The Struggle is Real: On Black Bear Bites + Best Case Scenarios

My sister bought him lottery tickets the morning after the bear bite. He only won $4; he used all his luck up the previous morning.

August was an emotional marathon around these parts, friends. I’ve been half dying to write about, half wishing the whole thing never happened. But it did—and thankfully, we’ve reached the finish line, so today I’m spilling it. I also felt like I've been MIA around Another Mother Runner, Train Like a Mother Club, and Many Happy Miles, so I wanted to thank you for your patience. 

I’m walking the dogs, cursing my ridiculous headache that hits at the start of every period. It doesn't t abate with sleep, and Advil doesn’t phase it. The only thing that relieves it is time: at least 24 hours, usually closer to 36.

Because of the pounding, I can’t stomach any incoming noise, so I take out my headphones—no idea what podcast is even playing—and stuff them in my pocket, next to my phone, which is, as usual, on silent mode.

It’s before 7 am, and all my energy goes towards moving forward and scoping out rabbits and squirrels before the dogs see them.

Palming a dog poop into a Target bag, I promise myself if the headache doesn’t stop by lunch, I will take a nap.

At home by 7:05 am, I notice I’ve missed seven calls from unknown numbers: four in Moab, UT, three in Colorado Springs. Neither are familiar numbers. I don’t connect the fact my 13-year-old son is camping in Moab, and four missed calls before 7 am from Moab might not be the best news.

Will caffeine help or hurt? Freakin’ head. I fire up the Nespresso, and open my email.

Subject: Ben’s camping trip. Please call.

About 5:40 this morning, I got a message from our leaders saying there was a bear in their campsite and Ben woke up to it with its mouth on his ear…The counselors quickly wrapped up his head to control any bleeding and drove to the ER in Moab…It sounds like he is pain but doing as well as he can in the situation.

I call the camp director immediately, who can’t really tell me anything beyond his email. Then I talk to the Moab ER doctor, who sounds hysterical to me. He's bandying about words like “skin graft” and “pediatric surgeon” and “significant wounds.” He tells me Ben needs to be transported via ambulance to Grand Junction, about a two-hour drive from Moab and a four-hour one from Denver.

I am the hysterical one now. I ask to speak to Ben.

“Hi Pie.”

Just hearing him sob on the other end of the phone makes me start to cry too. Much harder than I want to. Dang it: I want to be strong for him, but that’s like asking the dogs not to go ballistic when they see a squirrel. Not gonna happen.

“I’m coming to get you,” I tell him, “It will be ok, I will come meet you. I will be there as soon as I can.”

He can’t speak. He is crying too hard. I’m crying, he’s crying. Stupid mom. Why didn’t I pick up the first call? Why am I not on the road already?

He eventually squeaks out, “I am going to be ok, Mom.”

“I know, Pie. I know.”

I throw random things into a bag, not sure if we’ll be in Grand Junction for a night or a week. A pair of shorts, a book, my laptop. I think about exercise gear, but that feels too indulgent. I do pack my running shoes, though, so I can at least go for a walk. I forget tampons.

I go to Ben’s drawers to get him clean clothes—he’s been camping for two weeks—but all of his gym shorts and undies are with him. I’ll go to Target in Grand Junction, I tell myself.

We decide Grant will stay home to be with Amelia, currently at school for some orientation workshop, and to work the phones.

Backing out of the garage, I listen to a long message from a park ranger. He wants to keep Ben’s shirt for a DNA sample of the bear. All I can picture is Ben’s shirt in shreds, and I’m hysterical again.

I have four hours until I can see my boy.

I haven’t eaten anything, but am far from hungry. Still, I know zero calories will not serve me well. So I stop at Starbucks, grab some egg bites and another latte, and merge onto the highway.

I can’t listen to a podcast. I don’t want to call anybody. I’ve never driven for more than 15 minutes without some kind of audio stimulation, but even classical music feels awkward. Everything feels awkward. I force the egg bites down.

The quiet drive gives me something to focus on. Climb into the mountains, drive down from the mountains. I drive fast, but not dangerously so. Plus, if a cop stops me, I have a story that guarantees a get-out-of-jail pass.

Along the way, I hear from Grant, who has talked to the ER doctor Grand Junction and has a much clearer picture of the situation. Ben has major wounds on his ear and temple area, as well as more minor scratches behind his ear. He assures Grant that we will be able to get Ben back to Denver tonight.

