Friday, March 14, 2014

happy bowling ball day / 7 year anniversary

I feel like I've written this particular blog post a few times (I have) and this time, I'm not really sure how to begin.

Seven years ago today, I had a bowling ball fall off the top of a flag pole on my head. And, yes. You read that right. How's that for a start? ;)

If you want the details of the story, here are my other blog posts with variations of "here's what happened" and "cool things I've learned": here / here / here / and here (I know that doesn't take us back seven years, but those are the best posts.)

And if you'd like the quick version of the story, here's the youtube video:

Honestly, seven years ago feels like a really long time. Sometimes, I don't even really feel like it actually happened. I mean, really, my brain did block out a lot of the pain which means I have very limited memories of the four days following the accident. But, I was really blessed to heal completely, so all I've got as 'proof' that this wasn't just a dream is the quarter-sized scar on my head.

Looking back on that day, I do remember everything up to the actual accident. I had plans to go to Tremonton for spring break. For some reason, I felt like I should go a day later than I originally planned, so I did. I was hoping to impress a boy that I really liked so I wore my favorite yellow shirt and I blasted the AC through the whole drive so I didn't have sweaty armpits by the time I got there. I had curled my hair and I was wearing my favorite giant, bug-eye glasses. (They were 'in' then, I promise.)

My friend, Christina, picked Marble Park as the place for us all to meet and play because she just had to show me their barbed wire collection. So, we looked there first. (Admittedly, it's quite impressive.) Then we played on the swings, rang some giant wind chime things, teeter-tottered, and gathered around the flag pole for pictures. Obviously, I needed to climb onto the tallest platform. Ashli, Mac, and I were all on that platform and we noticed that the cement holding the flag pole in place was starting to weather and chip away. We pushed the flag pole and found that it would move about a centimeter in whichever direction we pushed it.

I took my sunglasses off my head and tossed them on the ground - I remember this clearly. Then, I looked over my right shoulder and said "wouldn't it be funny if I fell off?" That's when the bowling ball came loose from it's four green prongs and landed on my head. Some important notes: First, I'm glad my sunglasses were off my head. Second, what a blessing that I was looking down and the bowling ball hit the spot that it did. Third, I'm pretty certain there were angels 'carrying' that bowling ball down with conversation that went something along the lines of "okay, guys, slow it down, but not too much! And make sure it hits the exact right spot, just like we rehearsed!" (Some of this is in jest, but I'm also not convinced that it didn't happen exactly this way. We'll chat about it in the next life.) Fourth, FOR REAL... who has an actual bowling ball fall on their head??

I was immediately knocked out - which is great, because then I didn't try to catch myself when I fell and break my arms or something. Friends came over, ambulances and parents were called, there was lime green vomit and me turning mostly blue (and nobody even took a picture) and this is the part where the rest of the story is not from my own memory. (Minus some flash backs about helicopter doors closing on my arm and oxygen mask drama.)

You guys, I don't really know what happened that day. I don't 'get' it. How random is my life? But, you know what else? How perfect is my life? In a way that I cannot even explain, I needed that experience. To the point where maybe it really did make a difference that I went a day late (finishing touches on that weathered cement?). I don't know how, but it taught me so many incredible life lessons. I'm really excited for the part of heaven where I get to watch the movie of that first bowling ball day. (I believe in heaven movies.) I want to see the angels involved, I want to know the things I felt and experienced (minus the mass amounts of pain), and I want to know why exactly that bowling ball was mine. It's funny how having a bowling ball nearly kill you can convince you that God's hand is most definitely in your life.

And I think that's my "moral of the story" today. God's hand is always there in my life. For some divine reason, life is hard sometimes. Bowling balls fall on people's heads (okay, that might actually be a once in a lifetime kind of thing). But really, life doesn't just "happen". Life is a beautiful, perfect, messy, heartbreaking, healing masterpiece. And nobody but the artist could ever really tell you just how remarkable this work of art is. I lack a lot of understanding, but I do know that my life is a gift from my Heavenly Father. I am forever grateful for a moment of "re-gifting" - which will never really be the right word, but for that moment of not getting my life back or obtaining it again, but knowing that I'm still here because I'm meant to be here.

It's kind of remarkable how life truly is so perfect. And sometimes what feels like a bowling ball crashing down on your head - those things that happen that kind of make no sense or cause more pain than you really understand, those things are the beautiful part of that miracle God is working in your life.

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