It was an overcast day that morning. There was a thunderstorm on the way, and I remember it clearly.
I was in the back of the house, gathering up all the laundry. I stopped by the bathroom. With a four-year-old, it was probably the first time I had a moment to even look in the mirror that morning. I pulled my hair into a ponytail and took in my reflection. Something in the back of my head spoke to me.
It asked, “What would I do if I had an accident and hurt myself at home.”
I remember thinking that was a strange thought to have randomly. We had just moved into our new house in Dallas. It was just me, my husband, and our four-year-old son, and we didn’t know a soul. I quickly thought about what my subconscious was asking me and answered to myself, Well, if I was hurt, I would get my son to bring me the phone, call 911 and then call my husband.
I finished with my hair and walked away from the mirror, not thinking much more about it.
I grabbed the rest of my laundry and headed to my son’s room to gather his. That’s when I first heard the lightning. I picked up the basket and took off towards the garage. My son was in the backyard riding his bike with our new little puppy, Indiana.
I made it to the kitchen before the rain started. The lightning in Dallas is unusually fierce. I didn’t want my kiddo out there in it. He was a storm lover like me and would stand in it and watch it, rather than come into safety. I took off through the kitchen towards the steps to the garage.
There were three very big, very concrete and very high steps – easily four feet off the ground. I leaped at them, aiming to take the first step down and somehow missed them all, landing on both feet at the bottom of the stairs. That’s when I felt the tremor go through me, as my whole body twisted around me as if in slow motion while my feet stayed firmly planted in place.
I remember hearing the bones breaking and thinking to myself that this wasn’t going to be good. Then I began to fall. I looked down, and the new puppy was below me. I didn’t want to fall on her, so I tried to fall around her, and I did, sending my body crashing into the new barbecue in the garage.
Once I gained my bearings, I looked down and knew I was in trouble. The pain in my leg was horrific. One foot was facing the wrong direction, and both of my ankles were swelling up to the size of footballs while I watched. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind not to freak out. I calmly reassured my now terrified son. I kept my cool, and just as I had answered the question for that nagging voice inside my head earlier, I followed those exact instructions.