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Hold 'Em Tight

In 1985, I was 3 years old. My father got up, like usual, and went to feed the cows. He got hay off a place on the north side of Highway 84 and was taking it to a place on the south side of Highway 84. As he crossed over Coryell Creek, a drunk driver hit him from behind and launched him over the side of the bridge. He fell to bedrock 3 stories down and the tractor fell on top of him. He died 6 times on the way to the hospital I'm told.

As a young child, I mainly remember waking up to the valley beneath our house filled with red and blue lights, my older cousin Ron randomly being in our house cooking us pancakes and my mother's frantic drive to the hospital. Months in the hospital and years of recovery later, Dad was always known for his preserverance.

That wreck changed the trajectory of my life in many ways. Too many to list, if I'm honest. One of the most annoying traits (according to my husband), is that I worry for no reason - especially when people are on the road. I make our Ranch Foreman, a grown ass man over 50, text and call sometimes when he is coming home from the sale late and it's stormy. I'll pull out and use my truck to block traffic for people crossing traffic or when the cattle trailers need to pull into traffic. Sometimes I follow our tractors down the highway for miles with my blinkers on when it isn't necessary. Heck - sometimes I do that for farmers I don't even know because people are flying up on them and I, unfortunately, intimately know what that wreck looks like.

Today, I fought that fear... or I tried. I got a call that Oscar, our youngest employee, but a man who grew up on the ranch, was in a wreck. When he called, he made it sound like it was a fender bender. I sent "just the husband" because I have a sprained neck and messed up elbow from a sink hole that opened up under me a few days ago (another story for another day, my friends).

After about 5 minutes and 12 phone calls between Oscar, his father, my husband and a random woman who saw it and knew it was connected to me, I loaded all 3 kids and went to be THAT boss - the one who gets all in your business.

This was no fender bender. A VW tried to pass him and hit him going at least 75 mph while he was turning. The impact was inches from his leg and flipped him on his side and pushed his truck several feet down the road. She must have hit him hard to pick up a Chevy 2500 and flip it on its side the opposite way the physics should have taken the truck. Both cars are totalled. All involved are miraculously a-okay.

Being an employee, Oscar worried his father and I would be upset. Everyone was on edge but when I pulled up and saw this much carnage, I had no choice but to hug him. Human Resources be damned - I'm incriminating myself - I hugged that kid (23) close. If it had been any of our employees in that situation, I'm pretty sure I would have done the same - sometimes, you just need a hug.

I spent a few hours with him at the hospital and THANKFULLY all scans and x-rays came back clear. I cannot believe he is still alive as these photos do it no justice. We can torch that truck for all I care at this point - he not only has all his limbs, but nothing was broken and no head injuries.

As I get ready to put my babies to bed, I will not apologize for my annoying habit of worrying while people are on the road. Instead, I will hold my babies close and if I ever roll up on your kid in a wreck by themselves, I'll hold them close if they need it. Sometimes you just need a hug. Even strong, tough, grown ass men. ~B

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