Immediately he got on his bike, went down through the median and began driving towards the accident scene. Quickly he could see what no person wants to witness; fire and smoke, tons of emergency vehicles; fire trucks, ambulances, highway patrol and rescue vehicles. All traffic was stopped and two motorcycles were down. He stops his motorcycle and is franticly looking for me and our friends. Not finding us right away, he begins to think the worst because of the sight that is in front of his eyes. His life passes in front of him; his wife and two friends are in bad shape or dead, what would he tell his son and their children?
At the same time he is looking for us, we see him walking and somewhat trotting when he takes off in a full paced run right towards me. He’d never grabbed me so hard and began hugging and kissing my face. He stood back, took a hold of my shoulders, looked me in the eyes and said “you’re alive!” He then looked me over and asked if I was okay. My response was simple and frustrating to him. I was numb to what had happened and wanted to get out of there. I replied, “yes I’m fine, where’s my bike?” Little did he know what had just taken place over the last thirty minutes. By this time, I had had enough of the whole scene - sliding down the Interstate 70 mph, being launched into the most weirdest positions, landing on the side of the ditch, an exploding RV, EMTs poking at me, and the reality of still being alive. All of this was just about enough for this tough girl!
So after a few, oh my goodness and what are we going to do next questions, we began the search for my motorcycle. It didn’t take too long to find it. Silently, I was hoping it would be twisted, mangled and totaled – that the only hope of getting it home would be by trailer. At that time, I had no intentions of ever riding a motorcycle again.
Looking for my motorcycle was another reality to me as the one who had just survived such a crazy accident. We walked on the blacktop of the Interstate where all the oil and antifreeze had spread over the entire lane and for quite a long distance. It truly started to sink into my head, the huge amount of damage I could have endured, or more likely I could have died. Following the trail to the opposite side of the lane we found my motorcycle. It lay there looking somewhat normal, the true condition - - it was like me, very little damage. There were only a few scrape marks on the right front brake lever and the back tail light. The most obvious damage was on the front end crash bars which sustained moderate marks of shaved off metal. And as I had left them, my leather jacket, helmet, and luggage bag were still securely strapped to the back of my motorcycle.
Amazed at what we were witnessing in this metal horse, I internally hoped it would be flooded and wouldn’t start because I knew it was in good enough condition to ride. Knowing that if it started, I would be force to drive it, because I drove it here so I would have to drive it home. To our astonishment one crank of the engine and it fired up. As the saying goes, “if you crash you have to get on and ride again”. And ride I di…right into Sturgis. It was extremely difficult and very traumatic for me. The entire way my eyes were filled with tears, tons of fear, and a lot of gratitude that I was simply alive and on my motorcycle at this very second.
Once we got to Sturgis we went straight to our gathering place where we would meet friends ever day we were there. It would be quite the riding story to share today. As we began to share what had happened, people began to gather around and overhear us describing the details of the accident. Most were saying they already heard about it because the Interstate was closed down. News of a motorcycle accident and the Interstate being closed during Sturgis is always big news. As the late afternoon progressed with talking and sharing the amazement of the horrific accident it was like talking about another person, not me. It was like telling others about the details of a great action packed fiction story. It was exhilarating and fun to describe the details of how it all played out.
But the day came to an end and we had to get back to our hotel in Deadwood, SD; which is accessed only by Canyon Road. A twelve mile ride on one of the curviest and most dangerous roads in the Black Hills of SD. The ride was going to be terrifying. It was now evening and it was dark. I was more scared than ever. I had to conquer this fear. I had to get on and ride. Putting my jacket, helmet and goggles on I was ready to meet my demons. I cried the entire way and could barely see at times from the non-stop tears.
The normal ride would take about 20 minutes. This felt like eternity, but in reality it was probably around 30 minutes. But we made it. I was never so happy to get to the hotel. It was very had to get myself to settle down. I was anxious, in shock, and not sure if I wanted to go to sleep. Maybe it all was a crazy dream. Rest did not come easily. The entire day unfolded in my mind. Each grave detail of the accident, the sights, sounds, people, feeling, emotions - it was so much to process. The moments when my life flashed in front of my eyes, and reliving every second of the accident kept spinning wildly in my mind the entire night.
As I lay in bed trying to sleep, many thoughts rolled around in my mind finding a place to rest. The facts were coming to light; how did I decide to lay the bike down? That alone was so crazy. Then sliding down the Interstate in a straight line, my head not touching the pavement, having an impact with another motorcycle, doing summersaults, no injuries, the RV exploding, finding my motorcycle, riding it and now laying here alive – it was so much to try to put my mind around. It made no sense. So, I redirected my thoughts to the here and now and what I knew about myself. I knew myself. I knew myself and how easily I bruised. I surely thought I would wake up with bruises all over my back and hips. That my neck would be stiff and I would have black and blue marks all over my body. That I would maybe even need to get checked over by a doctor.
Yet, as I lay in bed not able to sleep I continued to stare into the darkness wondering how I lived through this ordeal and questioning why did I live through it? This God I let into my life not so long ago was part of the answer to my questions. I was very new to knowing how God operated and what He was capable of doing. I simply knew He had truly performed a miracle on my behalf and must want me to do something in my life.
As I tried to sleep, I closed my eyes and in a vision I saw a little cherubim angel with long brown hair. The image flashed in my mind just as quick as the accident happened and yet I knew God was allowing me to begin to see into the spiritual life. I began to realize how very real God was, more real than I had ever admitted to anyone.
When I woke the next morning I was alive, had absolutely not one bruise or black and blue mark on me. I was totally excited to be in a new realization of what God had done for me. Still being somewhat crazy from my old partying days, I got an idea and was determined to go through with it. So, out I dashed to get my friend to be by my side because I knew as soon as my husband found out what I was thinking he would know I was off my rocker. My idea…to get a tattoo! My friend thought it was a great idea. She was all on board. She would get her old tattoo brightened up and we’d both have something to talk about. Then we told the guys our plan for the day, to find a “clean” tattoo artist and then find one who could free hand draw the cherubim angel I saw during the night.
It was close to a half day project to find a “clean” tattoo artist, especially one who could draw the cherubim angel as I was picturing it in my mind. The guy we found was quite interesting to say the least. He had body piercings everywhere and this was when body piercings were not too common. My friend continued to capture this whole ordeal with pictures by taking one of me getting my tattoo! This was proof I was there and all of this did happen. The cherubim angel with long brown hair is tattooed on my left shoulder that says, “Carried by Faith”.
It is my honest belief it was not my time to go and God sent a guardian angel down to take all the bruises and broken bones for me and leave me untouched. God promises that He will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. As the word says in Psalms 91:12 says “They will hold you up with their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone” (NIV).
Whenever I tell this story, people simply are in awe. There is absolutely no reason I am alive today. I stayed in a state of awe and reverence for many weeks, months and years. Yet, I had my tattoo to look at every single morning to be reminded that I was “carried by faith” by an angel that very hot day in Sturgis, SD. God has allowed me to live so He can continue to love and protect me from all harm that the enemy wants to do to me.
As for the cherubim angel I saw in the middle of the night, I believe God said with a loud whistle blow to his angel’s, “go down and get her, swoop her up, don’t let one bone be broke, one bruise be on her body, and set her down gently on the shoulder of the road so that she gets to open her eyes and see that I chose not to let her come to see me yet, but to stay here on earth and help others by telling this amazing Motorcycle Miracle story!”