A Second That Changed My Life

Disclaimer: This event happened to Cowboy and I this past weekend. This is very “dark” and not like my usual upbeat posts. I am sharing in hopes to help all my friends become more aware of life events which can possibly become dangerous. You will understand that this post must be vague as I cannot go into details nor would want to. Cowboy and I are safe and were not harmed.

Friday was just an ordinary day. Cowboy and I were headed back to the farm after picking up hay and simply talking about all the chores we needed to do. I was anxious for us to spread the fire ant granules. Cowboy was ready to put salt blocks in the pastures. I was planning on cleaning, reading a good book and making sure our flowerbeds got needed water. We discussed cooking hotdogs. We were already enjoying our weekend.

I felt the hit as my body lunged forward and then backwards. I never have been in a car wreck in my entire life, but instantly was jolted forward thinking, “Oh, this is what it feels like”. Before Cowboy and I had time to even decide if we were hurt the car that hit us sped up and passed us and I commented to Cowboy that I thought the person was not going to stop. Eventually the car pulled over as the hood was pushed into the windshield and began smoking. The car turned into parking lot of a small town business. We thought the person might be hurt because the car was so crushed. We exited our truck as Cowboy checked on the person while I called 911. While talking to 911 I was watching very carefully. A nice young couple with two little children pulled up. They had been behind the driver’s car and were worried the individual might be hurt. A few minutes later I saw Cowboy walk to the highway and flag down a law enforcement officer. The officer turned around and came to tell Cowboy he was from another county and just passing through and he proceeded to phone in the accident. The young couple left after the officer arrived. Cowboy was with the person who was trying to find his driver’s license. The airbags had gone off in his car so “the person” was focused on going through car. We were parked next to the car so cowboy decided to move our truck. I had just finished call with 911.

In a split second I heard the gun shot. I was now pulled into a horrific violent act. The terror was instant. I was the closest and automatically intimately drawn into a gut-wrenching violence that no one should be a part of. The person immediately pulled me into his dark world and I could not get out. I was witness to the ending of this stranger’s life. (The man who hit us) In one second I heard the gun blast and the next minute he was dead and and I was witness to the horror of it all. An unwilling guest at his suicide.

For several hours I just went through the motions while my head re-played everything over and over. I had Cowboy, very nice law enforcement officers, EMTs and a really compassionate police chaplain, but I had already entered into my own private anguish. All it takes is a spit second to change your life forever. It will be added to my life book and it is not a chapter I would wish on anyone.

My weekend was spent going through the motions of life. I cleaned, watered garden, fed the animals and watched some HGTV. I am supposed to go on with a normal life, aren’t I? My brain, however, was like a 20’s silent horror movie with the reel playing over and over and over. I want to make it stop. I know in time this horrific event will fade, but this person chose to impact me and my life. I think I am going through the classic feelings: scared, sad, mad, lots of tears. I cry for “the person” and I cry for me. I have been asking the question “why me”? I am not much on having a pity party so that means I must resolve this soon.

I never really thought much about having a guardian angel. I think Cowboy and I might just have one; someone who loved us very much. What were the chances that Cowboy would actually find a law enforcement officer in such a tiny town? The young couple left with their two little ones which was a huge blessing. Would things have been different for Cowboy and me if there had not been an officer with us? The thought is agonizing that we might have ended up victims. Many of the officers expressed that indeed maybe we really were lucky. I am so humbled to be able to continue living life. I will try to make it count.

What now? Cowboy and I are a little banged up physically. Mentally, cowboy is fine. Me… it is going to take some time. My brain is filled with things no one should ever have to experience and I will be the first to admit it is very hard. I am strong and eventually I will be the same person I was earlier on Friday and I will be able to lock the nightmares out. Maybe I can do it myself and maybe I will need a professional to talk to. Either way everything will be better in time.

Why did I feel the need to share this with you? I cannot say that Cowboy and I would have done anything different. I will say I had a very uneasy feeling when I felt the person was not going to stop after hitting us. I continued to feel uneasy; although we were so worried about the person being hurt that may have altered any negative feelings I might have had. I also was in a public parking lot which felt better than being on deserted road. Best of all we had an officer on site. He was our ultimate blessing. Maybe a red flag should have gone up when the person was so pre-occupied going through his car. This person was calm. Had he been a raging person yelling and scary- Cowboy and I would have hit the road and called 911 from the beginning. We are not stupid. I guess what I want you to know is never let your guard down. Keep focused. What seems simple may not be. We all are taught to stop for an accident, but no one teaches us signs that might indicate we or others could be in danger. In the future I will never be in accident and NOT call 911. If we had not called 911 and not flagged down an officer it might have been a game changer for Cowboy and me.

