Well, I went back to "the scene of the crime" this week.
At my request, my father, my wife and I went out into the woods to where I had turned a deer stand into an express elevator.
I have to say, it is a very moving experience to stand there and look at the place where you almost died.
The ladder is still in place against the tree trunk, and the stand was laying on its side (even mostly still intact) several feet away.
My plan had been to go up into that specific stand, to "get back on the horse," as it were. That specific "horse" obviously wasn't an option, but I did go up into one of our other stands that afternoon.
I'll be honest, it took me a while to get to sleep the night before, but I'm glad I did it.
I'm somewhat puzzled by reactions from people I've talked to about it. Yes, I pulled myself up off the ground after the fall, got back on the 4-wheeler, and drove myself back to the house. To me, it's simply what I *had* to do, so I did it.
I was talking with someone about "getting back on the horse," and they commented, "Wow, you REALLY don't do 'avoidance,' do you?"
If something unpleasant can be avoided as a long-term strategy, then sure, I'll go for that. This wasn't one of those things and I knew it, so I didn't try. Facing it, conquering it, was the only workable option... so that's what I did.
In both cases, there was something I *needed,* and no one else could do it for me. I won't claim they were pleasant or that I want to do either of them again, but the alternatives were clearly worse.
Thank you, to everyone who helped me get here -- my family, my friends, my teachers, my students. You've helped me physically to be able to survive what has been almost universally considered as a "death drop" (18-20 feet), and helped me build the strength of character to make myself do what had to be done.
Thank you, very much.