Always the darkest just before light Cont…
Fortunately, my dad and the Good Lord had prepared me for such an accident a few months before. A friend I played with many times was killed tragically in an accident. He and his brothers and sisters were in the back of their truck one afternoon. His mother pulled forward and then backed up. She did not realize he had fallen off and backed over him. He got up, ran to her arms to hug her, and died in her arms. My dad took me to the funeral and showed me what can happen if I did not keep safety in my mind at all times. He had me touch him and explained death to me.
The night we found my dad I was the first to arrive at the tractor and picker still running. I immediately stopped the power take off and shut the tractor off. When I touched the back of his neck, I knew he was gone. He had taught me well and he had made a tragic mistake. He was very sick and a snowstorm was headed our way. He asked my mother to keep us at the house and get the milking done. He needed to get the corn in before the storm got to our farm. He was too weak to get the picker unplugged so he broke his own safety rules. He turned the power take off on and then was pulled into the picker while trying to get it unclogged.
Within an hour, we had over 300 farmers at our farm. I still am in awe when I think about that night. They came to help and support us in any way they could. They did not leave after that night either, as they rotated helping us for three months. That was when I realized this was permanent. Our dad was not coming back and the farm, my 4-H calf, my tractor, and my whole world was at auction in Jan. of 1964.
That alone was dark enough, but an even greater blow was yet to come. My mom informed me we were moving to town, she had no choice. That was bad, but then the next blow to my life was my dog could not go with us to town. Perky, my German Shepherd, was going to another farm. My 250-acre world just turned into a two-bedroom apartment with no pets.
I am sharing this farm story for more then one reason. The first is to make every farmer that reads this think twice before you break safety rules including myself and my own family. Another is an example of how an accident changes everyone’s life not just the life of the person in the accident. It is the root of why I work very hard every year to help my wife, MaryAnn save a piece of her family farm. It is a small story compared to many families across this great country trying to save their family farms.
It has been said, that for every door closed in life, the Good Lord opens up two more for you to choose to go through. I am very thankful that he has continued to give me a choice and even has led me to an awesome person to share my life with.
Our recent family tragedy reminds us of many we have made it through. In this New Year, we close another door yet to face two doors to choose. We pray to choose the one with light, to preserve our home, our jobs, our health, and the safety of our family and friends. We are thankful and proud for Tyler’s service and pray he returns safe and well to home.
Time for a break! I will share some more another day. May our entire Poverty Acre friends and family stay safe! Spring is coming. New life and new light is on its way.