I guess I have delayed writing about dysfunction but when you live in the dysfunctional world there are just too many things to choose from!

The year was 1970, and I was a freshman in high school.

After school I decided to ride my pony, Red, that had not been ridden all winter.

Now Red had objections to me ridding him on that particular day.  However, I was very persistent.

I decided to not put a saddle on him, so after I got the bridle on him he reluctantly obliged me in going for a ride.

Once I managed to get Red to stop fighting me we agreed on riding in the meadow in front of my house.

Red finally got fed up with humoring me and he took off in a flat- out run to the barn.  I wasn’t concerned so I let him run to let him think he had the upper hand!

Well, when we reached my driveway Red decided to take a shortcut to the barn without getting my permission first!  Instead of circling around to the barn, Red made a sharp right turn!

Imagine my surprise when a big old Pine Tree was right in the middle of the path Red had chosen to take!  Now, I know my sweet pony would not have done this on purpose!  Yea! Right!

How does one describe the sound and feeling of your face smacking a tree at what felt like 90 miles per hour?   Well, apparently I don’t know because when I stood up I said, “Oh my leg!” and then collapsed to the ground.

My brother, David, saw me hit the tree and when he saw me collapse he thought I was dead.  He ran into the house screaming for my father, Kenneth Robinette who was sleeping because he worked the graveyard (11/7) shift.  However, my father was already running down the stairs because he heard me hit the tree.

Dad didn’t bother to put on cloth and was standing over the top of me in his long johns.  His feet were cold and mud was squishing in between his toes.  He was doing a strange dance over the top of me to keep one foot off the ground.

A neighbor saw dad in his long johns doing a strange rain dance so he came to investigate.  The poor man just about passed out when he saw me.

My face was a bloody mess and I was chocking.  My gum bone had broken completely into and my teeth were in the back of my throat. When Dad saw were my teeth were he reached inside my mouth and pulled my teeth forward so that they would not block my airway.

When my neighbor got his composure he convinced dad to go put cloths on so he could get me to the hospital….My brother David, and the neighbor stayed with me.

At some point my mother, Margie, appeared and I think she was in so much shock that she went AWOL because when the men were discussing how to get me in the car, my mother spoke up and says, “Kenneth, I can’t go to the hospital looking like this.  I have to go put on my makeup!”

Dad went ballistic and told mom that he was going to get me in the car and if she was not ready to go once I am in the car that he would leave without her.

I remember watching mom running to the house and magically reappearing with time to spare.  I bet mom set a world record on fastest time on putting on makeup. Definitely a missed opportunity for Guinness World Records!

Well, in retrospect, one of us needed to look good since makeup would not have done me any good at the time!

Mom and Dad got me to the hospital and the diagnosis were that both of my jaw bones were dislocated, my front teeth gum bone was broken, my lower front teeth when through my bottom lip and there was a big tear under my chin. Absolutely nothing was wrong with my legs which for some reason was my only complaint when I hit the tree.  I have never figured that one out.

I had to be transferred to a different hospital and went into surgery the next day.  My mouth was wired shut for six weeks and my food source was provided via a straw.

Although, my mother had to put on makeup before she would go with me to the hospital, I never faulted her because in the end it was my mother that took care of me.  She never left my side and reassured me that my face would heal.

Mirrors were kept away from me for awhile but once I did get to see my face the first thought I had in that moment was, hmm…lots and lots of makeup will cover this over!   Wonder if I can buy makeup by the gallon?

Good news is that I survived and went on to do other stupid things! But that’s another story.

Donna Faye, CDP