Monday, May 26, 2008

Kanarraville Miracle

OK then, here is an accounting of our miracle at Kanaraville. Keep in mind that it has a beautiful and miraculous ending, so don't get too upset as you read.
     We were here at Kolob to pick up the horses, and to do a little riding--on them and on a Harley in Zions.  Monday was a beautiful day, and we rode the horses in the morning up on the cedar hills to the north of the property, and galloped around the edge of the plowed field.  Mom just glides along on Duffy, and I do my best to keep up on Lady.  We did some upkeep and repairs on the house in the afternoon and then loaded the horses up to ride that evening in a gorgeous slot canyon up by Kanaraville, which is just four miles from the house (you go right under the freeway on our road and keep going around to the left).
     This canyon is unbelievable.  Jonah showed it to me last year.  It looks like Zion narrows or maybe like Petra--huge red walls rising on each side, and riding down through a narrow canyon (sometimes only 10 or 20 feet across) along the stream bed hundreds of feet below the rim. The evening sun was on the top of the cliffs, turning them orange and yellow, and its slanting rays gave a dramatic back lighting to the new spring green oaks and cottonwoods and willows down by the stream as we rode along.  It was an ethereal, magical ride.
     We rode up as far as we could go, and then turned around and rode down the canyon, seeing a whole new perspective going through the slots looking down instead of up.  It seemed like an awesome, almost holy experience, the beauty was so profound.  It's so fun to see beauty with mom, because she is so touched by it, and because she tells me about all the colors I can't see.
     We were still kind of in that glow as we loaded the horses up (we just had Lady and Duffy.)  We usually put King in first, but since he was back in the pasture, Lady goes in first, and she always needs the touch of a rope being pulled up behind her to jump up in.  She had loaded fine at the pasture though, so we weren't thinking much about it.  I led her into the trailer, and Mom held the rope strung behind her and she jumped right in and I had mom close the trailer door because I didn't want her to think about backing out before I tied her and swung the diagonal bar around that keeps her positioned in the trailer.
     I looped her rope through the tie on inside the trailer and suddenly she reared and bolted backward out of the trailer.  (What I was not thinking of was that she sometimes panics when you tie her head.  My suspicion is that someone tied her up and beat her way back before we owned her, and horses never forget.  We knew she was mistreated by her previous owner. She actually broke a lead rope a couple of years ago when she reared while tied to the outside of the trailer, and last summer she bolted in the trailer just as I was tieing her and fell backward out of the trailer right on her butt.) Anyway, Mom had just shut the door, but not latched it, and as she heard Lady rearing back, her instinct was to hold the door so she couldn't back out.  But of course the 1100 pound horse hit that door like a freight train, and the door flew back into Mom and threw her like a rag doll.  Lady came right out on top of her, trying to get her footing and balance, and, thank goodness, not falling out on her butt as she had last Summer.
     It all happened in an instant and from my horrible perspective it was surreal.  Through the tunnel of the trailer, I saw the door fly open, saw Mom thrown back on to the ground, and saw Lady stepping on and around her, trying not to fall.  It happened so extremely fast, and thinking back, it is clear that Lady was desperately trying to get her footing, and trying not to step on Mom, but in that awful little dance I she stepped in a lot of places, and I could see that some of them were on Mom. I could see that she never got near Mom's head, but it looked like she stepped on her back and maybe on her arm or hand.
     I can't remember running out of the trailer, as it happened, but suddenly Lady was gone and I was there, holding up Mom's head and praying.  The first thing she said was "I can move my hands and feet."  I cradled her beautiful head in my arms and instantly gave her a Priesthood blessing.  It was an amazing and marvelous experience.  I felt, (and Mom said later that she did too) a soft peace settle over us and I blessed her that she would be fine, with no permanent damage to any part of her body and that her injuries would be fleeting and her recovery fast.  I felt her body relax and her breathing return to normal.  I have never loved her more or been more grateful for her (well, except in the couple of days since) than at that moment, looking down into her now peaceful face.
     She said she thought she could get to the car, and despite the fact that I know you should not move people that may have back injuries, I could see that she could move, and by then had weight on her elbow, so I helped her up, and have never been so grateful to see someone walk--around to the side of the truck.  When she was able to climb up into the passenger seat (pretty high in that truck) I knew she would be OK.
     Now you know Mom.  By then she was saying "I'm fine, lets just go to Kolob and I will soak in a hot tub."  Then she said "I'm OK, I'll just sit here while you go find the horses (who, of course, had run off to who knows where.)  It was hard to think at that point.  I had such a strange mixture of horror, gratitude, panic, and relief.  I tried first to walk and then to drive a little further up the road to see if I could see the horses, but then realized that what mattered was to get Mom to a hospital to check everything out.  We got on the freeway and headed for Cedar City, and it was getting dark, about 9 o clock by now.  Mom was trying to reassure me at this point, even joking around a little to show me she was OK.  I realized the trailer was still on the truck, so I pulled over in a rest stop and took it off, and we buzzed on in, 15 minutes, to the Cedar hospital emergency entrance.  I ran in to get a nurse and a wheelchair, and in the lobby as I walked by, a TV was on and was showing, can you believe it, a Rodeo.
     A nice ER doctor checked Mom out, nurses cleaned her scrapes, and X rays were taken of her left hand and, most importantly, of her spine.  The Doc said that as well as she was moving, he was not very worried about the spine, but we wanted to be sure.  He came back with the good news, a little bone crack in the bone above her pinky on the left hand, and no sign of fracture or injury to the spine. 
     Actually, the biggest worry I had when I saw the hoof bruise in the small of her back, off to the left side a little, was her kidney.  The Doc said kidneys were pretty tough, but the easy way to check that was to see if there was any blood in the urine, and he said it would be immediate if there was any serious kidney injury.  We struggled into the bathroom, and Mom produced a marvelously clear specimen!
     We talked about any and every other possible internal or external injury we could imagine, and eliminated them by lack of symptoms, got a removable splint for her hand, and finally about midnight we headed for home.  Back at Kolob, we got Mom settled down, and I went back out on the freeway and got the trailer.  (We had called 911 and asked the Sherrif's department to look for the horses so they would not get out on a road and cause an accident.....but they never found them.)
     With the help of Loritab and ice (I have a big belief in ice on injuries by the way--lots of it for a long time--it even cured my groin pull from the tennis tournament a couple of weeks ago) Mom had a pretty good night, and though we knew the next day--Tuesday (yesterday) would be the most painful, she was confident in the Loritab and as happy and chipper as she always is, so I went out to look for the horses.  I drove around and walked around the area a lot and saw no sighs of them, and then it occurred to me that I had another horse.  I got King, saddled him up, and actually started tracking from the scene of the accident.  That's another story, but, amazingly, about two miles away, through a couple of broken fences, I found them in a field with four other horses, and managed to lead them back, get them in the trailer, and back to Kolob.
     We spent the rest of the day yesterday in an interesting kind of grateful bliss.  I just had the feeling that "who cares about the little details of what's happening, or whether I get anything done, I've got my sweetheart and my partner--her life and her health have been saved--my life has been saved--all I can feel is joy and gratitude."  Mom, the movie girl of all time, even felt so good that we went, in the afternoon, to see Ironman!
     Mom had a good, restful night, and it's early Wednesday as I write this.  Thee weather has turned cool and rainy, and if she feels up to it, we will probably drive back to SLC today.  Thanks for your prayers and your love.  The Lord lives, the Priesthood works, and you have the most marvelous and cherished Mother on the planet.
Love,  DAD

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