The Cow Shed.
Many years ago I went to an amazing festival. I had a craft stall there and went with my two young kids we, stayed in a tent. A friend of mine was also there, she was with her family in their camper van. So there were two huge separate sections for sleeping the tent part and a caravan section.
I didn't have a clue how to put a tent up and wasn't looking forward to it, as I'd never done so on my own. As I took the parts out of the bag, in trepidation, on that warm sunny afternoon, a man came over to me, and asked if he could help I said “Yes please.” as it was a new and small tent he put the whole thing up in, no time at all. From is accent I could tell as soon as he opened his mouth, where in the world he was from! And the nasty me, from years ago, really disliked anyone from that country! But I am not like that now, I have changed and I felt honoured and blessed by his selfless kindness act, and thanked him warmly. I also knew it was safe for he had put it together, his family tent next to mine was huge, so mine would have been a doddle!
I then went to set up my indoor stall with the other 'traders' in the huge hall. I was excited and was look forward to this four day event, for there would be lots of things for myself to be involved in and for the Children. I told my friend I didn't care if I sold lots or not, I just wanted to enjoy myself, and soak up the atmosphere.
The Children were in their element. It was all good. I had sold some of my lovely crafts items, each one unique.
On the evening all the stalls closed down for the main events in the 5,000 seater marquee. The Children were in two other tents about 5 minutes from the marquee. In the marquee there was lots of singing and various bands, I was in my element I love a good sing song!
The following evening the Sunday my four year old Daughter Meghan didn't want to be in the kids tent but she wanted to be with me, so I said “That's fine” I climbed the stairs to the top of the marquee, and had wanted to be at the very top as it was an awesome marquee and atmosphere but all the seats were taken, so we sat on the row that was next down. I sat next to a large lady she was at the end seat and my Daughter was on my right. The seats were plastic and under our feet was planks of wood.
As we were so high up we missed nothing! Then the next song that we were all going to sing, I thought would be a bit too lively and I said to the the large lady next to me, while holding Meghan's hands “I am going now, excuse me,” but blocked my way and said, “I mustn't go, I have to stay” and I couldn't get past her! I felt real fear and panic, then it happened! With the weight of us all the floorboards, it felt like a springboard, going up and down, we all went we had no choice I was so afraid and I had no way of escape, it was horrible! We all suddenly went quickly forward, and then to the right of me I saw a man disappear, head first, my first thought was, he's dead! The floorboards were still moving high up and down, as the song was still playing from the other parts of the marquee and some were trying to get others attention, it wasn't chaos but the unknown, what would happen to me, to Meghan? Oh why did I decide to go SO high up! If I had just stayed at ground level!! But what fun would that be. I then looked next to the large lady, as by now all in the marquee knew something had happened and she showed me the planks that had ALL come apart, we could see the ground below! There is no way on this earth, that we would a made on to one of those steps for all this happened fast!!! We both would have fallen right through and onto the ground below under the marquee!!! I shudder when I think of delicate little Meghan, falling from SO high up, she wouldn't have made it. The large lady saved us from both from harm! We looked into each others eyes, for a moment and it was like she knew was was about to happen.
Then the man holding the microphone asked us to raise our hands if we were not able to walk down the sides of the wooden steps. We raised our hands, we were trapped where we were. The process of evacuation was that one by one we would come forward stepping onto the plastic chairs in front of us and then walk to the right to the other side from where I was standing so either sides of us were steps, but to get out safe we followed their instructions to the letter, then it was my daughter's turn as I couldn't go with her, I put her onto the chair in front of me and she climbed down and over over the other chair on her own, (would my little Meghan be OK?) She walked to the edge of the right hand side and disappeared, then it was my turn I went over the the chair in front of me and then the other chair in front of that one and walked to the other side to where the other steps used to be and men were there below me, the told me to sit on the edge and they helped me down! I thanked them and quickly holding onto Meghan's hand I ran to the tent where young Daniel was in the kids tent but they wouldn't let any of the Parents inside. I suppose the kids were safer in there as some of their parents could me hurt and it wouldn't have helped matters if the kids were also out getting in the way and under peoples feet, so the made the right decision, not to let the kids out until the end of their fun times.
