Take nothing for granted

Emily - Bettendorf, Iowa
Entered on April 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Most lessons learned in life are from trial and error, some are learned in a little harder way. Life is a very special gift, one we tend to take for granted. We look at what other people have and complain about what we don’t have. I know I did, until I realized how lucky I really am.

It was early Sunday morning and I was heading out to the horse stables to do the morning chores. It was cold and I was tired. I headed into the barn to turn Natalie out into her pasture. Natalie was a dark chestnut mare, usually very gentle and kind. I looked in her stall and saw she had her back turned to me, which was rather strange. Usually they are begging at their doors to be let out. I went in and she refused to come over. I grabbed her head and forced her halter on her face, I didn’t have much patience. After much fidgeting we finally left the stall. I lead her through the big barn doors to the pastures. Suddenly, she reared and shuffled backward almost dragging me with her. I took slow, steady breathes trying to relax her and bring her back to the ground. She came back down, but I could tell she was rattled. We just barley made it to the pasture when she bolted forward. She kicked back and hit me square in the left side of the face; horse shoe and all.

Going on instinct I got myself out of the pasture, closed the door, and got down slowly on the frozen ground beneath me, thank the Lord I didn’t snap my neck. I never lost consciousness, but I was really out of it, as you can imagine.

For the next month doctors and surgeons put me back together piece by piece, emotionally and physically. I had broken my jaw, cheek bone, temple, orbit (the eye socket) and I had fractured too many bones to count. I owe my life to the surgeons and nurses. Looking at me now, you would have no idea anything happened. It was a true miracle! All the credit goes to Dr. Paul, the biggest hero in my life. My face is as good as new. And now stronger! (Seven metal plates were put in; I have two scars as proof.)

If there’s one good thing I learned out of all of this, it’s that bad things happen to good people. So never take life for granted. I’m lucky to be alive really, let alone have a normal looking face. Miracles really do happen. And yes, I will continue to work with the horses. And I thank the lord for life and I really do enjoy everyday with everything I have. I try my best to stay positive and happy. Don’t wait until you have a bad experience to learn, take my advice and learn from my story. Take nothing for granted.

Emily S, age 13