Character sketches that are fictional but based on real people, like you and me.
Wesley was 90 years old. Some people would have said he had no business being on a tractor, much less on a tractor, with other people, showing them how to drive it. But this was the Wesley who collected old farm machinery and got it running, the Wesley who was caregiver for his somewhat older wife who had Parkinson’s, the Wesley who cut and burned wood to heat the house, the Wesley who was used to being as healthy as a horse. They were having a great time on the tractor until he fell off.
Of course, things like this are not planned or practiced, they just happen. And they happen rather quickly. The people who have accidents like this probably can’t even tell you how the event happened because they are too busy watching their lives flash before them in an instant. Wesley thought he remembered how this fall came about – he was standing beside his granddaughter, who was driving, and as he leaned forward to pull a lever, he lost his balance and down he went.
Down he went between those huge big wheels on the back of the tractor. Even the thought of it is scary. Wesley, however, was a man of faith and calmly accepted the gift of getting to live another year. He tucked and rolled, appearing from under the tractor, completely intact and not at all run over. His shaken family members who got to watch him, insisted on taking him to the local hospital to get checked out. He did have a broken collar bone from landing on it too hard. He was a bit sore the next day.
He did a lot of downplaying the whole thing. He was a man of few words anyway. Whereas some people would have bragged and made sure everyone knew about their close call, Wesley was more worried that someone might actually tell his wife. She had no love for old tractors and would not have understood the desire to ride on one. Fortunately, she was not among the watchers as this went down. No one gave her any details.
There comes a time when even the most capable elders start to worry about their ability to keep themselves and others safe. Wesley is completely prepared to give this issue some serious thought when he gets older.