by Duane Bemis

This content is part of a series.

Death-A Part of Life (1 of 3)
Series: Death-A Part of Life
Duane Bemis

I was sixteen and playing many sports in High School. I was playing football, wrestling, and track and field. One day during wrestling practice, in my junior year, I was not listening to the coach but looking over the balcony at the cheerleader's practice. The coach singled me out and said, "Bemis are you paying attention?"
I quickly responded, "Yes, sir."
The coach called me on this lie and said, "Then come out here and show the team what we have been learning."
I stepped out on the mat and another wrestler who was paying attention, grabbed me and we began wrestling. He picked me up and since I was not listening I zigged when I should have zagged and I landed on top of my head. I heard a loud crack in my neck. The next thing I knew I was waking up off the mat and leaning on the bleachers. They told me I had been out for more than 5 minutes.
They took me to the doctor and he said I most likely just pulled some muscles and to take a couple of days off from practice. But I went home and for the next three weeks I was in so much pain. It seemed that no one believed me and then after three weeks my mother took me back to the doctor's office and this time they took x-rays. I had broken the C-5 vertebra. This bone was broken all the way through but no bones fragments were displaced. The doctor came out into the waiting room and sat with my mother and me. He told us he had some good news and some bad news. The bad news is your C-5 vertebra has a hair line fracture through the bone. The good news is the bone is healing wonderfully. He then asked if I had returned to wrestling practice. I told him 'no' since I was in so much pain. He then explained that on bump and I could have ended up paralyzed from the chest down. Tell me how wonderful God is and how much grace He has shown me! I could have even ended up dead myself.
At seventeen, I dropped out of High School because the only thing keep ...

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