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Magical World

Wouldn't it be lovely if, with just a twitch of the nose, life, or any aspect of it could be changed. Instead, positive changes always seem to involve tremendously hard work, determination, and endless setbacks. How lovely it would be to have the powers of Samantha Stephens.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

I love my Dad. Our relationship hasn't always been the best, but for the most part, especially in the last 15 years, we've been able to build a wonderful friendship. Much of the strain and conflict we've had in our relationship stems from the feelings that I felt when I was abused by my cousin, and I didn't believe my father would protect me. I know now that's not true. But maybe it's good that I didn't tell, because I think my dad would now be in jail for murder if I had. As it is, he still wants to beat the #&**!! out of my cousin. My father asked me to allow him to pay for all my counseling. He knows I can afford to do it myself, but he said it would help him feel better if I'd let him do that--so I did. He realized after about two weeks that the knowledge of what had happened to his daughter in his own home, was too much for him to cope with. He started counseling, himself, and is still continuing that course.

The point of this post is not to belabor an unfortunate event of my past. It's just that my dad has really been on my mind this week. He's a wonderful guy. There have been many events in my life that have shown me how much he loves me. Some are simple--he used to play piano duets with me; he taught me how to play softball (but I'm NOT good at it); he taught me to drive--cars, trucks, tractors--when I was 10; he instilled in me my love of riding motorcycles... which is what I've been thinking about the most.

Motorcycles are dangerous. There's no question about it. And I LOVE to ride them. I don't own one, at Darrin's request. I started riding them when I was about 12. We had a small Honda 90, that I learned to ride on. It could only top out at 45 mph, but you could ride it on any terrain. It was SOOO fun. As I got older, but not particularly bigger, I graduated to larger, more powerful motorcycles. They were fun, as well, but I was small (5'2", and between 95-110 pounds), so it was harder to control them, especially in the fields and on poorly maintained dirt roads. So I often rode the Honda, and allowed my taller sisters (they're all over 5'7", and my youngest sister is six feet tall), to take the larger cycles. We would always race--I would always lose. My little motorcycle just wasn't that fast! Every once in a while, just for a joke, they would allow me to win. Then we'd just laugh.

One day, when I was about 16-years-old, my dad, younger sister, and I, were working in some fields above our house. We had finished our task, and were riding back on our motor cycles. I, of course was on my Honda, and my dad was on a much larger bike. My sister was doubling with me. We'd had a little fight about who should drive. I said I should, because I was older. She said she should, because she was taller and could actually touch the ground while seated on the motorbike. I won. I have to mention here, that I have very poor vision--I have since I was nine. And I didn't always wear my contact lenses or glasses. This was a "no contacts" day.

We started back home. My dad was riding next to me, revving his motor, indicating it was time for a race. I opened the throttle and was zipping over the bumpy road. Dad passed me easily, laughing his head off. I gave chase. I could see my dad at the fence gate. He turned away from it and started toward the edge of the field. I thought he was going to let me win the race. I let the bike go as fast as it could. I could hear my sister behind me, screaming--with fun and excitement, I thought. My dad stopped, turned toward us then started yelling. About 10 seconds before I hit it, I realized why my dad had turned off, why my sister was screaming. The barbed-wire fence gate was closed. Of course I couldn't see it--no contacts. I tried unsuccessfully, to lay the bike down before we hit the barbed-wire at 45 mph. One strand caught me in the neck, another hit me full in the chest. Miraculously, whoever had previously secured the gate had done a rotton job, and it gave way as we slammed into it. We fell onto our sides, legs trapped under the bike. I could hear my dad yelling, "OH NO!!! OH NOOOO!!!"

I was too dazed to move. The motorbike was still running. My dad reached us, just as my sister was able to get up. She turned off the motor and lifted the bike up. Dad yelled, "NO!! Don't move!!" So she dropped the bike back on top of me (ouch!) and laid down. I think she might have been experiencing a little shock. She said to me, as she lay beside me, "Wow--you've got blood on your shirt." I started laughing. Then she started laughing. We couldn't stop. I looked down at my chest. It was bright red. I wondered what it looked like under that shirt. My dad lifted the motorcycle off me (again), asked my sister if she felt okay to walk. She did. As I got to my feet, my dad picked me up and carried me all the way to the house. I noticed through my giggles that he was crying. He said he thought I'd know the gate was closed when he turned away from it. I admitted to being blind, still laughing. I watched him struggle with anger at my stupidity, and concern at all that blood on my chest. I didn't know it, but my face and neck were all bloody, as well. He told me to stop laughing. So I did.

