I should have just obeyed them.

I grew up in a place called Daphne, a small town at the very southern part of Alabama. I lived in the BEST house and had the BEST yard to play in. I have a twin sister and one brother who is 6 years younger. We lived on a dead end road and had 2.5 acres paired up with our neighbor’s 2.5 acres. We had a river behind our house and a gully on either side of the two homes, boxing off our shared 5 acres.

It was perfect.

For us the river was only a river based on the name and other parts of it’s location, because for us it could have been called Fish creek instead of Fish River and it would have described it perfectly. It was only about the width of a street behind our home but it is 28.9 miles long and widens quite a bit down the way….proving that it is a river. We had a blast playing in that, keeping an eye out for snakes and such. Our yard was wonderful. It was partly cleared off and partly covered in woods.

That was the best part.

We spent hours outside making forts and four wheeler trails in the woods and climbing trees in our yard. Climbing trees was my specialty. We had this one tall, skinny tree.

This is where the trouble lies.

The skinny tree.

I would scale up the tree like a monkey to get to the first branch 15 feet high. I was told not to do this, yet I did not obey. I was 13. I knew what I was doing. I remember it like it was yesterday. I have climbed the tree one billion times. This is an exact count. This time was no different, except it was. I climbed up the tree to test for broken branches and did the MOST rookie mistake ever. I grabbed the first branch with both hands to pull myself up to the next set of branches. I did this every time I climbed the tree. The branch was only about 8 inches long. It was just big enough to get a foot on for leverage to the next set of limbs.

The branch broke.

The stupid nub of a branch was rotten and broke.

I fell 15 feet ( I measured it later on) to the ground and thought – I have just died. I landed on the very hard ground, knocking the air out of my lungs. It was so hard to breathe. My foster brother and sister were nearby playing and stared at me in shock. I whispered “Do not tell anyone” I wish they hadn’t listened to me.  I laid there for what felt like years before finally creeping my way to the deck stairs. My twin asked what was wrong with me and I told her I was fine. I told my mom I was fine. I told my dad and brother I was fine. I told myself I was fine.

I was not fine.

About a year later I got an xray done for something else and we found that I had tons of hairline fractures. The truth came out and of course, there was nothing my parents could have done at that time, it was too late, the fractures had healed at that point. My parents would have been amazing…….if only I had told them. They would not have gotten angry….. if I had only told them. That’s the sad thing with disobedience and pain. We feel we must hide it because the afflicted person will be so mad. This is almost always partly false.

That one stupid mistake was the start to chronic pain for the rest of my life. One choice changed my life. Parents are so smart. I am confident my parents told me not to climb the tree because they knew this kind of thing or something far worse could happen.

I wish I had obeyed.

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