On the way home from the airport, David and I were going to meet my parents at IHOP in Rome. A few minutes before we arrived, I got a text from my friend Jordan, apologizing for missing my party. Apparently, David and my mom had planned a surprise Welcome Home party for me, and almost pulled it off (when I’m involved, a surprise party will somehow always get spoiled).
I didn’t care that Jordan gave away the surprise. I was just so excited to see my parents, my sisters, Zeke, and my friend Jesse. It was such a nice welcome back to the country, and I just loved being with my family again.
I got back on Saturday, July 3. David assured me that I would have terrible jetlag and would absolutely not be able to get up to go to church the next morning. I proved him wrong and was in a pew and went with him and my parents to see fireworks that night for the 4th of July. I might have been a little tired, but I really didn’t have jet lag (I definitely did when I arrived in Ireland; I blame it for the scar I still have on my chin from falling asleep on a tour bus).
Now that I was back, life went back to normal. I went back to work, David continued his summer classes in Rome, and we counted down the days until I joined him there. After being a Peer Mentor and joining a sorority, I realized I liked being involved on campus. So I applied to be a Yearbook Editor, a Shorter Relations Society tour guide, and for a position on BCM Council. I was very shocked and excited when I got all three positions, but this also meant it was time to move on-campus.
I was very excited about living in a dorm with Sarah (even though we didn’t get the dorm we wanted that year; another story for another day), but we were going to make the most of it. I was going to have to move in early for SRS training, and, luckily, David was on SRS, too, so we’d be arriving at the same time. After a long summer apart, we were both glad to be so close again.
At the end of July, right before we would be moving on-campus, we had the BCM retreat for all of BCM council. This was a time for planning, coming up with a missions fundraising goal, a theme for the year, etc. David was BCM President, and I was in charge of Publicity.
The retreat was held a little outside of Carrollton at Camp Rockridge. It was a very cool place, with cabins, a big swimming pool, a cute little snack shack, and more. We got a lot done, creating accountability teams, worshiping together, and nailing down plans for the year.
One afternoon, we all went on a hike, David leading the way. I am not a hiker. I do not like being outside with lots of bugs and extreme heat. I told David that I didn’t like it, but he insisted it would be fun. He promised he’d stay with me. He lied.
I was in the back, hating my life, wishing I was at home in the air conditioning. I was sweating unattractively, and, of course, when we got to the top and the camp director wanted to take a photo, I was front and center (isn’t that how it always works out?).
I went back to the cabin early that evening, exhausted from the hike and the long day. I was in my bunk reading when I got a call. “Uh, Maegan, you might want to come up here, David’s knee is dislocated or something…”
I threw on some shoes and headed to the building where I’d said good night to David. Derek was outside, looking pretty concerned, and let me know they were going to take David to the hospital. We went inside, where David was on the ground, looking pretty terrible. He kept beating his fist on the ground, saying, “I’m trying to tap out!”
No one really knew what he was talking about. The guys finally managed to get David into the back of D Rol’s van, and I got in beside him to hold his hand on the way to the hospital. Eli sat up front with D Rol, giving directions.
I remember as I sat back there with David, in so much pain, I felt so helpless and sad. I had no idea how severely his knee was hurt, or really, what exactly happened. I do know that no one should ever play soccer inside on a cement floor (which is now carpeted, by the way). I also know that David probably just tripped on the ball when trying to kick it, but I like J Rol’s version better (he swears David was doing some cool soccer-move trick).
While driving to the hospital, “Love Song for a Savior” by Jars of Clay came on, and David sang every word. It was hilarious because he was in so much pain, just jamming out as he lay in the back of a minivan. He also kept pointing out the window, unable to see since he was flat on his back, naming various places we were passing. It was pretty astonishing that he knew the town so well, but he’s always been pretty good with directions.
We met his dad at the hospital and all sat around in the waiting room for a long time (I read a Highlights magazine). We found out that David needed surgery, and he’d have it in the next couple of days.
On our way home from the retreat the next day, we all stopped at David’s house to check on him and have lunch. We had all signed the soccer ball he tripped over and given it to him as a gift (he still has it). After that, we all headed back to Shorter, leaving David behind even though he was supposed to be coming with us. I was sad that we had to leave him. I hated not being able to stay and see him when he first woke up from surgery and all of the not-knowing.
His mom texted me when he was out of surgery, letting me know he was fine but a little loopy. My mom and I drove two hours to visit him. I moved on campus soon after. David wasn’t there. He missed SRS training and a lot of other things. When he did move back, he was on crutches, living in a second floor dorm room with his bed in the dining room. It was a terrible situation, but he made it through like a champ.
David couldn’t drive because of his knee, and my car had died over the summer (RIP Bobby). We were quickly realizing that a summer apart was not the hardest thing we’d ever deal with, but, as long as we had each other, we’d make it through.