Ok, I can deal with that. I also notice that my headache has left the building. Phew.

I call a friend who works for our insurance company. Being two self-employed parents in a healthy family, we opted for a plan that might have more holes than we’d like in a situation like this. I’ve heard about how expensive ambulance rides are, and I can’t lie: The cost of all of this is swirling in the back of my mind. Which makes me feel shallow and crappy.

My friend reminds me that our mutual friend is a pediatrician at our insurance company, and loops her in. They’re both on the case, and their immediate support makes me cry again.

I arrive in Grand Junction and want to be annoyed by the security guard in the ER who makes me spread like a starfish so he can wand me, but I don’t have the energy.

He clears me and leads me back to Ben. The ER doctor is in the process of stitching back on the top of his ear. A nurse, holding Ben’s hand, immediately stands up so I can slide in. I’m crying again. I kiss the top of his hand and then sandwich it tightly in both of mine. I look down at his feet poking out of the blanket. Dried blood is splattered all over them.

To ease the pain, Ben squeezes and sings. Hums. Squeezes harder. Whisper screams. Digs his fingernails into my palm. He’s been a nail biter for as long as I can remember, but his stubs feel like talons.

As he endures and I do my best to soothe, I wonder how moms of chronically ill kids do it. Do they just have a hospital bag perpetually packed? How can they mentally handle watching their kiddo undergo procedure after procedure? Where do they sleep? How do they have any energy left for themselves?

Once the ear is back together, they bandage the rest of him up and send us on our way to Children’s ER in Denver, where we’ll meet with a plastic surgeon for the next steps.

Before we leave, I hit the cafeteria. I buy him a Sprite. Pretzels. Sun Chips (Garden Salsa flavor, our collective favorite). A Naked Juice. A blueberry muffin. The vigilant security guard will not let me bring my full bag of groceries back as I fetch him. That does annoy me.

Right before we get on the highway, I spot a Freddy’s. Custard shake. He needs that too.

“That was really scary, Mom,” he says, unprompted. I tell him I’m sure and pounce on the opening.

“If the bear wouldn’t have happened, would you want to go back to camp?” He answers yes.

“Even with the bear, would you want to go back?” Yes, he says. I don’t know if that’s for real or not, but it makes me feel better.

He eats a few pretzels, takes a few sips of a shake, then covers himself with a beach towel. The sun is shining on his legs, and he falls asleep. I turn on my beloved Avett Brothers, and feel calmest I have all day long.

Four or so hours later, Ben is at his third ER for the day. An article is already up about him, so I text that to friends, hitting on the high points: no damage to his hearing, his eye, his neck. It could have been so much worse.

Best case scenario for a very scary day: a phrase I type and say many, many times over the next few weeks.

Each time I say it, I say it slowly, emphasizing it, allowing it to soak deep into my bones.

I wish he didn’t have to tell the story over and over—what’s going on inside his head as he relives it?—but everybody understandably asks.

The basics: He and five of his eleven campmates decided to skip their tent on the last night of a two-week trip that included backpacking, rock climbing, and canyoneering. They're in their sleeping bags near the banks of the Colorado River and had no food out in the campsite. (In fact, they had eaten at a restaurant in Moab that night as a celebration for their final night together.)

Around 5:40 in the morning (read: not full light yet), a black bear came rambling through the campsite. Ben was the bookend of the row of sleepers. She was likely curious, and he likely smelled interesting. (Although I’m confident he did not smell like shampoo, a theory tossed out by a ranger in one article. Over the course of two weeks, he admitted he barely brushed his teeth.)

He woke up with his ear in her mouth, and one paw over his body. He asked his best friend, sleeping next to him, what he should do, and his friend replied, “Play dead.” (Later, Ben said his friend was having a panic attack, and the friend said Ben was having one. I'm guessing they both were.)

In the meantime, the bear moved to Ben’s feet, so Ben stood up, yelled to his counselors, who then yelled to everybody to stand up, make themselves big, and make noise. They did, and she ran off.

Back at the Children’s ER, we get news from the ranger that the likely bear, a three-year-old female, has been “euthanized.” Her paws match the same size print near the bite. Understandable protocol, but it doesn’t sit right with me. She was just being a black bear, and for the record, black bears rarely attack.

We also get news that we don’t have to spend the night at the hospital, but before we go, Ben has to get a brutal infectious disease protocol: a series of more than 20 small shots right near his wounds. It’s after 11, Ben is still covered in blood, my adrenaline high has finally evaporated, and the ER feels like the loneliest place in the world.

