Catch Me If You Can

As I drifted off to sleep I began to go toward the light. I didn’t think this was very smart due to the many times in my life I have heard warnings about avoiding going toward this great light. You know this you’ve heard it since you were two years old, “Don’t go toward the light!” But for some reason when I was faced with the decision, I kept going forward. I was practically racing toward the light when a deep voice stopped me in my tracks.

“Ashley…..Ashley” the voice called out. I was somewhat disappointed that the big light didn’t blink when he talked like I had seen in all the cartoons. My arms fell to my side as I turned around to face the voice. Then a strange thing happened. As I turned, I realized I couldn’t open my eyes anymore. I became quickly annoyed. Eye sight is kind of helpful when trying to locate someone. For about three minutes, I began to wonder if I even had eye muscles anymore. I thought maybe I should try to pry my eyes open with my hands so I could see again. That is when I discovered my arms wouldn’t move either. It felt as if someone bound me up with a heavy rope.

“Ashley stay with me…” the deep voice said. I was laying there thinking, “I’m not going anywhere. I can’t move.”  I felt a warm hand touch my arm.

“Ash, I need you to open your eyes for me. Keep your eyes open, ok?”I thought, “You’re telling me mister. I’ve been at this for ten minutes now. I’m tired!” But hearing his strong voice made me muster all my strength and slowly I began to blink. I wanted to sing the hallelujah chorus for eye lid muscles. However, when I began to blink I was not prepared for what I saw. The light of day was brighter than the “do not go toward the light” light. Then like a rushing wind, I felt my head pounding. I managed to keep my eyes open long enough to look up at the middle-aged man and wonder what was going on.

“Who are you?” I wondered as I tried to make sense of what was happening. As my world began to spin, hundred of voices began to fill the silence. Then ten faces appeared, all blending together. They stared at me as if I was an alien from Mars. I saw one of the young faces dropping tears onto the asphalt. I figured something must be wrong, but what?

The next minute I was watching a film in my mind… snapshots. I remembered my uniform, and the hundreds cheering us on as the music played. One minute I was smiling getting the crowd excited about a football game, the next minute I felt the butterflies jumping in my stomach as my squad members launched me fifteen feet in the air. The gasps and the pounding of my heart were all coming back.

As I lay unable to move I realized what had happened. I had fallen. While I was stunting with my high school cheerleading squad something had gone terribly wrong. I had fallen directly on my head from fifteen feet in the air.

As I began to remember, my eyes stayed open, and eventually I got the feeling back in my arms. I finally recognized the middle-aged man to be my dad as I was carried away on a stretcher. Stretchers, by the way, are very bumpy and hurt really bad if your head is pounding. And don’t even get me started on  neck braces. When I got to the hospital, I was diagnosed with a major concussion which made me forget people’s names and say weird things like, “Where is my mascara?” or “Ahh…Don’t touch my sock.” A doctor later told me it was a miracle I didn’t break my neck because if I had hit one inch differently my spine would have shattered.

If you know me now, I know what you are probably thinking, “Well that explains a lot… she fell on her head!”

However, some valuable lessons were learned that day, 1) Do not go toward the light: it probably means you are about to die,  2) Work as a team or it can really hurt somebody, 3) If God wants you to be alive, He will sustain you no matter what 4) Make sure and scream, “catch me… if you can” when being thrown 15 feet in the air!

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