Today's post is from my daughter, Debi, of Nuggets From God. This event is a miracle that took place in her life in 2008. I pray God touches you through her story!
It was another amazing Memorial Day Weekend Getaway (May 23-26, 2008). For the past ten years or so, the love of my life and I would journey south from Kansas City (KS) on our Goldwing to celebrate the beginning of summer. Friday was amazing – a glorious ride, a stop at the famed Lambert’s Café in Ozark, MO and then on to Eureka Springs, AR. Saturday also went off without a hitch – another amazing day. After overnight showers, the sun came out and it was not too hot – it was just wonderful. We spent the day riding down to Rodgers, AR. It was a nice ride. We saw the famous wooden bridge in Beaver, AR. It was quite a site, too! It was temporarily closed down due to flooding. As Sunday arrived, we got up, went for breakfast and discussed the ride for that day. We wanted to visit Hot Springs, AR but weren’t sure if we were up to tackling the distance this time around. We talked about going over to Mountain View, AR, a favorite ride of ours. Finally, I told Jim, “Let’s just do it. Who cares if it’s late when we get back to the motel?”
So off we went. We gassed up and headed towards Jasper where we would catch AR Highway 7 south to Hot Springs. While we love the switchbacks that many Arkansas roads offer, Highway 7 offers more of a sweeping curve. It was a gorgeous ride all the way to Hot Springs. When we arrived in Hot Springs, we drove down Bathhouse Road, turned around and headed back north. It was a beautiful ride. We spent our time jamming to our worship CD’s and enjoying the beauty that God gave us. Although most of the curves are rated at 45 mph, we were only going about 38 mph. It was about an hour north of Hot Springs when "it" happened (on Sunday, the 25th).
There was a small, almost unseen dip in the middle of a beautiful sweeping curve. We hit that dip – no big deal – Jim corrected and we were fine…until our little cargo trailer hit the dip. When that happened, it threw us back to the left and we headed for the opposite shoulder. Jim yelled for me to “Hold on!” I did and the next thing I remember is slamming onto the rocks and sliding and slamming and sliding. I had been catapulted off the bike. They say you never remember the point of impact...well, I beg to differ...I remember every boulder and rock that I hit! Jim, somehow, miraculously rode her down. When he looked back to where I was laying, it wasn’t pretty…he was certain that I had been killed! However, through the powers of God, I was alive.
No one actually saw the accident happen but there were good Samaritans on the scene within seconds. The first person on the scene was a doctor from Texas (that had to be by the grace of God). The next person was an insurance agent (another sign that God was in control). He knew all the things needed from that point of view. There were also many others who stopped to help make phone calls, etc. Emergency personnel were contacted, as were family members.
Fast forward to the emergency room in Dardanelle, Arkansas…no broken bones, no concussion, only massive abrasions. Praise the Lord. Swollen and bruised, I’ll be sore, but I will fully recover. The emergency room doctor asked if I had been wearing a helmet. We replied that we had not been. He told me that it was probably a good thing this time. You see, besides the abrasions and swelling, I had a crack at the C3 vertebrae in my neck. The doctor told us that had I been wearing my helmet, I would likely be dead or paralyzed. He said that the weight and girth of the helmet would have caused the neck to be completely broken! To this day, my kids don’t believe that the doctor actually said that, but as I live and breathe…it is the truth! I tried to get Jim to take pictures of me because I knew I would have an amazing testimony once it was all over (I think this is the ONLY time I have ever welcomed pictures of me!). He refused. He was so distraught over this entire thing...he thought he had killed me!
One of those all important ‘calls’ made on the side of the road was to my parents. I found out later that Daddy had an odd feeling about us going this particular year (2008) but he never told us. As soon as the phone rang that fateful day, he knew. He told Mama…I’m on my way…call me when you know where I need to go! It took a long time for him to get to the hospital…he was coming from Bonner Springs, KS to Dardanelle, AR. The hospital staff wanted me to spend the night…I told them I couldn’t…I wasn’t having my dad travel all that way to just have to stay in a motel or something. I told them to drug me up and I’d be fine till I got home. So…they gave me some pain medication. Daddy finally got there along with my brother, Ken. Ken had been praying almost all of the way down to Dardanelle. They loaded me up and then we went to pick up our beautiful Belle! Now the question was, “How did our beloved Belle (our 2004 white Gold Wing) fair?” Cosmetically, she doesn’t appear to be too bad. Internally is another story. One of the big boulders on the side of the road went through the engine, she lost all her oil and the underside is pretty beat up. We think she can be repaired, but after much investigation, alas, she is too far gone!
Once home, the local doctors were talking plastic surgery on my head and my upper right arm. But my God is bigger than that. I did not have plastic surgery. To this day, all that remains as a reminder of the accident is a SMALL amount of scarring on my forehead and the front of my right shoulder.
It all seems like a dream. Riding our motorcycle any time the weather permits is the one thing that we absolutely love. It was hard for a few weeks…we couldn’t just run to the garage for an evening ride. We waited for the insurance company to do its thing and then we got our new-to-us ride…a 2006 white Gold Wing! It is our 5th Goldwing in our 33 years of marriage and it is the first time we have had a previously owned bike, but she is low mileage and she is ours! We will doll her up with chrome and we will love her as much as we did Belle. We call her NellieBelle in homage to her predecessor. Jim isn’t too fond of the ‘Nellie’ part but, after all, the bike is mine…I just let him drive . She gives us joy and peace as we ride.
The words “It’ll never happen to us” are no longer a part of our vocabulary. It was a freak accident, one that was unavoidable. Things happen FAST – that’s why we should always be prepared. We thank God daily that we have come through this event wiser and more appreciative of His gifts. There is no greater joy than to straddle a 'wing' and see God’s creation in a whole different way.