“God gives His hardest battles to His strongest soldiers.”
Have you ever had one of those draining, long, intense days that you never expected to happen and you remember every detail? That is what happened to me, in the fall of 2010. I was only fourteen years old, and my dad owned a motorcycle. My dad and I were part of the CMA, which stands for Christian Motorcycle Association. One day, we went to an event with our group, and little did we know that soon it would turn into an all-day event. Through this hard time of my life, I drew closer to God and I learned to not take life for granted.
Just a few weeks prior to this event, my grandfather died from lung cancer. However, my little brother, Noah, was born just a couple days after his death. My whole family was still recovering and we were all emotionally unstable still, at that point. We decided to go on a trip with our CMA group to a cool tourist area and just spend the day there. My dad and I had to wake up at three in the morning to meet our group at a church parking lot. We all waited until everyone got there, and then we headed out on our two-hour journey. Since I was sitting on the back of a motorcycle with a small seat, while it was cold and raining for a non-stop two hours, it made me feel very sore. However, of course, it was worth it.
In the morning and afternoon, the day went great. First, we went out to eat breakfast. Afterward, we arrived at our destination and our group then joined an even larger group of motorcyclists, and all together, we went to a steakhouse for lunch. While we were there, we ate food, listened to music, fellowshipped, and just relaxed and had a good time. I remember being one of the only kids there, being a little, tiny, shy girl. I remember talking to all the “scary, buff, tall, covered in leather” men and their wives. After lunch, our smaller group separated from the larger group, and we went on our way. We decided that we couldn’t go home without ice cream first, so we drove to an ice cream shop and we all went in and ordered. We all chatted and enjoyed our ice cream for a few minutes. We then jumped back on the motorcycles and started to head home.
This is where my story takes a turn for the worst. Just about fifteen minutes into driving home, our group arrived at a sharply curved road. Now, motorcycles drive in a lane staggered back and forth, and my dad and I were near the back of the line. The man who was in the front of the line decided to speed around the curve. He was going so fast, that he was in the opposite lane while going around the bend, and did not see an oncoming jeep. The woman who was driving the jeep tried to swerve and pull over, but this road did not have much shoulder. The motorcycle brushed the front headlight of the jeep, but because he was going so fast, it was enough force to spin him completely around several times and flip him upside down. His helmet was thrown off of him, the motorcycle was in a million pieces, and he was face down on the road. He was killed instantly. His entire spinal cord snapped on impact.
Now, when my dad and I came around the bend, since we were near the end of the line, all we saw was pieces scattered across the road, with him lying here. I instantly just heard my dad panic, and we had to come to a sudden stop, as we pulled over to the shoulder, along with the rest of the group. From there, everything was a giant blur. We called 911, and three police, a fire truck and two ambulances showed up. They had to close the road. While those things were happening, some of us were trying to comfort the woman who was driving the jeep. She felt it was her fault that this had happened, but we reassured her we did not think it was her fault, and we got to witness to her and help her in the process.
Being a 13-year-old girl, who had just gone through losing her grandpa, I was an emotional wreck the whole time. Watching everything happen reminded me of my grandpa, and all I could do was sit there and cry. At this point of time, I was also very tired and cold. Once the police and emergency teams cleaned up the wreckage, we finally were able to leave. However, that was still not the end of it.
After taking a half an hour breather, we all had to meet up again in a little town nearby. From there, our motorcycle group got a police escort to his house, having to tell the horrible news to his wife and family. The man who passed away was such a nice gentleman. He was not even that old, probably in his 50’s. He had a wife and a few kids, and was a born again Christian and attended church. When we arrived at his house, we all parked in his driveway and stayed there, while the police and his closest friends went to the door. As we stood there in sorrow watching, I had to witness and hear the one thing no human ever wants to hear. That horror of a scream and crying people make when they lose someone they love. I had to witness that, and I lost it again myself. It was the longest fifteen minutes I’ve ever experienced.
Once there was nothing else my dad and I could help with, we finally got to start heading home. At this point, it was probably around eight at night, and we still had to drive two hours home. I was so scared and cold and tired at that point, my dad drove very slowly all the way home, and we finally made it back after a super long day. After we walked in the door and explained everything to my mom, I made some hot chocolate, and just sat on the couch for a while in shock, and finally fell asleep. The next few days, we saw news articles and newspaper articles about the accident, and the obituary. My dad got calls, and I believe that he went to the funeral a few days later, and that is what concluded the longest day of my life.
After all these events had taken place, it really made me think about how fast life really is, and how important it is to keep your relationship with Jesus Christ strong. I’ve been saved since I was six, but these events in that year of my life were what really challenged me, and made me want to get baptized the next year. They were horrible events to happen and to have to be a part of then, but now I look back at them and I am grateful for them because they really taught me and helped me grow. This is one of my life changing stories that I still tell over and over again because it has impacted me in so many ways. Do not ever take life for granted.