Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Fear is a funny thing. I found myself with no fear. None at all. I did not even think of the safety things that would keep me from needing to be afraid. I even suppressed the since of pain. This was not a conscious thing, but the letting go of all the little taunts that enter my mind as I go about my day. “Be careful this or that will hurt you.” – “Don’t do this because this or that is going to happen if you do.” – “You better watch out this is DANGEROUS!”, and many others. I just did not hear them anymore. As if some how I was not aware that anything could hurt me.

I had noticed that my natural hesitation was gone, but I did not know to what extent it had evolved. Until… I set the ladder to get on a roof. I know how to set ladders. I know that the center of gravity needs to be in line with the feet of the ladder, placing it so the person on it has a solid foundation to get up on the roof. I know that ladders can slip. I know that as you shift your weight onto the roof the ladder is your anker to the ground and will support you IF it is set up properly. I know all this. But some how this day all my learning, all my caution was not there.

I set up the ladder, evaluated it, I don’t know why, incorrectly, setting it 8 feet out away from the building at a ridiculous angle of about this angle. Ridiculous! I hopped up and got to the top.
As I stepped off the ladders footing slipped on the cement pad
and through me off the roof backwards.

Roof I fell off

Retaining wall my back hit

Again as I say I still had no fear. I thought to myself as I was falling, “Well, I guess I won’t be doing this project for a while. I guess I will need to finish the quilt.”

I laid there for about 5 minutes assessing what I had done to myself. I had fallen back first against a fence and slid down to hit my ribs on the base retaining wall. I could feel that my ribs were probably broken and as I tried to move I knew that my left foot had hit the cement pad then been hit by the ladder rung and was pinned under the ladder.

I yelled for my neighbor but it was 7:30 pm and he was already inside and could not hear me. I was at the very back of the yard in a little alcove, so even if someone came in the back they would not see me. I yelled for a while but everyone was in for the evening. So I tried to move--again with no fear! The pain overwhelmed me a few times, but I managed to untangle myself from the ladder, find a long stick and assess if my foot or anything else was broken. It took half an hour from when I fell to get to the front of the house to the phone. Tiny step and wait, tiny step and wait all the way.

The thing that amazes me is that at no time was I afraid. No since that I would die, no since of anything but getting help, assessing the damage and figuring out what to do next.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to prevent things like this from happening. But I never realized that fear is not what really is experienced when something real happens.

Fear is the anticipation of something happening--amazingly useless.

Caution and clear thinking are much more useful.

No fear-- just good judgment.

Quilts I designed and made while I recovered.

This quilt was for the new baby of a construction company family.

This one was so his big sister would not get jealous.This quilt was in my Great Aunt Aurora's sewing from 1950's. She had mail ordered the kit. She had done the first two children and I finished the rest and hand quilted it. What a joy to see it finished. This one was for a friend who loves frogs.

1 comment:

by Val said...

Gosh mama. That just sounds so awful. The quilts are beautiful though. I am so very glad you are ok.

Love Val