I have been so blessed to see God’s love revealed through people here on earth. This reflection has been a recent revelation from events 34 years ago. It is important to take the time to look back at our lives to see more fully what God has for us in our past experiences.
It was April 25, 1982 and I was a junior in high school. My Dad, my 14 year old brother and I were going out for a drive, just a drive out into the country on a nice Sunday afternoon. I can remember driving out to Mother Neff Park, there had been a lot of rain and the park was partially flooded. I was driving that day, I guess Dad was trying to give me more driving practice as I had only been driving for about 5 months. On the way home were driving back on highway 36 and crossing over the lake on the ‘long bridge’. We wanted to go to the boat ramp under the bridge and see how high the water was there.
This is where my memories ended that day.
My next memory would be about 12 days later in the hospital. I have been OK with that for the past 34 years but now I wanted to know the rest of the story.
I was turning left to go under the bridge to the boat dock. Behind me were two semi-trucks, on a two lane highway one of them was trying to pass the other in a no-passing zone. The one passing did not see me and t-boned our 1977 half-ton pickup right at the driver’s door. Somehow, I was not killed instantly. When everything came to a stop, my Dad broke out a window and threw my brother out of the window for fear that the truck would catch on fire and blow up. I was pinned in the truck and hurt badly. I may have been having a seizure, my tongue was swollen and I was choking on it. My Dad stayed in the truck and kept my tongue down to keep me from choking. I was a bloodied mess. There was no life flight and were 15+ miles from the nearest fire station. There were no cell phones and it would take a while for help to arrive. My Dad risked his life to stay with his bloodied, choking son. When the paramedics arrived, there were unable to get to me, so my Dad had to insert the breathing tube. He risked everything to save me.
Why had I waited so long to ask about that day? Why did he never tell me about that day?
My brother was out of the truck now and watching helplessly, his shirt covered in my blood. The ambulance got there and they finally got me out and took me to the hospital. Now began the wait. When would I wake up? Would I ever wake up? What if I did wake up, would I have severe brain damage? While God was healing my brain, my family waited in agony not knowing if or when I would ever wake up. My Dad worked at the hospital on the night shift as a security guard and would spend most of the night with me. After 11 days, I woke up and began the road to recovery through therapy. I would be willing to say it was a miracle that I was able to leave the hospital in just about a month.
One thing I realize is that I probably had it the easiest. My injuries were physical. My Dad and brother have the memories to deal with, a much deeper wound than I had. So, this summer has been a time to reflect on the love of my heavenly Father through the selfless love of my earthly father. God loves us so much that he is willing to give it all just to save us that don’t deserve it. Dad, thank you for showing me how to love in the midst of trial, to love as Jesus loves.
I love you, Dad.