We now go to the day before Independence day. Huck had been bugging Papi to find out if they were going to have a Young Men's activity or not. Someone called Papi about 6:15 to tell him they were going to hike the Y. He didn't plan on telling the boys because he doesn't like sending them on riskier activities without their own personal escort. But right before 6:30, Huck walked in the room as Papi was about to go to the church and he had compassion on him and asked him if he wanted to go. He said he did, and left with him. Well, Papi wasn't going to be with the YM this time, and about an hour later I got a call from our Bishop. He couldn't reach Papi, and his connection with me wasn't that great. All I heard was something fell. Then he came through more clearly. Huck fell. On the mountain. They wanted to have the paramedics check him as he hit his head and scraped his back. In my mind's eye, this was maybe oh he slipped, hit his head slid a few yards on his back, not fun, probably ought to be checked. Lovely, would I ever manage to get this kid grown before getting himself killed?- I wondered aloud. I talked to Huck, tried to calm him down so he wouldn't worry. He was sobbing that he was sorry, that he was scared. I assured him he'd be all right and not to worry, everyone would take good care of him.
Then Papi walked in and I told him what happened . He said he wished he had followed his instincts and left him home. Then he said he was going up there and for me to wait at home. The next time I talked to him, they were on their way to the hospital and he told me Huck had cuts and bruises all over his body. It must have been quite a tumble! I had to keep waiting as the hospital might want to ask about meds and all. I told the other boys their brother had fallen off the mountain. Tom asked, "Did he survive?" I assured him he did but would be pretty sore. They called to get his info while they were stitching him up just so I could hear him cry. Papi told us to bring up two mattresses to make him a bed in the living room as he wasn't going to be able to go up and down stairs. Tom was very helpful.
When they finally got home, with two scout leaders helping to carry him in, I got their eyewitness version of what happened. I am here to tell you if I were an eyewitness, I would have had a heart attack so you wouldn't be able to hear my version. He didn't realize hopping from one rock to another on that steep angle would speed him up so he couldn't stop and would finally lost control and go flying. He fell roughly 200 feet, all the way from the fork in the Y just about. He bounced on and over huge rocks like a rubber ball flying through the air, and stuck it at the bottom, about a meter from another big drop below there. His leaders thought he'd be dead or paralyzed when they reached him. But, although his head and knee had big gashes and he was bleeding, scraped and bruised all over, he was mostly just scared his dad would be mad at him. So much so, people kind of looked askance at Papi when he got there. Like maybe he was going to yell or something? What did they think? He'd hit him? After the fact I discovered he was afraid Papi would be mad because the ambulance would cost lots of money. Hopefully he sees the difference now between parents yelling at him to please not waste things that cost money and having money to care for you when you need it. Ahem! So, Papi was a model parent and took good care of him, imagine that!
Anyhow, the leaders also gave him a blessing, before I even got the call, and they told me when the paramedics first saw this face, they were worried about his missing ear. Too bad no one was in the mood to joke around. ..." What?! My ear's gone?! Find it, quick!" I'm so terrible....Huck now thinks it's so cool they took him down the mountain on an ATV to the ambulance. He got 13 stitches in his knee and about 8 in his head, I could never see that too good through his black hair. He literally couldn't walk he was so sore, or lie down flat or roll over. I couldn't even hug him because everywhere hurt! He had huge scrapes and raw skin on his back and hip and his forehead which was all swollen. he was a mess. I figured it would take a few weeks for him to be able to move like normal again. We ended up propping him on pillows on the couch instead and Tom used the mattress to be by him and take care of him all night if he needed it. Not that I could sleep after his traumatized leaders told me the tale of his near death experience. Plus, I had to check on him every few hours. Huck told me the whole way down he thought he was going to die. All night when he dozed off he dreamed he was falling and couldn't stop. I wondered if it would affect his diving once he was able again: would he be afraid he was falling when he dove now?
Ok, I didn't take pictures that day or the fourth which was spent taking care of him. That Saturday I decided to take pictures before there was nothing left to take pictures of. Every day he was remarkably improved over the previous day. These pictures really look oodles better than he did the first day.
No raw skin now, just scrapes. How did he not break a rib? Or his hip?
No swelling left, no raw skin, and half the scabs are already gone!
The bad knee is still bandaged here.
This whole thing has been so incredible- he still has a slight scar from a scraped up eye from last summer, but there is hardly a bruise or scab on him anywhere at this point, just less than 2 weeks later. Everyone is just amazed. The only thing that still hurts some is his hip. He got his stitches out Saturday, 10 days in, and that afternoon we went to the rec center. He was able to do everything he normally would. Then he goes to dive. I in my insanity assumed he will do a simple forward dive. Oh no, he takes off and does a triple somersault. He almost completely made that last rotation... But he smacked his lower back on the water, which didn't feel too hot. So we decided he can dive, but he's not ready to smack just yet, which happens in diving, so he's giving it another week. I had hoped he'd learn a bit of healthy fear or at least carefulness from all this, but I wasn't so sure he really had. Then Sunday, he calls me all excited to watch a video. ....He wants to go skydiving this summer! Right... Over my dead body, not his! Just one question... Did any of these people survive? You notice they never show them actually landing.....I am amazed and confused at this personality type. And scared spitless to be the mom of one of them. (Give me strength!) So, I've decided to look on the bright side. We are enjoying a miraculous recovery from a miraculous near miss. I'm so glad today I'm not grieving a tragedy.