As he digs into my hands again and I want to scream, “Stop hurting him!”, I wonder how other moms can do this. After the treatment is done, I ask the nurse if she can clean up his face a bit before we go—I don't want to touch anything near the wounds—and she's on the case immediately. Maybe that's part of how they do it.

[Random sidenote: The next morning, filling his prescriptions, I run into a #motherrunner at the pharmacy. I am bursting to share this story, this story that is going to have a happy ending, so I just blurt it out. I can’t remember your name, but thank you for obliging me, friend.]

Later that day, while talking to a ranger who came from Salt Lake to interview Ben in person, Grant and I decide to not release his name to the media. I joke that it’s because I haven’t had my hair cut and colored in months, but really, I can’t stomach the idea of hearing him repeat the story over and over. What kind of mental effect will that have on him?

Ben, a performer who loves the spotlight, is justifiably bummed, but we don’t relent.

Goofing around in the doctor's office. Lots of bonding time over the past few weeks—although I've learned 13 year-olds aren't super psyched about bonding time with parents.

Still, he gets plenty of local celeb moment at the pediatrician, at the plastic surgeon, at his new school, where he’s the tall kid with white gauze around his head who was bitten by a bear. Meanwhile, I have plenty of at-home nurse moments, changing his bandages daily. But I'm on duty only after the best nurse, my mom, comes to do his first hair washing (hallelujah!) in the kitchen sink.

Ben folds up his long legs on the counter and does his best keep his wails at a suitable level, while her gentle touch—something I didn’t inherit—goes on my grateful list.

He starts school, snags a part in the fall play. His marching band takes first in the State Fair competition, and his wounds heal amazingly well. (I’d share pics but there’s a limit to TMI.) That said, he needs one skin graft to cover up the divot in his temple. The outpatient surgery is scheduled to be performed by Dr. McDowell, whose name makes me trust him instantly, for the last Wednesday in August.

“I’m surprised at how many butterflies are in my stomach,” I text my mom that morning.

“Remember, it’s always harder on the mom than anybody," she shoots back. Amen to that.

Amazed at how pliable the skin is, Dr. McDowell is able to stitch up the divot instead of skin graft it. “If he was 70 years old, then yes, I would’ve known I could stitch it. But this was unexpected,” he tells me post-op. The best-case scenario continues: One wound continues healing instead of two new ones that need to be healed from scratch.

Texted this one to my mom. "Heading home."

Ben eats a bag of animal crackers and sips on a Sprite, and we're leaving the surgery center less than five hours after we arrived. He falls asleep next to me again on the ride home.

I'm just calm and relief.

We crossed the bear-bite finish line today when Ben's stitches were removed. A few more mornings of antibiotic lathering to go, then this will simply be the ringer for Ben's future rounds of Two Truths and a Lie. He'll win every time.

Thanks for reading, and for the love and support I know you would've shared with me during the ordeal had you known. xo

112 responses to “The Struggle is Real: On Black Bear Bites + Best Case Scenarios

  1. I was away and had not seen this story until it was mentioned on AMR Answers today. I’m so glad that Ben is doing well. You, Ben, and your entire family are in my thoughts.

  2. So relieved to read Ben has healed. I cannot imagine having the calm to DRIVE FOUR HOURS to reach my child. You put on your super power cape for that one. Thank you for sharing and man, I am, once again, so relieved for you all!

  3. Wow Dimity! Being a life-long tent camper with my three kids, this has always been a fear of mine. I’m so happy that Ben is on the mend and all of the mama hugs to you!

  4. Wow, Dimity. I can’t even imagine what this was truly like even with your rendition. I’m incredibly happy it ended the way it did – two truths and lie, for certain – and that your family came through the other side. Best wishes!

  5. HOLY COW!!!! Amazing…and SOOO thankful that things were not any worse for Ben or you and your family! I am afraid of those phone calls…the things that happen when we are not in arms reach…of having your child hurt instead of you…especially a son and his mother…I can say this being a mother to a newly 14 year old son..who does have chronic issues…and who has been within arms reach and I could not fix him!!! I brings you to realize your mortality and your unbelievable faith in so many things. And how blessed we are on a daily basis!!! You did just great…and so did he!!!! Awesomeness to see the strength in all and the amazing love too!!! May he continue to heal well, and you too!!! Dimity..I met you years ago when you came down when the first book was out…and ran a bit with you. I sure hope things to go better and you have a wonderful fall! Stephanie

  6. Whoa. I’m speechless. I’m so grateful that all has ended well. Gosh, painful hard situations can build deep empathy in us. Sending you a hug – good job, Momma!!!

