Over the past few years, I have compiled my own personal “bucket list” and performed many tasks listed on it. I have — among other things — bungee jumped, parachuted, and even wrestled a steer at a rodeo in Pampa near Amarillo.
But I was not injured during any of those occasions. No, my own personal life-changing accident happened at the most unlikely of times and places — my son Jake's May 31 graduation from Jacksonville High School at the historic Tomato Bowl Stadium.
This accident happened just after Jake, 18, crossed the stage and the ceremony ended. It took place as I was preparing to dash onto the field to hug my boy and tell him how proud I was of him.
I'm not really sure how I managed to trip there on the Tomato Bowl concourse. But I did trip. Either my feet came together the wrong way or there was some bench structure upon which I accidentally hooked one of my feet. Perhaps someone else's foot became part of the mix. I'm not really sure. But the end result was … I completely and totally lost my balance.
As I fell, I desperately stuck my left leg out to break the fall. But instead of stopping any forward momentum, something in my left leg just ... broke. Pure agony shot up and down that side of my body. I fell forward and through a group of passersby — unable to stop myself — and landing face first onto the pavement.
Screaming. Screaming. Screaming.
Two very nice people, a man and a woman, tended to me after my fall. The woman held my hand as I wailed and said something to the effect of “I'm glad God put me in this place at this time so I could help you” as the man went to get help.