As I sit here typing this post, I am on the verge of tears as I share this awful news. I just received a phone call from my mother informing me that Bob Skelding from www.wagonteamster.com was involved in a horrific accident yesterday afternoon in Macon, Mississippi. I do not know many details at this point, just heard about the accident and that Bob was in surgery and had been seriously injured. Here is a link to a news article that briefly talks about the accident and shows a picture of the destroyed wagon:
Even sadder news ~ two of his horses, Dolly and Deedee were killed in the accident. Now anyone who has owned a pet can understand the sadness and loss felt after an animal has died. I have lost cats, dogs, and even horses during my life. When an animal passes on, often times it feels as though we have lost a best friend. Doc and Dolly will live on to become a legend in this world. They will live on in the hearts of thousands of people whose lives were touched by this story.
Even though I never met Bob, I was so drawn to the story when I first heard about it. For a refresher click HERE. I must admit I became hooked on this story and would check the "Where's Bob" link every morning to see where his travels took him the previous day. I even loaded the page on my favorites so I had quick access to my daily link.
My heart is absolutely breaking over this tragic accident. I feel as though I grew to know Bob and his team of horses just from reading the daily blog and stories he wrote on his website. In fact, just this morning when I logged on to his site and didn't see an update from the previous day, I had a funny feeling come over me. Then I received the phone call a few minutes later. The phone call that made my heart sink to the floor and the urge to break down bawling my eyes out at that very moment. A moment of panic swept through my heart and I think the first words out of my mouth were "NO that can't be." But then reality set in and I had to check out the news story for myself. I had to click on the picture of the wagon that was demolished into thousands of pieces. The very wagon that rolled across 1700+ miles of ground. The wagon that no longer had the horses hitched to it cruising down the highway. The wagon that will no longer exists because of the tanker semi that crashed into the wagonteamster ride. And then reality sets in even more when I see the picture of the demolished wagon with no horses hitched to it. Half of the team from wagonteamster is no longer here and the other half has been injured tremendously. Not to mention that wagonteamster's driver is laying in a hospital somewhere.
I have a quote on my e-mail signature that reads "everything happens for a reason." I happened to look at this quote shortly after receiving this tragic news. It made me ask the question "why did this happen?" Obviously no one knows the answer to that exact question. That is one of those phrases that we ask ourselves every time something bad happens or something goes wrong. I have no idea why this happened; nor can I begin to fathom why it did happen. But there has to be some type of reason that Bob lost half of his team and nearly his life.
Bob is such an inspiration to me and all others who have followed his story. He has touched my heart and my life in so many ways. I regret that I never had the opportunity to meet Bob or see the team on the road. However, I have learned so much from following Bob's journey these past few months. He is truly a hero for taking the leap of faith and venturing on the journey that tragically ended on February 10, 2009.
Please keep Bob and his horses in your prayers. Hopefully he will recover fully and his horses Joyce and Doc will be ok. I do not know the extent of their injuries, but the outlook cannot be good from looking at the picture of destruction. Please please pray for the remaining members of wagonteamster. I hope and pray something good will come to light in the midst of this awful tragedy. I do know Bob was writing a book about his life experiences. I pray that someday that his book will hit the shelves of bookstores and be a powerful tool to help others in their life's journey.
Please not only pray for Bob, but remember that life is short and you NEVER know what will happen from day to day. As I always say, live life to the fullest each day and never take one moment for granted. Each day given to us is a blessing from God. Live, laugh and love and be happy for every moment in your life. Things can change in the blink of an eye. Bob & the wagonteamster are living proof of that...