  7. Dimity, this is your Mom and John’s friend… I am literally sitting here with my mouth hanging open!!! OMG, this is one amazing story! Thank you for sharing and here’s wishing a very speedy recovery to Ben! Now, that’s a phone call you never thought you would get! Sounds like you did all the right stuff for your boy! So much for your headache that day!!!

  8. This is just an amazing story. I am thankful of a great outcome. It sounds like you have raised a very brave, courageous, level headed boy. Good job mom! Praying that the scars continue to heal both mental and physical for you both. Your love for Ben shines through and that is what matters most.

  9. Wow. Just wow. I can’t even comprehend what you all just went through. You are such a wonderful mom and have so much support. He has such an amazing story to tell. I agree that he will win two truths and a lie every time. Sending love to you!

  10. Your strength and courage, even in such a scary event, are a testament to who you are as a mom and a leader in this running community. I am so glad Ben is healing (and so are you). Best wishes.

  11. Wow! I can’t even imagine how that felt and what you’ve all been through! Thank you for sharing your story with us, and for being authentic about the times you experienced mom-guilt – thank you for your authenticity!!! I am so glad he is okay and that you got best case scenario. My heart is with you, Ben, Grant, and Amelia as you continue to recover; physically and mentally!! Thanks again for sharing. ❤️

  12. I’ll add my hugs and prayers to all the others. Teenage boys and shampoo after camping for 2 weeks? I don’t think so. August was a crappy month; September will be better! Keep healing, Ben and Dimity!

  13. Wow. What a scary and moving story. Thank you for sharing that. I have been listening to AMR for a few years and feel like I know you all personally, which made this story all the more real and tragic for me, as I’m sure other BAMRs will agree. Actually, come to think of it, I’m surprised I don’t know Adrienne…I live very close to her town and we have many common friends and associations. Anyway, back to the story!! It was so well told that I found myself crying because you described that torment of a mom’s heart simultaneously racing and breaking all at once. Last year, my daughter (11 at the time) fell onto a sharp stone and cut her leg to the bone during her summer theater day-camp. The panicked call I received from my then 17-yr-old son, who was also a part of the workshop and witnessed the whole gory thing, was enough to send me into full Mama Bear Mode. I will never forget the shear number of emotions I felt during that experience, and you beautifully tapped into that raw moment of pure, selfless adrenaline. I am so glad Ben is going to be ok. You’re an amazing mom, Dimity, and Ben is obviously a very strong kiddo. Sending love and wishing all the best to you, your family, and Ben!

  14. I love how, in the midst of your own turmoil, you thought of other mothers and how they feel in those moments. You are an amazing, beautiful soul and I’m so thankful that your son will heal completely!

  15. Thank you for taking the emotional courage to share the story and I presume relieve the experience. It was a griping story as a mother to read and I kept thinking, I’m so happy this had the best scenario ending. Wow.

  16. Oh Dimity! I cried with you as I read this. I’m so grateful that this story has a happy ending. Love and healing to your son and to his strong mama! I k ow you and Sarah have, unknowingly, helped me through some very hard times so I hope you can feel the love and peace being sent your way from your tribe!

  17. Holy Crap, Dimity!!! A mother’s worst nightmare (an emergency, and you missing the calls) followed by an amazingly happy ending! Way to go, momma, you handled that like a champ! Keep letting yourself rest when you need it — the exhaustion can last longer than seems reasonable.

  18. Oh boy! What a journey. It really is a good ending. And OMG were you a BADASS mom for sure. Wow. (((Hugs))) the what if’s can drive us crazy. But it’s very good to just let the good news be okay. (((More hugs))) seriously a bear bite. Wow!!

  19. Wow. I am so so sorry that your family went through this and so happy to hear that he’s healing and that it’s gradually working its way into your rear view mirror. Moab is one of my favorite places and I had no CLUE there even were bears there, then you think about the rarity of these attacks and wow, that’s the most unlucky good luck story ever told.
    My daughter (now 15) was struck with Guillain Barre Syndrome at 9 and was unable to walk all of a sudden, which lasted about 6 months. I remember from then that it all happened so suddenly and with such intensity that all I could do is react. It wasn’t until years later that either of us really grasped the enormity of what had happened. I’ll warn you right now that it will hit even more some day, but in a very surreal way!
    I hope you have many months of relative calm ahead.

