When we are small, we never seem to think about the consequences of our actions. My sister and I experienced a great example of this when we were younger. Playing in our small neighborhood, we never thought horrible accidents could happen to us but one dreadful, hot, summer day one did. It was one that we would never forget.
Many years ago, my sister and I decided we wanted to take our four-wheeler for a ride around our small, Southern neighborhood. My mother had strictly forbade us to ride it without supervision, but we were young my sister was eight and I was six, and thought we knew everything. We hopped onto the large machine, my sister in back and me in front. I was going to drive but my sister was holding onto the handlebars to avoid falling off the back when we began to move. We were just planning to take a short ride up and down the rough, steep, uneven road two or three times. I was having fun until my sister decided to stand up and shake us back and forth. Because she was holding onto the handlebars, the four-wheeler began to take a sharp, right turn and then we flipped over. I came crashing down on my back so violently that the breath was knocked out of me. Before I could get to my feet or cry for help, the large vehicle had rolled on top of me and pinned me to the black pavement. The hot, smoking engine was still running and I was trying with all my might to push it off of me. My forehead touched the hot engine and still to this day I have a scar from the burn. My sister was flung off the back with so much force that she went sliding down the pavement. Her injuries were much more extensive than my own. She required plastic surgery on her nose and the inside of her lower lip. All I had was a couple of bleeding knees, elbows, hands, and a burnt forehead. This is a perfect example of my sister and I not thinking what our actions could lead to. If we had just obeyed our mother this would not have happened.
The accident affected me so much that even today I cannot ride or see anyone I know ride a four-wheeler or any type of vehicle similar to it. Just seeing someone riding on one brings back all the terrible feelings and thoughts of that dreadful day. I can still see very vividly my sister sliding down the asphalt and not being able to help herself or me. I just imagine that heavy machine being on top of me and not being able to push it off. It brings back a flood of memories and I can feel tiny beads of perspiration starting to form on my forehead. Sometimes, I become very nervous and my hands begin to shake so violently that I have to stop what I may be doing at that moment and take a slow, deep breath. If my sister and I had listened to our mother’s instructions and thought about our actions, we would never have had to experience this terrible ordeal.
This accident always gives my entire family something to talk about at family gatherings. It never fails someone always has to bring up the bad accident memories. My mother always has the chance to say, “I told you so” or my aunt to say “ If you had only listened to your mother.” Then my mean, loudmouth, brother can laugh and call us stupid, and my sister and I will spend the entire night fighting over whose fault it was that we flipped. We both deny it being any fault of our own. Finally, we admit that we were both acting stupid and should not have taken the four-wheeler out without supervision, just like our mother said.
Even though this accident happened almost fourteen years ago, I still get weak in the knees and shaky just thinking about that awful day. One thing I learned from it was always to follow instructions and think about what may happen to me before I do something. This terrible accident could have been avoided if my sister and I had just done this one simple thing but when we are small we never seem to think about the consequences of our actions. I learned a very hard lesson on that hot, summer day.