I’ve had a few conversations lately with friends about my “carpe diem” attitude.
I want to live life because I know how short it can be.
Have you ever had your life flash before your eyes and know that you were in real danger of dying?
When it happened, I was shocked and scared and felt lucky to be alive. But as time went on, I found myself laying awake at night, thinking about what almost happened and how close I came to dying…it didn’t consume me, but it was definitely a contributing factor to my decision to leave the workforce and focus on my family.
So what happened to me?
I was almost crushed by a bulldozer on my grandparent’s farm.
This is how it all went down:
We were visiting my grandparents in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where they used to have a small farm. The farm is gone but they still do some work on the land and have several pieces of heavy equipment, such as a backhoe and a bulldozer.
My grandfather wanted to take us for a ride on the bulldozer and I acquiesced after some prodding.
Most of my cousin’s children loved riding the bulldozer, and my grandfather thought that I would love it, so I let myself be talked into it. After about 3 minutes, Angeline was bored and hopped off and ran to the other side of the farm to play.
Shortly after that, we headed over an area that they were working on, and there were pieces of concrete and re bar sticking out…
And that’s when the bulldozer tipped over on its side.
We were still inside the bulldozer. This was not a new bulldozer by any means, and had no doors or anything – it was completely open like the one in the picture above.
The bulldozer was still running and my grandfather had to try to turn it off. Me? I was frozen. I think he told me to turn it off but I couldn’t move.
I was actually sitting on the edge of the seat, because as you may know, bulldozers are only meant for one person. If Angeline hadn’t of jumped off and was “riding” when it happened? She would have been crushed to death.
If I hadn’t braced myself against the frame and held on for dear life? I would have been crushed to death.
And I know that many people might think that this reaction was an exaggeration but when I was a child, my great uncle died as a result of falling off of his tractor and it running him over…it is a very real possibility, especially if there is more than one person on the piece of machinery.
I believe in being adventurous. I believe in having fun and trying new things, because you never know what you’re missing if you don’t try it…
But there are certain things you will encounter in your life that you need to think twice about.
Bulldozers aren’t toys. They aren’t 4 wheelers, they aren’t sleds, they aren’t motorcycles – they aren’t made for “having fun.”
I could have died, and for what?
To see what it felt like to ride on a bulldozer?
My daughter could have been crushed to death simply because we wanted to have a little fun in the field.
What’s the moral of the story?
Don’t put yourself – or your children – in dangerous situations. Sometimes the worst-case scenario actually happens.