Redeem Your “Ground” … While You Can!
(NOTE: At first blush you may think that this post has nothing to do with redeeming your ground. But, at the risk of sounding overly dramatic, it has everything to do with why it’s so important to redeem your ground while you can. Besides, writing this post has helped me process what happened … so indulge me, or just move on.)
Out of Nowhere It Became a Very Long, Difficult Day
Two weeks ago Monday I was somewhere just south of South Dakota driving home in a U-Haul with my nephew after packing up my dad’s ranch in Wyoming … when I got a call. It was my wife, Britt. She was crying and having trouble telling me what was wrong. I was finally able to make out that she had been in a bad accident, but she was okay … she was in an ambulance and headed to the emergency room. That’s all I got … she had to go. Although she was scared and confused as to exactly what happened, I was relieved that she was able to call me … or at least have someone call me for her.
The next 18 hours seemed like an eternity as we drove straight through to Atlanta. When I actually had cell coverage (which was spotty through Tennessee), I had a few brief conversations with my oldest daughter, AK, and my in-laws. But because no one could physically be with Britt in the ER due to COVID-19, they didn’t know much more … beyond the little bit that they learned from a few brief phone calls. That said, even if someone had spoken to her at length, Britt wouldn’t have been much help as she didn’t remember a whole heck of a lot … and what she did remember was spinning around in her jumbled head.
Several hours into my drive, after a battery of tests and x-rays Britt was finally discharged from the ER … with a concussion, a big knot on the back of her head, some bruises, and a small burn from the air bags. Britt didn’t know many more details of the accident (nor did she really want to talk about it), so we still weren’t really clear as to exactly what happened, but it was clear that things could have been worse. Much worse.
Once my father-in-law got Britt settled at home with my mother-in-law playing the role of a Southern Florence Nightingale, he went to the salvage yard to get what he could from what was car (a Toyota Highlander, if you can’t tell!*). And it wasn’t until after I received the pictures that he took of the car that it finally was clear just how bad the accident was. And more significantly, just how truly miraculous it was that Britt not only survived the accident, but that she was able to walk out of the car. She was traumatized … but she was alive and able to stand on her own two feet. PTL!
Just before midnight I arrived home to tentative, shaky hugs and a lot of tears – a mix of still-scared-tears and now-happy-tears that we were all back together. It had been a long, difficult day. [Again, I’m not trying to be dramatic. It just was.]
The Crash Report … and Then Some
Just this week we finally received the Crash Report from the Georgia State Patrol. It more than confirmed that what Britt went through was traumatic … a spinning tornado of crashes … and we were reminded that she was a walking miracle. God clearly protected her.
According to the Crash Report:
- Britt came to a stop because traffic had piled up entering the off-ramp of I-285 … but the car behind her didn’t stop and plowed directly into her.
- The impact sent Britt’s car into the next lane where a semi, traveling at normal speed, hit the front quarter panel of her car … which sent her spinning back & under the back axel of the semi’s trailer, essentially crushing the back of Britt’s car like a tin can (the impact actually broke the trailer’s axel). We’re so thankful that neither of our girls were with her … as one of them would have likely been in the back.
- She was then spit out and back into her original lane where she ran into the back of another car … which was sent spinning.
- Britt’s car continued to spin into the far lane where she was hit by another car on her driver’s side.
- Finally … still spinning, but now back into the original lane … Britt’s car once again hit the car that was previously sent spinning.
- Both cars came to a stop, nose-to-nose in the middle of I-285.
- A total of 6 impacts to Britt’s car … 2 from a semi!
Desperately looking out of her still intact windshield, Britt caught the equally desperate stare of the woman sitting in the car directly in front of her. Britt’s daze was interrupted by the knocks of Good Samaritans rushing to see if she was okay. Incredibly, Britt was able to crawl over to the passenger seat and open the door.
There she sat while others attempted to comfort her until the EMTs and firefighters arrived. After smelling fumes and determining that she was able to be moved, they helped Britt hop to the guard rail … not because she couldn’t walk on her own, but because she only had one sandal on and they didn’t want her to cut her bare foot. The other sandal was in her car … or somewhere on I-285 (we still don’t know), where this crazy nightmare began. [Okay, that’s probably laying it on a little too thick. I’ll give you that.]
The Road to Recovery
Today, two and a half weeks later, although Britt’s still having some headaches & other concussion-related issues … with weird pains & symptoms coming and going daily, physically she’s doing great … well, good’ish. We’re hopeful that the doctors & physical therapists will get her back to normal soon. But we’re told to be patient, as brain injuries, no matter how minor, take a long time to heal.
Emotionally? She ebbs and flows. Sometimes Britt is really strong … but other times, out of nowhere, the tears start a’flowin’. But she’s getting better at giving herself grace. Yes, she’s a walking miracle, but the accident was a big deal … and she needs to give herself time. She’ll get there … err, we’ll get there.
Redeem Your “Ground” … Whatever Your “Ground” Is!
Sooooo …. you may still be asking, why the heck am I writing about this on a website called Redeem Your Ground … what does a car crash have to do with cool things that you can do in your back yard?
Well, Britt’s accident certainly wasn’t cool, nor was it in our back yard. But it did remind us of all we have to be thankful for & challenge us to continue redeeming our ground at home while we can – because we’re not promised tomorrow … or at least, a tomorrow that looks like today. Things can change in an instant. Our September 14th 2020 could have had a very different ending.
That said, if you’ve been talking about adding a veggie garden to your back yard … stop talking about it, do it.
If you’ve thought about raising chickens, bees, goats, ducks, whatever … it’s time to decide and do it.
Redeem your ground.
If you want to create a cool space in your back yard to hang out in with friends and family, do it. Better yet, just go ahead and get outside with them now. You can improve the space over time … begin the people-connecting now because that’s what’s really important.
If your relationship with your spouse, kids, parents, siblings, friends or neighbors is broken or isn’t all it could be … get over yourself – look across the room or pick up the phone or write an email or pay them a visit and begin the healing process now. Life’s too short.
Redeem your ground.
If you find yourself sitting on the couch medicating yourself with way too much Netflix binge-watching or reality TV (or … pick your guilty pleasure) … turn off the TV, get up, and improve your own reality. Do something. Build something. Create something. Or just breath some fresh air.
If you know you should eat healthier and/or exercise more (or at all!), but you seem to too easily find all sorts of reasons to put it off until tomorrow … stop making excuses. Seriously. You deserve more … and if you don’t believe that you deserve more, own the fact that the people in your life do.
Redeem your ground.
You see … yes, you can look at your ground literally, like the dirt or the space outside. Which is great and you should probably redeem it. But your ground is so much more than that. Fill in the blank. What is the ground in your life that needs to be redeemed … that needs to be more than it is … that needs to be brought back to life? Whatever popped into your head as you read these words, that’s your ground. Redeem it.
Redeem your ground.
Okay, I’ll get off my soap box now, you’ve probably had enough of me. But given what we’ve been dealing with the last couple weeks or so I found it difficult to write about anything other than something that just might help people move their lives forward. A nudge. A push. A challenge. A charge. In a way, this post helps Britt and me redeem this difficult experience. (Sorry, I said I had gotten off my soap box.)
Thanks for indulging me … and sorry if this post came off too heavy-handed. It wasn’t my intent. I promise, I’ll get back to writing about gardening and chickens and outdoor activities soon. I just had to put this out there … oh, and take care of a few things around here.
Thanks for reading.
Take care friends,
* PS: For obvious reasons we HIGHLY recommend the Toyota Highlander if you’re looking for a really safe car!!!
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