For me, to share this is the beginning of my healing process. I hope that sharing this with friends can make you a little safer and a little more aware. Life is good, but it may throw you some curves and you need to be prepared. Nothing ever could have prepared us for this really dreadful event, but in the future I may look at things such as such as car wreck with greater caution.

Today I look to up the sky and give thanks to the person who “might” just be our guardian angel. Just maybe they helped in arranging for the officer to appear at just the right time. I am holding to that thought as it is the only part of the story that can give me comfort.

Cloudy

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Comments

  1. I personally believe we have Guardian Angels, for reasons I believe you already know. I will continually pray for your peace and forgiveness that this happened. You both have been truly blessed; not by the events unfolding before you, but by the way you will live your life from here on out. ITB Sister

  2. I’m so thankful that you & Cowboy are safe. How terrifying. No shame in talking to someone even if you don’t feel like you need it. I’m sorry you experienced that. Hugs sweetie! I’ll be keeping you both in my thoughts.

  3. Allyn Maher says:

    Oh, Weekend Cowgirl…I am so thankful you were both able to walk away from this horrific event! Since Mindy passed
    I have come to believe there are no coincidences. Prayer, support from your friends, journaling, and therapy (just being able to talk to someone about your experience) are all helpful. Most of all, you are a strong, amazing woman and you will rise above this. May God continue to bless you!

    • weekendcowgirl says:

      Everthing you have listed are things I do think I need. One step at a time…your comment means so very much because I know all you have been through…. thank you for being a treasured friend…

  4. gina gohlke wicker says:

    I am so glad you’re my DG sister, my friend, and especially thankful you are able to tell your experience! It has to be hard to reconcile the how, why, & what of the incident! Don’t let these thoughts ruin your life, get some help & and get your laugh back! love, gina.

  5. Nancy Reeves says:

    I am sorry that you had to live through such an event. I have always felt that suicide is such a selfish act–there is no thought of those that will witness it or of family that will have to live with the loss. Please seek counseling, it shouldn’t be your burden to bear. I will say a prayer for you tonight.

  6. Oh, WC! What a horrific, heartbreaking experience. It’s mind-boggling to try and understand why these kind of tragedies happen. I’m so thankful that you’re safe and will continue to keep you in my prayers as you go through the process of healing. Sending big hugs your way from Colorado!

  7. Julie Adcock Whitney says:

    I’m so glad I chose tonight to look at your blog!
    You are a remarkable person that will get through this and like you said, writing about it has started the healing! I would HIGHLY recommend that you speak with a professional, because doing so will help along your healing and you won’t suddenly be into darker thoughts. All the different feelings that we experience during and after tragedies, will continue to change and you will go back more than once to some of those you thought you had passed…that’s part of the healing. It may take just a couple of visits to a therapist or social worker, but they will ask the right questions to help you heal in a healthy way!
    I will certainly have you in my thoughts and prayers!

  8. Diane Arnold Stamper says:

    What a horrifying experience! And so senseless. You, Cowboy, and the person’s family are in my prayers. God watches out for us, and He’ll carry you through this.

  9. Yikes! I can’t even imagine what that experience must have felt like but I can say I have dealt with the emotions that come from someone committing suicide. A close friend of mine lost his brother to suicide and it tears at your heart. Your situation is definitely much different but remember to stay focused on all the positives in your life and don’t let that one negative get to your for too long. I’ve been in a few accidents, one of which a drunk driver hit me head on at 100mph and every First Responder on scene told me I should have been dead but I was able to walk away from the accident instead. Banged up of course, but alive. What gets me through all those tough times is praying. Send up lots of prayers cause I promise the Dear Lord will hear you and help heal your body and soul. I’m here for ya girl if you need someone to talk to or just want to someone to listen while you talk. So sorry you had to go through that!