  20. Oh, Dimity! I’m so thankful that this was the best case scenario. You and Ben have both earned some extra badass stripes by working through all of this. Thank you for sharing your story with us. ❤️❤️❤️

  21. WOW! It is always hard to see your children hurt, even when they are adults. I am grateful that my son’s injuries were few, and rare. I’m happy to hear things turned out better than they could have! Sending healing thoughts to you and Ben!

  22. omg…I am so sorry that you, and of course BEN, not to mention the rest of your family had to go through this. So thankful that he is okay. Thank you so much for sharing this. After all this years of hearing your voice, you feel like a friend so I felt so emotionally invested in this story. Sending many good thoughts and prayers to your family.

  23. Wow. Incredible journey all of you have been on this past month. I am so happy it all is ok and your son is amazing! Great job to you as a mom!!

  24. Wow, Dimity! What an ordeal! I can’t imagine what that drive was like for you! So happy every thing turned out well in the end. Thanks for sharing!

  25. OMG, Dim. This made me cry. I can’t imagine what you – or he – went through. I won’t complain about fretting over my kid taking her first solo subway ride. I’m so glad he’s healing and everything’s “back to normal.” <3 <3 <3

  26. Holy shit balls, Dimity. Thank you for sharing with your beautiful writing. So thrilled it sounds like he’s healing nicely. And dang, that kid will have the BEST college application essay!!

  27. Thank you for sharing this harrowing story with us. I am so sorry Ben has to endure it all. He is so lucky to have you by his side to hold his hand and take care of him. I hope you’re being well taken care of, too, bc this sounds so traumatic for everyone. My heart goes out to you and Ben and your whole family.

  28. Oh my gracious! I’m so glad Ben is healing and hope that you are, too. I had tears reading this and am sending warm thoughts.

  29. OMG. Glad to hear that Ben is on the mend. My middle one just returned from a hiking expedition in Anaktuvuk Pass, AK. I was so worried about grizzly bears. So sorry that you lived my nightmare. Praying that you all heal quickly and completely.

  30. oh my gosh Dimity!!! (((hugs))) I am so glad Ben survived this so well! And even wants to go back to camp! I read an article about your son and the bite. I’d like to assume I would have made the connection if it had included his name. Being a Scout family, we always notice things like bears. I too am sad that the bear was put down for following its own nature. As humans move (farther) into animal territory, we can’t not expect them to interact with us. I am thankful Ben’s “interaction” wasn’t worse! (And his new(?) nickname IS Gentle Ben, right? or is it just my own family that would be so warped?)

  31. This story should have come with a tissue warning – I cried through the whole thing sitting here at work hoping no one walks in my office anytime soon. I’m SO SO SO glad he’s OK. Hugs.

  32. Wow! I am so glad he had all the best outcomes in the situation! All the mom feels hit me while I read. I felt your panic and fear and gratitude. Essentially that is how all mom’s feel when something goes down like this. Every procedure I was with my David and it breaks your heart a bit. That’s because our hearts are walking around outside of us!!! What a story he has to tell and I’m so glad it ended well and he still wants to camp!!

  33. Dimity! I’m so glad to hear you’ve crossed the finish line of this unfortunate event! I have to say, I love the way you write. I felt like I was right there next to you through every part of the journey. My eyes got misty multiple times. And yes, he will be set for the 2 truths game for life!

  34. I am so glad he is doing well. What a scary thing to go through for everyone involved. Sending prayers and good thoughts your way.

  35. WHOA MAMA!!!! What a harrowing ordeal for all of you! Wishing Ben lots and lots of continued strength as he continues to heal physically and to you all as yol heal emotionally. Scary stuff, I am so glad he is ok. Thank you for sharing and big big hugs for you for being so strong for him.

  36. My heart is in my throat as I read this. I pray for continued healing physically and emotionally for all of you. You are a gifted writer, Dimity.

  37. Dimity: Whoa. Best worst case, indeed. But sorry you had to go through it at all. Thanks for sharing. A chilling story; grateful it has the ending it does.

