Weekend Update: My Near-Blind Experience

I almost lost my eye. Seriously guys, I almost became a pirate. Stop laughing! I'm not even joking, this is my serious voice!!!!

Okay, maybe it's a little bit funny. Now. Since I still have two eyes and all.

It all started with a first ever Joyce clan camping trip at my grandparent's property in Kendall, Washington. Their property is 14 acres of what was originally a 40 acre farm that belonged to Grandpa's father. It was divided amongst Grandpa and his siblings (two brothers and two sisters, of which Grandpa is the oldest), but over the years a few parcels here and there have been sold or passed on to the next generation. Grandpa's land is all wild forest, he never built a home on it, just has space for their trailer to camp at whenever they so choose. Grandpa's nephew Randy has the neighboring property to the south, he has a home on his land, as well as a paint-ball course back in his woods. That's where my near tragedy took place.

On Sunday, after a morning family bible study, I waited [not so] patiently for Josh to arrive. He was bringing his brother Noah, and "cousin" Mana with him for the night to get a break from all the moving madness. I had promised them they would get to play paintball and hoped that they would get to Kendall in time to play. Some of the other guys had already started and I didn't want Josh and the boys to miss out. Once Josh got there, the guys had already came back and it was time for dinner... not to worry though, Randy was willing to reload the guns for another session after dinner. [Whew!] I kind of wanted to play... but not really... I've never been good at any kind of game where I have to stay hidden. I get SO anxious and end up needing to pee SO bad that I do the pee-pee dance and give myself away. It's just no good.

Anyway, so I wasn't going to play but my cousin Deanna was going to go watch, since her boyfriend was playing as well. Randy promised us that we would be safe in the watchtower, a platform high in the trees, in the middle of the playing field. I trusted him.

Kaimana, posing. As usual

Brian and his gun

Dad and his cousin Randy

Bradley and his gun

Noah. Giggling. As usual. :)

Dad and his sons. 

Probably my favorite picture of Noah ever.

Noah and Kelson preparing for battle. 

The first game went by without incident.

Bradley, going in for a kill! 

Dad and Brad


Brad, with a face hit courtesy of Josh! :)

Mana on the move! 

 Deanna and I got a little concerned when there was a single stray paintball that made it up to our hiding spot during the second game.

Deanna and the paint splatter! 

Josh, through the slats of the tree fort. 

That should have been reason enough for us to climb down, or at least request some protective eyewear. But alas... we did not.

And then... the third game started. Capture the flag. I had the perfect view of the flag placed in the center of the playing field. As soon as I shouted "GO!" both teams rushed forward. Guns fired. Paintballs flew. I saw my brother Brian grab the flag, no regard to the paintballs coming at him from all sides. He turns to run back....

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!" What was that? Oh that was ME. Screaming. Curled up in a ball on the floor of the tree fort, clutching my right eye. 


Everything is black. It feels like my eyeball got shoved into the back of my head. I'm crying and scared. "I'm blind." I think to myself. "This is it. I'm going to be blind in one eye for the rest of my life. I can't see. *&%$#@*$#@&*#!!!!!" I hear my dad rush up the makeshift ladder to where I am. "What happend? What's wrong? Bethany, are you okay?!" No, I am NOT okay! I just got SHOT IN THE EYE! He gets me to calm down and slowly I'm able to open my eye. I hesitate, sure that my eyeball won't even be there, and even if it is, I know I won't be able to see. I'm so scared. But slowly, ever so slowly, tears streaming down my face, I open my eye. AND I CAN SEE! Hallelujah. 

By now Josh has also climbed up to where I am and oh Lordy am I thankful that I can actually see him! Lucky for me, the paintball did not break so there wasn't paint all over my face [or blood for that matter]. Turns out, I wouldn't even get a black-eye out of the whole terrifying experience. [Yes, I kind of wish I had gotten a black-eye because then my screams would have seemed more warranted. :) ]

Needless to say, that put an end to the paintball game. I felt horrible for ruining the game, Randy felt horrible that I got hurt, and the guys all felt horrible that one of them inadvertently shot me. Brian graciously took the blame, saying that it was most likely a wild shot from him that happened as he grabbed the flag. Really, there's no way to tell and I'm not at all concerned about WHO hit me. I'm just glad I didn't lose my eye or vision! 
Me and Josh, before the traumatic incident occurred.

I hope everyone had a fun and SAFE memorial weekend! :) And please, if ever you're watching a paintball game, please where protective eyewear! XO


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