To look at her today you would never know that she narrowly escaped death, paralysis, internal bleeding or, at the very least, severely broken neck, back, and arm bones less than 24 hours ago. I sincerely wish I was being melodramatic in that statement. I watched in horror as a horse landed on her neck and she was stepped on multiple times as the horse continued to rear and land on her trying to get clear of Lilly who, after being thrown, had landed under her. I can hear the scream that escaped me and the rattle of the chain as I yanked it out of the gate to run to her. It plays over and over in my mind, haunting me with a thousand “What ifs…” That moment was truly the stuff of nightmares. Right now, with her shirt covering the scrapes on her back and her hair covering the scrapes on her neck, all that is visible of yesterday’s ordeal is the bright orange band-aide covering her little bloodied ear and a bruise on her arm.
Completely astounded at how relatively unscathed she was I drove to the Dr’s office, sure that there were internal injuries that simply hadn’t yet taken their toll but would if we didn’t get her checked out immediately. As he looked her over, our doctor stood behind Lilly where she could not see his face and gave me a look of total disbelief that her injuries were so minor. He reiterated what I already knew, “That helmet saved her life.” The helmet that was cracked and broken instead of her head.
I stared at her in wonder as she amused and impressed the radiologist with her giggles and eagerness to stand perfectly still for the “photos.” X-rays showed everything in perfect order…Not only were there no chips or damage to any bones, her neck is not even out of alignment.
Andy and I were left alternately welling up with tears and uttering prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude for her protection. As my mom said when I spoke with her last night, “There’s no telling what shape her angels are in.”
We’ve asked ourselves once or twice “Are we being overly dramatic?” And then I see that horse landing on her tiny body again and I look at where her injuries are and I know that we are not. This day could have ended very differently. I don’t care if it’s the cliche thing to say: Hold your loved ones tight today.