Skip to main content

Field of Memories


It was the phone call that every parent fears and it happened to me last Friday night. The boys were at friends' homes having sleepovers and I ended up in front of the computer in my office when suddenly my cell phone rang.

"Elijah has been in a four-wheeler accident. He ran into a moving vehicle."

Thankfully, I was just a couple of miles away. When I arrived at the scene, Elijah was laying on his back in a field across from his friends' home. He had just gotten on the four-wheeler and made the mistake of going out into the road to turn around. It was just below a blind hill and he did not see the car coming. After striking the car, the four-wheeler slammed into a bank on the other side of the road. Elijah was ejected and flew 10 to 15 feet into the air before landing in that field.

For me, it was a double nightmare. As I knelt beside Elijah, my mind instantly wandered back to May 7, 1981. It was on that morning, 28 years ago, that my dad and my older brother and I found my brother, Ronnie, dead from a car wreck. It was around 5:00 a.m. Dad had gone to work and found Ronnie's car on its top just five-tenths of a mile from our home. It was foggy. He felt inside the car but Ronnie wasn't there. He had no flashlight, so he scrambled back to our home and awoke us. I have never forgotten the sound of him pounding on the front door and hearing him shout out the horrific news that morning. We hurriedly drove back to the scene and by that time, the fog had lifted and daylight had arrived. We found Ronnie laying some 40 yards from where his car had landed.

The healing part of that tragedy was long and slow for my family. It did not help that I had to drive past that field a few times a day, always looking there - at the spot where we found him. We moved from that house about nine years later and that helped. I guess over the years I was finally able to find a place to put that memory, although I can't help but recall it from time to time.

For me, last Friday night was one of those times because you see the field where Elijah lay was the same field where we found my brother dead 28 years ago. Elijah lay less than 50 feet from the spot where my brother lay dead. I can't even begin to describe the flood of emotions that came upon me. It was the nightmare of all nightmares and I am still shaking from it. I just praise the Lord that Elijah is alive. Where we live, there is no road and no neighbors. I think Eliah did what he did because he is not use to having to deal with vehicles passing in front of our home.

At the hospital, for over three hours, Elijah lay on that straight board with the neck and head braces on and I was given another reminder as to just how precious life is. It was the same reminder I received 28 years ago...not to take life for granted and to live every moment, every hour, every day to the fullest, and to love, and to hopefully be loved in return.

Comments

  1. Family comes with many imperfections yet somehow in the mist of all the chaos we find they humanize us. They allow us to forget about ourselves, so that the beautiful balance of life can shine.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Tornado at Beaty Swamps

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, May 10, 1933, Beatty Swamps, TN ( also known as Bethsaida), a small rural community located in Overton County, Tennessee, approximately 6.7 miles from Livingston, was struck by an F4 tornado that completely devastated the community. The funnel, anywhere from one-half to three-quarters of a mile wide, destroyed every home in the community, and killed or injured virtually every single resident. Much of the area was swept clean of debris. This is the second deadliest tornado ever to strike Middle Tennessee.

There have been tornadoes that have gained greater notoriety, such as the Super Outbreak of April 3, 1974, but never has a tornado affected a community as completely as the one that struck Beatty Swamps.

According to the National Weather Service, it had been a humid evening in the rural Cumberland Plateau community. In nearby Allardt, the temperature that Tuesday afternoon had climaxed at 82 degrees, a warmer-than-normal reading for early May. …

Ode To A Mule

James Arness died today. Gunsmoke was every one's favorite TV show back when I was a kid. For years, at my house, we watched every single episode that came on the TV. There's isn't any need to explain the show because I am sure that most of you have seen an episode of Gunsmoke at one time or another.

When I heard that Mr. Arness has passed away, I went online, because I wanted to read some quotes from the TV show - more specifically, I wanted to read some dialogue between Festus, played by singer Ken Curtis (Sons of the Pioneers), and the rest of the cast. Festus had a way of speaking, but he always spoke the truth and what he said always made sense, well in a Festus-sort-of way, I guess.

So, I went online to do that, and well, one click led to another click, and then another and another, and before I knew it, I found myself on YouTube, and that's when I heard, for the first time in many years, this beautiful story that I want to share with you.

If you paid close atte…

Long Live The Goat Man

(This photo was made in the 1950's as the Goat Man passed through my town)
Charles McCartney was born on July 6, 1901. In 1915, at age 14, he ran away from his family's Iowa farm. He eventually wound up in New York, and was soon married to a Spanish knife-thrower. When she got pregnant they tried to make it as farmers, but bad weather and the Great Depression wiped them out. About the same time, he experienced a religious awakening. A man on a mission, he hitched up his team of goats to a wagon and took to the open road with his wife and son. His wife made goatskin clothes for him and his son to wear as a gimmick during their travels, but she quickly grew tired of the road and returned to Iowa, taking their son with her.

Charles McCartney looked like a goat. He smelled like one, too because he rarely took a bath. You take a fellow who looks like a goat, travels around with goats, eats with goats, lies down among goats and smells like a goat and it won't be long before peop…