The Story of Vera and Her Family, Chapter 17

3 05 2008

The Tragedy

It was May of 1992, and Sandy decided that we needed to plant flowers in our front yard. An elderly lady who lived down the street had one of the front yards that had something blooming in every season except winter. In fact, there was hardly any grass in her yard. She had what I called a wonderland of flowers. I told her about Sandy’s desire. This dear widow wanted to dig up some of her bulbs and help Sandy plant them in our yard so that we would remember her.

Sandy and Mrs. F. planted bulbs on Friday May 1, l992. Most of what they planted didn’t last. However, the Iris bulbs took quite well. ( They are getting ready to bloom again in May of 2008 ) Sandy was so happy to have this planting project with Mrs. F. On Saturday Sandy had a cross country race. While she was gone, the rest of us decided that a picnic was in order for Sunday. Phillip, my brother, wanted to go to a place called Pilot Rock. It was way out in the county and it served as a favorite site for people to repel off the rock. However, Sandy and Ben had no interest in going to the picnic on Sunday. Therefore, only Philip, you, Maria, and your dad and I went.

I was not a very adventuresome person and didn’t want to have our picnic there. I was out voted though. So Sunday morning I went to the store and bought picnic supplies. I just felt frozen as we drove out there. There was a well worn path that led up to the top of Pilot Rock. I didn’t enjoy the picnic at all. I felt like a watch dog over everyone. I warned everyone to stay away from the edge and stay more to the center of the mountain. No listened to me. Thus, I sat by myself while everyone took off for some adventure.

Phillip took both of you girls for walk. I have no idea where your dad was. All of a sudden I heard people shrieking. A young soldier came and told me that one of my daughter’s had fallen off the mountain. He practically carried me down to where you had fallen. Dad was already with you. Someone must have had a cell phone-for soon we were told that emergency help was on the way.

I was in shock-moving only because my body told me too. Soon the emergency ambulance arrived. You had fallen 40 feet into a crevice. If you had fallen all of the way -it would have been something around 200 feet. The emergency crew had to climb up the mountain with a board to get you. They checked all of your vitals, then carefully lifted you on to the board. It was a long way down the mountain. The nurse asked us whether we wanted you air lifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center or to Wellborn Medical Center in Evansville, Indiana. I couldn’t make the decision so she suggested Wellborn.

By the time we got down to ground level there was a television crew waiting to take film and pictures. They interviewed us but it was such a fog in my mind. Later it was played on our local station. People who knew us started calling our home before we even arrived home. The emergency people took you to the ambulance and got an I.V. started. You kept trying to pull out your I..V. tubes, and the hefty nurse threatened to sit on you if you didn’t cooperate.

The life flight helicopter from Wellborn arrived in good time. We watched helplessly as they boarded you on board. Phillip, Maria, Jim and I were in shock. In times like that, I believe shock is a gift from God. We were not able to cry, scream or panic. Our emotions were frozen and out bodies directed us to our car. We had to get home and prepare for the next step of this tragedy.




4 responses

3 05 2008

Oh, Nicole3,
I don’t know of anything that panics a parent more than having one of their children hurt in an accident…You are so right about how shock is a gift and it makes things feel so strange, but somehow, you must function and that “fog” helps numb everything…
But, I also believe our angels are busy, all of the time, in their duties of protection…how many angels were retired that day, I wonder?

4 05 2008

I knew of all people that you could appreciate this chapter. You have lived through so much shock and fog with your own dear husband fighting his battle with cancer. And that the Lord for His angels. I’m sure there were many hovering around that day.

Your friend,

17 05 2008
David Web


I have been up on Pilot Rock a few times myself, and remeber how fortunate Vera was to not have fallen all the way.Gos was certainly with all of you that terrible day.

Our instincts are all too often correct about potential dangers. Yet, curiosity and the need for adventure propel us toward the risky ventures.

Little Brother

17 05 2008

Little brother,
Part 2 of that story is soon to come. Those were awful days. When I get depressed about minor things–I feel ashamed of myself–when I’ve lived through so much with Vera’s accident.


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