Saturday, May 13, 2006


5 years ago, May 13 was a Sunday - Mother's Day. Rhiannon was 8 months old, Kaetlyn had just turned 10, Andrew was 7 and Erin was 14. I had made plans with a friend of mine to go horseback riding on Mother's Day - in the morning at 11am. Dean made me a wonderfully delicious omlette for my Mother's Day breakfast. I had gone horse back riding many times with my friend on her two horses. But it had been awhile due to my pregnancy. I was really looking forward to it. It was a beautiful morning, it was warm, the apple trees were all in full blossom. We were riding through an orchard together along with a friend of my friend. We were just walking the horses, chatting and enjoying the sunshine. I was in the rear. My horse stopped to eat by a sprinkler that was spraying weirdly. I pulled on her head up with the reins. She didn't like it. She gave a little buck and trotted off. I was completely unprepared. I went up in the air because I wasn't hanging on to the horse properly. I went up in the air and the horse trotted off. I remember seeing the horse's behind in front of me and thinking 'uh oh, this isn't supposed to be like this'. Then I hit the ground on my knees. And I knew that I couldn't get up.

I heard a nurse in the hallway talkling about me saying 'she'll never run again'. I was terrified. Never run again? Just that week I had been teaching Kaetlyn and Drew the finer points of sprinting on our front lawn. I thought of sprinting shoeless through the grass in Fort George Park, or in my socks around the track at Skeena Jr. Secondary. Never run again?

When I went to physio the physio therapist told me that my injury was considered a 'life changing' injury. Truly it was. My recovery lasted 3 years. In fact I am still rebuilding the muscle in my right leg. And it is true, I haven't run since. But I can dance. And one day, I will run again. I will. But there was more to the change than the purely physical. This injury went to the very core of me.

What stood out the most to me was the lack of support I had in my life at the time. The women from work brought in some dinners for my family. And then there was no one. In fact, my friendship with the horse owner fell apart. She couldn't stand visiting me. I think she felt guilty but there was no need. I never blamed her for one second... I was alone. And I coped. I learned how to cook from a wheelchair. And I drove my family crazy. For Mother's Day they got to find out exactly how much I really do do and not just for 1 day - but 6 weeks.

I really started to think about community. When I was a mormon, I had an automatic community where ever I went. People I automaticaly trusted and welcomed into my life. I had left the church when Drew was born - just before moving to Vernon. I didn't know how to create community for myself. I started to open my closed heart. I started to let people in. I started to share myself. These are pastel drawings I did at the time. This one says (in case you can't read it) AND THE BURNING BUSH SAID: Walk on your new legs
This has been my task in the last 5 years. To learn how to walk on my new legs, spiritual as well as physical.

Here are some other pastel drawings I did at the time. I think they are self explanatory.

Now, 5 years after that awful accident that changed my life, what a difference I see. Just this last week, a relatively minor crisis - Dean gone for 10 days with only 3 days notice and me having to wash windows. I had many friends around me. Rhiannon had no shortage of places to go and play while I worked. My friends surrounded me and supported me. My heart is full of gratitude. I am so grateful for my life; for the people in it. My heart is full. I am not alone. Thank you!

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