  38. Holy cow, this story! I cried along with every word you wrote, and my heart goes out to you and Ben. Prayers, hugs, good vibes – everything! – is being sent your way. Thank you for sharing – putting this all on a page couldn’t have been easy. “Best case scenario for a very scary day” – INDEED! XOXOXO

  39. Oh my goodness Dimity, I’m so sorry this happened to your son! I was crying reading your post, feeling all the feels right along with you as I imagined how I would feel if this happened to one of my boys. You are such a strong mother and an inspiration to us all. So glad the hardest part is behind you and I wish your family a happy, peaceful, uneventful Fall ahead!

  40. Oh Dimity, I read this with tears flowing. What a terrifying experience. This also confirms my decision to not let my 11 year old daughter sleep outside on the trampoline this summer because of our wondering bears in Roxborough. Thank you for sharing. Much love to you and your family. Davina

  41. WOW. So happy all’s well! To be honest, I cried throughout the whole article. Probably flashbacks to a long distance call we received about our son who thought he was a bronc rider. Ambulance, ER & neurologist visits…all ended up ok – but boy, what memories. Parenting, hardest job ever.

  42. Wow, wow! I’m so thankful he is alright. Big props to you and the rest of the family for staying strong through it all. xoxo

  43. OMG, I think I held my breath through reading this whole account! What a thing for poor Ben (and you, and the rest of your family) to go through! Healing vibes and best wishes to you all.

  44. They say every time he repeats the story, he lessens the trauma of it. He sure held himself together through it all, even during! I do think these kinds of things can make you both stronger. I wish that for you both, and I send much healing energy.

  45. Oh my! What an ordeal for you both. So glad he’s ok. You are a super mom and I know it’s hard to see your kid in pain. The worse I’ve gone through is a son with salmonella and a three year old who shoved a craft gemstone up her nose. It’s hard not to fall apart when a piece of your heart is hurting. Thank you for sharing this story.

  46. Wow! So glad he is healing, and hugs to you mom that would’ve been so hard to deal with! I’m with you not sure how parents with chronically ill or hurt kiddos do it. Thanks for sharing!

  47. Holy shit! Wow!! I’m so glad Ben is going to be ok. You did an amazing job being there, holding his hand, feeding him, and loving your baby boy! Hugs to you all!!

  48. Sending BOATLOADS of good thoughts your way, Dimity. I cannot possibly fathom the stress you guys have been under. So happy to hear he’s ok.

  49. What an emotional roller coaster you have just been on. So glad this had a happy ending….sending speedy healing thoughts. I don’t know if I could let him out of my sight for the rest of my born days!

  50. Oh, Dimity. I am so glad he’s okay, and that it wasn’t worse. Whenever you talk about Ben, I remember that he’s the exact same age as my Bean, and remember when you were here in Chicago and we went for that AMR group run from Lululemon or Athleta(?), back when our boys were like 7, and talked about their love of legos. So grateful he’s okay, and that you can finally breathe.

  51. I can’t even imagine all that you and Ben went through! I’m so glad it was the best case scenario. Lots of love and hugs to you both

  52. Oh my goodness, I can’t even imagine how frightening this whole experience was! I’m so glad that it had a happy ending, although that doesn’t make the living of it any less traumatizing. I’m so grateful that your boy is doing well!

  53. I live in Colorado, and remember this story when it was on the news! Thanks for sharing it with all of us …. good thoughts for you and your family!

  54. Goosebumps and tears while reading this! I can’t imagine how you must have felt and I don’t know how you made that drive safely! Continued thoughts and prayers for physical and emotional recovery!

  55. DIMITY. This is one hell of a roller coaster for you and your sweet boy. I’m so glad to hear that you’re nearing the finish line and that he’ll be ok. You’re a great mom and you did an amazing job through all of this. I hope YOU feel like you’re going to be ok, too. Hugs and love to you both.

  56. I cried reading this. As a mom I can’t imagine how terrified you were. A call no mom (or anyone) expects to ever get. Many prayers to you!

  57. Thank God that this story has a happy ending. My daughter was bit by a shark a few years ago and although the wound was nowhere near as bad as Bens I understand your feelings and emotions. It sounds like he is going to make a full recovery and yes, he, like my daughter, will always win two truths and a lie!

  58. Wow so happy that everything turned out OK Dimity! Ben will have a heck of a story to tell out of this one-what an amazing ordeal.

