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children, Featured, Parenting

When tree stumps attack

You can only shelter your kids from so much and sometimes, though less gory, real life is horrifying too.

Disclaimer: If you have a weak stomach, please stop reading now (Mom, that means you).

I told you earlier about our neighborhood cleanup and some of the pitfalls associated with having to orchestrate it. What I failed to mention was the dangers and perils involved when people bite off a bit more cleaning than they’re trained to do.

A lot of things that we do as humans sound really good at the time and don’t go according to the way we had it mapped out in our minds.

Fortunately or not, I was not present when the decision to remove a stump from my in-laws‘ yard was made.

My next door neighbor came over to help and he and my father-in-law decided to pull the stump out with tow straps and a Ford F150. The idea sounds good in theory, especially given the fact that the tree stump had been there for over a decade.

The two apparently had an audience when they hooked the straps together and then around the tree to pull it out of the ground. My father-in-law was in the truck while my 65ish-year-old neighbor, Tom, stood behind watching for signs the stump was moving in this tug-of-war battle.

As he stood behind yelling instructions, several of my fellow neighbors, friends and family warned him to move back to a safer distance. Unfortunately, he didn’t heed their admonishments and one of the strap’s hooks failed. This resulted in a slingshot effect sending the hook barreling towards Tom and smacking him in the forehead and gashing the top of his head. My mother-in-law rushed forward to steady Tom before he fell to the ground. My wife called 911 and relayed the necessary details while my mother-in-law continued to apply pressure to Tom’s head and made sure he remained conscious.

The paramedics tended to Tom and subsequently they hospitalized him and he is staying overnight for observation and is now blessed with several staples and a fractured skull.

My six-year-old daughter was also in attendance and ran screaming into her grandmother’s house at the sight of Tom’s collapse as she was sure she had just seen him killed. She has been harder to convince that the things on T.V. are not real and now that she has mostly accepted that, she is then hit with the hard reality that bad things do happen even to people she knows.

Tom has been worried about Sophie while he’s been getting “fixed” at the hospital. We’re hoping that they will both be much better when they see each other tomorrow.

We’re all healing now. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.


About Todd Fuller

After a really long search, I found work that I feel is more relevant to my degree--technical writing. While it's not what I initially envisioned doing, it's actually been very enjoyable and rewarding work. I guess I feel like there is still more out there to do, so I've decided I will try the whole blogging thing again and resurrect this site. If anyone's still out there, enjoy and feel free to comment.


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