Why do we Fall?

So… I got in a bike accident the other day.  Ten days ago to be exact.  It was so stupid.  It’s like I saw it coming, I knew it would happen, but I didn’t do anything about it…

Randall, the boys, and I decided to go play tennis in the courts at the end of our street (a mere two blocks away).  We scrambled around the house for about 30 minutes trying to find everyone’s tennis rackets, and a can of balls.  The boys decided to ride bikes down to the club house and that seemed like a good idea to me at the time.  I wondered how we were going to get all the gear there, but with four people and lots of pockets, we managed to get everything accounted for as we hopped on our bikes and set off down the street.  I had my racket in its case strapped around my back and as I climbed onto my bike, I knew that there was the possibility that it would slip off.

The boys took off, and Randall and I headed up the rear.  I put my right foot into the straps on my pedal and pushed it forward.  I got my other foot on top of the left pedal and pushed it slowly forward. Just feet later, my tennis racket slipped off of my right shoulder and just like on TV everything happened in slow motion.  As the strap began to slip I thought to myself, here we go.  I somehow knew instinctively that the handle of my racket was headed straight for my spokes.

I braced for the crash and flipped off my bike.  Don’t worry, my face broke my fall.  The impact knocked the wind out of me and my lungs expelled the air in a long, loud groan.  I realized that I was making an audible noise as I sat up in the street, but I couldn’t stop myself.  Still in slow motion, the involuntary groan lasted far too long.  How embarrassing, I thought.  Eventually I’m going to stop making this awful noise, and then I’ll be able to breathe again and get up off the street.

By then, Randall had circled back to me and asked if I was okay.  I left my bike and stood up and stumbled to the nearest patch of grass where I collapsed into sitting position again.

“Emily? Are you okay?” Randall asked.

“Yep.  Is my face messed up?” I asked.

“No,” he lied.

I stood up as Randall got my (now broken) bike out of the street.  Randall walked with me the few steps home and I told him I’d be fine and he should go check on the boys.

He left me on the porch and I went inside to view the damage.  I remember thinking I needed to wash my face.  But I don’t remember actually doing it.  The next thing I remember was looking around for some Neosporin.  I came to as I was rummaging through a drawer in the boys’ bathroom.  I’m looking for Neosporin, Neosporin… I don’t know where I am and what’s going on, but I know I need Neosporin and this looks like a good place to look for it…

About 15 minutes later, Randall came back to check on me.  I was in the bathroom, but I don’t remember what I was doing.  He laid on the bed and asked again if I was okay.

“I don’t think I’m quite here, yet.” I told him.  I was aware enough to know that I was missing some things…

I went back in the bathroom to wash my face and noticed there were two wash cloths out, like I had already washed my face twice.  But I didn’t remember washing it at all, so I washed it again.

“What’s your middle name!” He asked.  I told him. “Spell it.”

“J-A-Y-E,” I correctly responded.

“What month is it?”

“… …  I have no idea.” I said.  I was thinking it was about fall, so it could be September or October, but I really had no idea.  I grabbed my phone to check.  “September!” I declared.

I slowly came to and realized the extent of the damage done.  My face was scraped all around my right eye and eyebrow and faintly down to my chin.  Later, a faint bruise would cover my cheek and the side of my lips.  I scraped the skin completely off of my right shoulder and did enough muscular damage that I still can’t use my shoulder without pain.

My back was so sore that I could only take short, shallow breaths for three days.  On the third day, the right side of my face swelled so severely, I decided to go to an urgent care to make sure there was no broken bones in my cheek.

I took pictures every day to see how the swelling progressed but I will spare you the sight of those.  I pretty much looked like this guy, except imagine less whiskers, more oozing yellow scabs.

The doctor took an x-ray of my face, but was worried about my shoulder and lungs as well.  All checked out fine, and she sent me home with some antibiotics and shoulder exercises.

That was Sunday.  Just two days after the accident.  But I was at my worst.

Since Sunday, I’ve dramatically improved.  The antibiotics worked quickly to reduce the swelling and by Wednesday morning you could hardly tell there was any difference between the size of my two cheeks.  My whole right cheek is bruised and tender, but it hasn’t turned colors yet, and I’m thankful for that.  On Wednesday, after I washed my face, most of the soft yellow scab fell off and I was left with new pink skin.  The skin on my shoulder is slowly healing.  I’m gradually getting a bigger range of motion out of my shoulder although it is still weak and I get the occasional charley horse feeling.  I now have no pain in my back and can breath completely normally.

I went to church this weekend and saw one of the few people that knew the story.  They said that God must have wanted me to take a break.

A lot of people think that everything happens for a reason in this life.  I’m not one of those people.  Sometimes, people just make the stupid decision to ride their bikes with their tennis rackets loosely strapped to their shoulder.

We are given choices.  Sometimes we make good decisions, sometimes we make stupid decisions.  And that’s why things happen.  But I do believe that God can use any situation to teach us a lesson.  To teach us about him.

And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.

Because I’m a teacher at heart and I look for the lesson in every situation, I’m going to share with you later this week the things I’ve learned from my fall.

Stay tuned!

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