  59. Dimity, thanks for sharing this harrowing experience. I completely understand why you waited to share it until after it was over. I think your son sounds like an amazing kid, and you are, as usual, a mom I admire. You ask how moms of kids with chronic conditions do it. They do because they have to, because their kids need them. We never know what we’re truly capable of until called on. You (and indeed all
    Of us) have strength reserves we don’t even know exist until we need to tap them. I sure hope you’re putting your own oxygen mask on so you can keep on keepin’ on! Thanks again for sharing, and good thoughts for continual healing.

  60. OMG Dimity, your poor mama’s heart. Here’s to Ben’s continued healing both physically and emotionally. And for the rest of the family to feel the love too. You handled it amazingly and are one truly BAMR.

  61. I’m crying reading this! I’m so glad he’s ok and I’m so glad you can breathe now. It is always hard on us mamas but you were strong for your family! ❤️

  62. My son is 12 and I agree about the not smelling like shampoo! So glad that your son is on the way to recovery. You were a rockstar for him!! I am sending a virtual hug to you.

  63. Holy cow Dimity!!!! Glad for the happy ending but man! What a terrifying experience! You have a brave son indeed and you were truly a super tough mom for Ben. Both of you should be proud. So happy everyone is safe and sound. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  64. Oh my goodness!! I’m here reading this in the bathroom sobbing! I’m so so sorry Dimity! What a freak accident. So glad Ben is “okay” and hope you are too.

  65. Oh Dimity! Much love coming from one mama to another. I am thankful that the situation wasn’t worse and you are now walking on this side. Prayers for continued strength and healing for both your son and your mama heart.

  66. So thankful he is ok! Thoughts and prayers for your family! (As a boy mom I totally agree he would not smell like shampoo!)

  67. Holy Moley Dimity! That is one heck of a story! I am so happy to read that Ben is doing well and has healed. How about you? We never realize how strong we are as mothers until something traumatic happens to one of our children and all we want to do is fall on the ground and cry; but, we can’t. I’ve been there. I wish you many boring days from now on.

  68. I’m so glad he’s ok and so sorry he (and you!) had to go through that. Sending you lots of love and good thoughts for healing.

  69. So glad for that happy ending! It will indeed be a story he can dine out on for life. Best wishes for continued healing. I would suggest maybe a counselor visit to make sure he’s mentally dealt with everything too?

  70. Thank goodness Ben is ok! What a scary story. And no, of course he didn’t smell like shampoo. Boys don’t waste precious outdoor time with personal hygiene.

  71. Dimity, I am so glad that Ben is Ok and that you are on the other side of this scary event. Ben is a rock star and so are you. We are stronger than we think. Sending healing thoughts and a big hug.

  72. Oh Dimity, I’d say I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but as usual, your writing is so eloquent and impactful, that I can start to imagine what you’re going through. Thank goodness everything has worked out. Sending you and Ben and your family much love and healing vibes as he continues to heal.

  73. Oh! Heavens! I am sharing this with my teenagers as an example of why I’m terrified whenever they go anywhere without me! I am so glad everything worked out well for Ben.

  74. Wow Dimity. I’m crying scared tears and happy tears for you and Ben. What an experience. Thank God he is well. Hugs to you all.

  75. I’m so glad he is okay! That is beyond scary! My mantra in life is “the limits of strength are unknown until tested.” You were certainly tested, mama, and you were a rockstar. I’m so glad he’s okay!

  76. Oh, Dimity (and Ben!) what a thing to go through. Made me choke up this morning. What a terrifying experience, and thanks for sharing. Ben will have quite the story for around the camp fire when in the years to come! Sending you a virtual hug!

  77. Oh my goodness! Dimity! This is insane! I’m so so sorry your family went through this! But so happy that Ben is doing so well. You are both so strong.

  78. Oh, Dimity! Wow, how terrifyingly scary! I’m so glad it has a happy ending – and that you and Ben are mostly at the finish line! Sending you hugs and peaceful energy.

  79. Wow Dimity, he WAS so very lucky. What a nightmare though. This brought tears to my eyes this morning. Love to you all.

  80. I am now late for work because I could not stop reading this! Oh Dimity my heart reaches out to you all. Now that things are calmer I am sure you are regaining your calm, but still hard I am sure to imagine. ben is brave and knew what to do- I can’t say that I would. Also I have been known to turn around on my running route when I see bear scat in the road because I am not good at encounters with any animals. He inspired me to learn what to do. Blessings on your family-

  81. Oh Dimity! I don’t know what to say, except I want to give you a big hug! I am so thankful it was a ‘minor’, or as minor as these things can be I guess.

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