some way! We needed our community around us! Each and every person. Every time someone has reminded us they were praying for us we were grateful! The Lord heard our prayers!
If you’d like to listen to the story rather than read it you can check it on on our YouTube Channel here –
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