This is a car I happened to see on the back of a car carrier when returning to work after lunch, at 1pm, on Sept 4, 1997. My heart stopped when I was it. The car was too familiar. I began to pray...'oh no! oh no! Lord, don't let it be......". I went into my office and sat at my desk, shaking like crazy, and dialed the phone number for the person I feared owned that car. No answer. I looked up and one of my co-workers stood at the other side of my desk, and said, 'She's alright. She medically alright.' Then she told me that it was my worst fear....my 70 year old mother, the most careful driver in the world, had been in that accident.
The rest of the day unfolded and as it did, details came out. The collision happened at 9am, less than a half mile from Mom's house. She was T-boned on the driver's side, by a large pick up truck full of lawn mowers, and towing a trailer full of heavy professional mowing equipment. The truck was going too fast, and even though the driver tried to stop, the weight behind him prevented him from plowing into the car, propelling it another 50 feet or so, which rammed the front bumper into a tree on the opposite side of the road.
Mom was in the local hospital, and was able to talk to me when I arrived. She was not concerned for herself, but asked if she'd hurt anyone else. She asked again and again, as if she didn't believe me when I told her they were fine....which they were.
What you don't see, when you see this picture of her car, is in what ways she was injured. She suffered 7 broken ribs, a punctured lung, a torn kidney, broken hip and a torn pelvis. Her mind was fine, thinking completely clear. She kept over-night in order to stablize her, and the next day, after lunch, she was air-lifted to the University hospital at Stonybrook.
What you don't know when you see this photo is how determined a woman Mom is. She was not going anywhere, although we nearly lost her at two different points in those early weeks in the intensive care unit. What you cannot see here is the fear that I knew at that point in my life. My faith kept me on track, but there was always that needling fear in the background which whispered in my ear when I saw the machines that kept Mom's breathing regular or the tube that inflated her lung. Fear taunted me when nurses answered my calls and they told me she'd had a 'bad night'. I had to grab fear by the throat and hand my emotions and my Mother into the hands of God. I had to allow God to do with her what He would, even if it meant I'd need to let her go. I had to have a bigger faith than the fear I had.
What more do you not see? You don't know all that went on during the six weeks of hospital stays she had. You can't imagine the number of people who lifted Mom up in prayer for her healing....or the miracles along the way that took place during those weeks. But I know them all....and other things too. I know that faith as small as a grain of mustard seed can accomplish mighty things....because it did for me.
Life brings us things that are fearful. There is no control over life, no matter what we think. We can control only the way we view those things in the moments that they occur. We can look fear in the eye and fight, like Mom did, and like I had to do too, but having the weapon of faith will work wonders! Things don't always go our way, but there are times when we must look beyond what we see, and know that things are happening that we cannot see. That's what faith is about.
What else you may not know is, my Mother is still with us, at the age of 88. She stopped driving after the accident, she thought it was a good idea. She is healthy, in her right mind, and still living alone in her own home. From this mangled wreckage, she survived! and she is a walking miracle!