My mom kind of freaked when she saw us. My sister was all scratched up from the barbs, and I looked like something out of a bad horror movie. My shirt was torn in ribbons, and I was very upset that my bra was, as well. Don't know WHY that upset me, but it did. Still, my sister mentioned that I'd have some interesting scars--which started us both laughing again. My dad cleaned the cuts on my neck and chest (amazingly, my face was not cut). Normally, that would have made me VERY uncomfortable--but I actually have the knowledge it happened, but no memory of it. All things considered, I was bruised all over, and I was pretty cut up, but mostly, nothing looked too deep, and nothing was broken. My mom called the doctor, because there was a cut on the side of one of my breasts that WAS quite deep. My sister and I started giggling again, as my mom explained to the doctor that her daughters had just ridden a FENCE through a MOTORCYCLE. By this time, we were laughing so hard we were crying. My sister started crying, for real, and couldn't stop--delayed reaction. I just kept laughing.

The doctor told my mom to clean and butterfly the cuts, and to bring me in for a tetanus shot--my sister had had one recently. He looked me over, said the butterfly bandages would be better than stitches, pronounced me "one HELL of a lucky little heifer" (he was a rancher after hours), and administered the shot himself--it hurt more than hitting the barbed-wire fence.

Only six of the cuts left visable scars, and three of those are in places that only Darrin sees. The other three are faint, and fairly small--hardly noticable. I really am a "HELL of a lucky" person (sorry, don't like the cow comparison).

So why post this on Father's Day? The thing I remember the most, the memory that is the clearest, is the one I have of being carried by my father. He held me close. I felt his tears as they fell. I knew he loved me. I was 16, trying to sort out feelings of no self-worth, SSA, bitterness and hatred caused by abuse. Somehow, even though I'd just been ripped up on the outside, inside there was a whole bunch of healing going on. My dad was protecting me. He was holding me. He loved me. And I realized how much I loved him, too. I wanted to stay there, in his arms, for a very long time. That was when I stopped laughing.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. You're amazing. You're wonderful. I love you. Thank you for loving me, too.


  • At Sunday, June 18, 2006 7:53:00 PM, Blogger -L- said…

    This was very sweet. Thank you.

    I will refrain from lecturing the blog-world about the public health risks of motorcycles. [grits teeth and forces self to stop]

  • At Sunday, June 18, 2006 9:38:00 PM, Blogger Ward Cleaver said…

    What a beautiful story.

    I must mention here that my brother, when very young rode his bicycle into a barbed wire fence at dusk. He didn't see it and hit going pretty fast. He wasn't as lucky as you. Somehow, he slid down the wire on his neck. His neck was cut WIDE open from ear to ear. He nearly died. To this day he has a horrific scar that sometimes scares people.

  • At Sunday, June 18, 2006 9:45:00 PM, Blogger Samantha said…

    I have to say, I've lived a charmed life. "Someone" has always been watching over me.

    Ward: How awful for your brother. How scary for your family. I'm grateful I was protected.

    L: Just so you know--I only rode my motorcycle in private. :) Just kidding!! But I did ride mostly on rural farmland--never encountered a stoplight or a stop sign--so the risk to the public was small. And now that you're feeling a bit more comfortable, I'll confess to never wearing a helmet--sorry.

  • At Sunday, June 18, 2006 9:58:00 PM, Blogger -L- said…

    "Public health" means everyone. Motorcycles kill their riders, not typically everyone else. It's just one of those things I'm prone to harp about... don't smoke, wear sunscreen, wear a helmet, blah blah blah. I'm still young but I sound like a grandpa. Oh well. :)

  • At Sunday, June 18, 2006 10:05:00 PM, Blogger Samantha said…

    Ha!! Serves you right for making ME feel old on Friday.

    If it makes you feel any better, I do wear my helmet when I ride a bicycle. And MY children will probably never touch a motorcycle. Their mother is too overprotective. She totally understands where you're coming from.


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