Jenny From The Farm – with apologies to J Lo!

Only two people in my life have gotten away with calling me Amanda!  The first was my husband (very occasionally, I might add) and the second is Jenny from the Farm!  Jenny is the very first, real friend I made, after moving to Australia.  That means we have been friends for 35 years.  Wow, that went fast!  We have only lived near to one another for 4 of those years but our friendship has remained long and strong.  Our friendship was, however, born due to location.  Adrian & I were called to serve in a small country parish, just a couple of months after our wedding and Jenny & her family lived on a dairy farm in that parish.  Adrian was the Pastor and Jenny was the organist – so we saw a lot of each other!  Our friendship grew from being close in age (though I do need to say she IS older than me), having a shared sense of humour, being a good listener for each other, loving and taking care of each other’s kids, winning a tennis team competition together and many hours in the dairy (cowshed) where she milked & shovelled shit and I watched and chatted and cuddled babies and very occasionally fed poddy calves!!

Jenny from the Farm.
Jenny from the Farm.

Jenny from the Farm has been my voice of reason many times when I needed to hear reason!  She has been my support and my refuge.  Jenny The farm has always been my go to place when I just can’t cope any more.  When I need peace – I go there.  When I need a kick up the bum – I go there.  When I need a break from life – I go there.  When I needed a break from my kids – I sent them there!!  I have no idea why she has put up with me for all these years but she has and I love her for it!

Farm Daughter Number 1, Me & Jen.
Farm Daughter Number 1, Me & Jen.

Jenny from the Farm loves her Lord and plays the organ for her church and serves wherever needed.  She loves her family (most of the time) especially her 3 beautiful grand daughters but she does wish hubby would wear his hearing aids!!  She loves her friends and is loyal and giving and selfless.  She loves the house she helped to design and turn into a central hub for those in need of a listening ear or a cold beer!  She loves her garden especially when it’s full of her frolicking grandies.

Quad bike Jenny from the Farm.
Quad bike Jenny from the Farm.

So, a week ago, when this message dropped into my Facebook Messages Inbox – my heart almost stopped!

Jenny B is in the PA hospital in Brissy–airlifted from Dalby this arvy.

The message came from a much loved mutual friend and of course contained more information about what had happened but I didn’t take any of that in on the first reading.  Just the info that my friend was in a bad way and being brought  by helicopter to a hospital in my city.  What could I do?  Truthfully, I could do nothing but pray and by God pray I did!

When re reading the message, the information I read did nothing to allay my fear.  Jenny from the Farm had been doing some cattle work with her hubby that morning and had been hit by the gate, after a bullock had got cranky (technical farming term), which had thrown her about 5 metres and then got trampled on, by said bullock, as it tried to jump over her and escape!  The result of all this was 6 broken ribs, punctured lung and internal bleeding!  Intensive Care Unit! Then a most important, helicopter transportation, by the wonderful non profit organisation Life Flight! What would we do without these fabulous people?

The next few days was spent by Jenny in the Hospital, in ICU and I tried to help out where I could – which wasn’t much.  One pick up from the airport and prayers.  Just didn’t seem enough, when she had been there so many times for me.  I didn’t visit because they were having trouble getting her pain under control and I knew that her family wanted to be there as much as possible.  Eventually, on Day 3, I was able to visit.  I arrived just as she was being transferred out of ICU and onto a ward – great news.

When I saw her, she was tube central, with pain pumps and pain blocks and oxygen and drains and those other tube things that you have when you can’t get out of bed ….. She was quiet and pale but with a steely look in her eye that I had seen many times before!  “Amanda – thanks for coming!” were the first words out of her mouth to me and any other time I would have given her a withering look but I was just so glad to hear my name.  We chatted for a short time before I said goodbye and that I would be back again soon.  No photos were allowed!!

The key points I had gleaned from our short conversation were that

  • She was pretty much “over it” – meaning the whole hospital experience!
  • That there was no way that she would be hanging around for a follow up scan next week – because that is what the doctors had told her was going to happen!
  • She was missing her ICU nurses that would let her have her pressure stockings off and bring her ice for her hot flushes – pretty much self explanatory!
  • She was pretty happy with the reporting of the incident in the local newspaper – she had been told that it said she had been charged by a bull – far more impressive than her truth, which was – an idiot standing in the wrong place and not being able to move quickly enough!!

Each day, the now famous (due to the above newspaper report) Jenny in the Hospital, improved.  Each day another tube was removed and she went for short walks around the ward.  The next time I visited, on Day 6, she was sitting in a chair and immediately went to stand up to say hello!!!  Yes, the pain was still bad but it was being managed by oral medication alone and if she continued to do her breathing exercises and could maintain targets – she could go home the next day!  Of course, the moment home was mentioned, it was never going to be a “could go home” but immediately became a “will go home”!

IMG_4532
Day 6 Jenny in the Hospital.
Day 7 - Ready for home Jenny in the Hospital.
Day 7 – Ready for home Jenny in the Hospital.

So one week to the day, Jenny in the Hospital, left by car to travel the 200+km journey to return to her life as Jenny from the Farm.  Of course, she has many weeks of rest and healing to complete and the hardest part will be letting the friends and family continue to help out – especially as she begins to feel a little better.  Personally, I hope she milks it for all it’s worth (pun intended!!) and takes every chance she gets, to stay off the tractor and out of the cow yard.  I sowed the seed of retirement to her hubby and he nodded thoughtfully.  I know that holding her, while they waited the 30 minutes or so for the ambulance to arrive, was terrible for him and he never wants to go through that again.  I think that may have helped to convince him to buy the brand new La-Z-Boy recliner rocker that was waiting for Jenny when she arrived home!

Back home - Jenny from the Farm!
Back home – Jenny from the Farm!

I learned from this terrible experience that my friend is much like Jennifer Lopez in the clip at the beginning of this post. As the lyrics (with some modifications) below say …..

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (Maclagan)
Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (Maclagan)

I’m down to earth like this
Rockin this business
I’ve grown up so much
I’m in control and loving it
Rumors got me laughing, kid
Love my life and my public
Put God first
And can’t forget to stay real
To me it’s like breathing

She is and always will be Jenny from the Farm – no matter how gangsta she tries to be!

Gangsta Jenny

Mandy

Hi, I'm Mandy! Wandering my way through life using words. Family and friends. Connection and community. I care. I write. I share. I post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and if you'd like receive updates via email please click HERE.

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