  10. I have goosebumps reading the details of that horrific event! I’m SO sorry you had to experience something like that and THANK GOODNESS you and everyone else that were at the scene are ok, physically anyway. It’s not easy to share something this personal and hopefully it will be the first step on your road to recovery. Stay close to family and friends, talk freely about it, and write about it often. I believe a journal is the best form of therapy around. I wish you peace, Weekend Cowgirl. ♥

    • weekendcowgirl says:

      I have had lots of support and next week I will be going to talk this through with a professional. Things will be better!

  11. Thanks so much for sharing your story. You and Cowboy are wonderful people and I am so glad I got the chance to meet you. I enjoy your posts, and I thank you for sharing this. My husband is in law enforcement, and he deals with a lot of stuff like this. It’s very hard to deal with, and even though the sights and sounds may never completely go away, dealing with it will get easier. I’m glad God protected you and Cowboy. There’s certainly no shame in going to see a professional.

    • weekendcowgirl says:

      I know everything will dim in time. I know things will get better. It made me feel good to have comment from you…Thanks.

  12. Thank God you are both safe, as well as the family that stopped to help. I pray that your heart heals soon. Perhaps by sharing this horrific story you are helping someone else. God bless and prayers your way.

  13. Yikes, how scary. I’m glad you guys are okay.

  14. Allison Griggs Gross says:

    I am so glad that you and Cowboy are okay in what could have played out in so many different directions. I am friends with the wife of the County Deputy who assisted as he was passing through.In our Wives on Duty group we prayed for this Deputy and his dealing with the situation, and the “couple” that was involved, at the time having no idea it was someone that I was connected to. It was not until my mom was sharing with me your story yesterday that I pieced it all together.
    He would be so proud to know that you have continued appreciation for his kind act, that to us citizens is often life altering and saving, but to law enforcement it is simple, just a job, just another day, just another stop. They live with the fear that you are going through with every step of every shift they work, something I can not imagine. The common citizen is not so common to a law enforcement officer whether they are on or off duty, and even less common is the appreciation towards them. So kudos to you and Cowboy for stepping outside of the “norm” and so glad you are both okay! Continued prayers for you both!

    • weekendcowgirl says:

      Oh my goodness, thank you so much for relaying this to me as it is a huge comfort factor for me. The deputy will never know how he was my life – line that day. If we had been alone it would have been zillions of times worse for me. Even though I was in an altered state after the incident I was very aware that we were so very blessed to have him with us. In fact that is all I could think about. I felt guilty that he was at risk also, but still I could not have gone through it without him and all the law enforcement that ended up coming. I felt I was hanging off a cliff. The police chaplain did a lot to help ground me also.

      Cowboy is just fine. I wish I could say I was, but this has greatly impacted me. Tomorrow, a wonderful psychologist, is giving up his 4th of July to meet with me and I know after I am able to talk to him that I will begin to feel better. I have to remember it has not even been a week. My brain is still stuck on that event. I am going to climb out of this nightmare and will be strong as ever- just need a little time and help.

      Thanks for taking the time to write to me.

      You can tell your friend that we were extremely blessed to have spotted her husband and I will forever be grateful…

      • Allison Griggs Gross says:

        I will be happy to let them know. If you feel the need to speak with the chaplain or someone with a law enforcement perspective please don’t hesitate to let me know. My mother, Laurette can get you my information. Sending healing and prayers of comfort your way! Hugs!

  15. Unbelievable. I firmly believe that there are angels among us – clearly yours was on duty that day. Glad you are speaking with someone – that can help immensely. Prayers for you, Cowboy, the person and their family, your law enforcement deputy and all who have been touched by this.

  16. So glad you’re okay! How scary!

  17. Doesn’t a split second change our lives? Thank heavens you are as ok as you can be at this point. That darn question “why” I realize isn’t answered as often in life as we wish it to be? Many times never. Just have faith that that is ok. Knowing could draw you into that person’s life even more and that could be very unsettling too. Fortunately our angels are there to help us through the Big Plan.See you soon I hope.

  18. How terrifying! Thank goodness you’re okay and I’m so sorry you have to replay that unwanted visual. You might look into hashing it out with a therapist. I can’t imagine how a person can function with those kinds of images playing out in your head. So awful!

    • weekendcowgirl says:

      I started with a really good psychologist last Thursday. I figured out early on I could not do it alone. Getting visual out of head is difficult, plus you do not feel so alone…

  19. Oh my. I am so sorry to hear you went through such a horrific ordeal. Will say a prayer for you today!

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