I rang my Husband Paul and told him there had been an accident and that we were all fine and unhurt, and that I thought someone might have died as I saw the man whose had fallen head first down, all I saw was his legs!! The shoes part and the ankle of his trousers!
I wanted to go home SO badly, I wished I hadn't come!
Later on, my friend Emma, who came in her caravan, she had been sitting on the ground level, I had seen her when me and Meghan had arrived and we has said, “Hi” so I knew where they were setting, I pointed to her that we were going to the top! So when the accident happened, Emma told me later, that she had burst into tears to a complete stranger and said, “My friend it at the top, with her little girl” she was inconsolable, the Steward comforted her and reassured her that we would be OK.
Within the hour, Paul told me it was on the Channel 5 news! I went to Emma's caravan with my two kids and we all waited, for there was going to be a news update on the local radio by the police. I was shivering, inside if felt my heart had been shaken. I wanted to go home where I would feel safe, and stop shaking.
The organizers of the Festival said they would have a meeting to decide if the Event should carry on or not for tomorrow was it's main day the Bank Holiday! I wished they'd asked me! I didn't want to stay.
Back in our tent that night, it was awful, every time I fell asleep, I felt I fell from a great height! And would suddenly wake up with more shaking, the kids beside me slept soundly. I had no peace, inside I was in bits!
The bad news for me was, they had decide to STAY! But the good news was not in the marquee, as it was broken. We were informed we would now be in a cow shed! I was not impressed at the thought of that, but when I saw it I was glad I was outside. Daniel wanted to go to the kiddies tent and Meghan wanted to stay with me, so when we arrive the cow shed was full and there were only seats outside it in many rows, so outside in the open we sat, I felt a bit sorry for myself. Meghan on the seat next to me fell asleep and her head was on my lap, all the time during the evening my knees didnt stop shaking and little Meghan's head would be bobbing slightly up and down as she laid her head on my lap. All of me shaking and I just couldn't stop it.
Then to make matters worse it began to drizzle! Great! That's all we needed! Rain and stuck outside the cow shed, now I wished I was inside the cow shed! Then something beautiful happened, over us outside the most amazing rainbow appeared! We all looked up and tears filled my eyes and those with me. Now those in the cow shed wished they were outside, especially those who would have been at the front, and right inside the shed they would have missed it all, it was on the microphone so all inside knew, who were outside in the rain were blessed and indeed ALL of us were, for no one died, not one person! Amazing!
They said at the very end, “Any one who wants prayer, for what happened yesterday, counselling, etc. when we leave this evening on the left hand side there will be counsellors, who will pray with us.” I need someone to pray with me to stop me shaking, for all of me was shaking, but it would have to be the quickest prayer ever, as I had no time, for I had to get Daniel from his tent which is also finished now! So I went into this other 'prayer barn' and went up to this seated lady and said, “I have 20 seconds - my Daughter and I was at the top last night - I had little sleep as I kept seeing me falling - and I can't stop shaking - I have to get my Son now – please pray for me in your shortest prayer.” The lovely lady prayed about 20 words over me and Meghan, I thanked her and left!
I didn't realize until I got into my little tent that night that the shaking had stopped! I slept like a baby!
It was an amazing experience, the wonderful songs had SO much meaning I bought the CD from my favourite band that was there that week and played it over and over again when I returned home. I am SO glad, they decided for us to not go home but to stay, for this life experience adds to the gold threads in my life! The rainbow, the shaking that stopped in an instant! That no one DIED! The emergency services said, it was because no one PANICKED, and we all left the marquee in an orderly manner.
I don't know your name, but thank you to the large lady.