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The 80 Foot Triple
"Bye Daddy! Have fun today!" I shouted and skipped out the door. He was off to spend the day at Milford Riders Dirtbike Track. I hopped into the backseat of my friend’s car, and buckled my seatbelt. We were going to spend this lovely June day at the beach. Her mom turned up the music, and I rolled down my window. The sun was shining, and the summer breeze blew my brown hair away from my face. My nine year old voice squeaked as I sang along. I smelled salt water, and smiled to myself. Today was going to be perfect.
My friend and I plopped down in the warm, gritty sand. We assembled a sand castle, our small hands working diligently. Standing up, and nodding approvingly, I brushed the sand off my legs. The sun grew hotter, so we sprinted into the waves. I shivered and screamed; the water was cold. My friend splashed the blue water on me, and I giggled. Summer is all about careless fun. Time flew by; we were having so much fun. A familiar car pulled into the parking lot, and my frantic looking mother stepped out of the car. She sprinted to my friend’s mom, and shot her an apologetic look. Seeing me in the water, she walked along the beach until she reached me. "Sorry Lane, but we have to go." Her tone was stern, but worrisome. I thought about what could make her so upset: Dog broke something, brother locked out of the house... then I understood. My heart broke, as I remembered my dad, at the dirtbike track. No; I thought to myself. This can’t be happening; not to me, not today. Today was supposed to be perfect. My palms felt sweaty, and my head ached. I followed my mom, tears forming in my eyes. "It’s Dad isn’t it." I mumbled, choking back my tears.
"He'll be ok Lane. He'll be ok." she replied, almost reassuring herself. She rubbed my arm comfortingly, and she climbed into the driver’s seat.
I breathed in the all too familiar air of Milford Riders. Dirt swirled in the air, and for once, it was silent. No engines revving, no Announcer shouting, just the tense whispers of the folks there.
"Joseph went down hard."
"Hope he's ok."
The rest were drowned out by ambulance sirens.
When I watched the paramedics load him onto a stretcher, the tears that formed finally spilled over. I turned away; I couldn’t bear to see my strong, loving daddy like this. His limited edition yellow Kawasaki dirtbike was being walked back to his trailer, majorly damaged by the crash. I looked to the jump I learned he fell on; the 80 foot triple. He told me earlier that day that he was going to practice it today. I shook my head in denial, as my mom came and hugged me. We stood there crying for a moment, then trudged back to our GMC truck through the somber haze that filled the air.
The car ride to the hospital was silent, but full of emotion. My 9 year old mind didn’t quite know what to think. I was utterly confused, and hurt; also fearful, and wondering if he would be ok. The car ride dragged on in sorrow, neither me nor my mom daring to say a word.
We pulled into the Emergency Room parking and scrambled through the crowded double doors. The nurse at the front desk looked annoyed. "Name please." she inquired.
"Joseph M...motorcycle accident..."
"Right this way."
My heart pounded. We followed her down the sterile hallway. I inhaled deeply, bracing myself for any bad news. Almost instantly I heard my dad coughing. The sound made my cry, he was always so healthy. I peered into his room, and I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. The shock was finally getting to me. My dad was hurt, badly. If he was ok, he wouldn’t be in the emergency room. I built up the courage and peered into his room. At first I didn’t see him, just four doctors huddled. They soon shuffled out of the way, and I struggled to hold back my tears. My dad was lying on a table, with an oxygen mask. He coughed hard, and winced in pain. He had a cut on his head and a worrisome look on his face. My mom walked me into a waiting room. She didn't talk, just slumped down into the uncomfortable chairs that were provided. The table with magazines stayed un-touched. I felt sick to my stomach.
After a half hour, a doctor came to talk with my mom. My insides turned as I watched my mom gasp then begin to cry. She shook her head, denying what she was hearing. I slid lower in my chair. She returned and sat down next to me. She held my hand and comforted me. She explained that my father had broken six of his ribs and punctured both of his lungs, which explained why he was having trouble breathing.
We loitered longer in the waiting room, until the doctors were done running tests. They kindly situated my injured dad in his bed, and lead us in to see him. I wasn’t sure what to think, or what to expect. He was propped up like a doll, and looked uncomfortable. I couldn’t read his facial expression; he might have been happy to see us, or ashamed of how he looked. I held his hand while he continued coughing.
He has this raspy cough to this day, 4 years later, and it ails him whenever he tries to complete everyday tasks like mowing the lawn or even laughing. No doctor he has visited has been able to cure it; they aren’t quite sure what they are dealing with. My whole family realized now, that the consequences, whether they be good or bad, of the choices you make stay with you for the rest of your life.