I apologize for the delay on this. As an inveterate procrastinator (which I hope to change), I have put off revising the story that I wrote specifically for this blog. I have heard that some have been waiting to read it, and the only thing I can do is say, “I’m quite penitent, do forgive my lethargy.”
To start off, let me just say that my mind has been filtering a spasmic amount of thoughts and fears and doubts and joys and happiness and confusion . . . and a good deal of excitement. I always say that I feel in my bones the desire to blog again, but truth is I have found little to say, besides posting about Accidents and spiritual things that have weighed upon me often as of late. So, let us just take this new vein of topic, and I’ll gladly pursue meditations on what I’ve learned and still learn in the days past and present.
So, here is the story, of the Boat Accident. It was a nightmare and a blessing, a miracle and a hindrance, that kept me awake long nights after, tossing and turning with fears and anxiety. I don’t really talk about it much with other people in real life. But as I said, writing is my best way to convey anything. I can’t bear to talk too long, for my tongue twists and turns traitor on me. Ugh.
The Boat Accident, Part II:
Years ago, as a child of six years, I found myself bound to a stretcher, lifted upon a helicopter as the paramedics rushed around me, panic stirring the air electrically around me. But inside I felt a certain, beautiful peace. A beautiful peace.
That morning I had woken up, and my eyes gazed upon the world with all the innocence and enthusiasm a child can only ever know. I never imagined the catastrophe that would change my life forevermore. I never looked at my right arm, I lived in the complacent present, surrounded by all that I loved, my dolls, my imagination which turned the world surreal, my family. I was healthy, strong, and full of life. I was alive, and I could run about outside to my heart’s content that summer morning. Jesus was my best friend, Someone who I trusted with deep, unquestioning faith.
I sat on our back porch stroking and hugging my white kitten, who the neighbors had just given to me the day before. My mother appeared that moment, telling me that we would be making a boat trip to the lake, where we would be joined by another family with twin girls just the age of my sister and I, our best friends. (The Smiths!) We started off to the lake, and met this family, and then we all piled into their motor boat, a comfortable white affair which carried a smiling group ‘out to sea’. We tubed, and the dads rode on skis, and this August day began as a joyous one spent with close friends. As the boat sped across the lake, pulling behind my friends’ dad on skis, us four little girls perched ourselves on the back seat of the boat. We smiled and waved and laughed, enjoying ourselves hugely. The wind whipped our hair back, as we clung onto the boat, my dad steering it as the boat’s nose cut across the choppy water.
It all happened in mere seconds. One second I sat hunched on the boat seat, crying out elatedly, thrills rushing through me as the boat sped on its course. And the next moment I was swallowing mouthfuls of water, my life jacket pulling me to the surface. My head spun, and I was so disoriented and confused by the suddenness of this relocation that I could not understand . . . I did not notice anything unusual except that the white boat continued to speed along, a rope spinning along behind it, as the inner tube bobbed in the water a distance away. Everything seemed rather faint and hazy, terribly calm. I remember not understanding why the others were riding away on the boat, leaving me behind. I did not realize that one of the twins, Megan, floated nearby. Luckily we wore lifejackets, otherwise, we might have not lasted long in the center of Grapevine Lake.
I watched as the boats swung around in a careful circle and then ran up several feet away. I did not really comprehend the expressions of those on board, but now I can only imagine the confusion and worry that they must have felt.
“I think they’re hurt!” someone cried from the boat. Vaguely I remember Megan’s dad swimming alongside me, having dropped into the water after seeing his daughter and I fly past. Meanwhile, my dad jumped into the water, for the boat happened to be nearer to Megan. Both men swam with us to the side and our moms and my older sister, Katie, pulled us onboard. My mom later told me that she caught Uncle David’s horrified expression when he reached me, and she knew at once that something terrible had happened. As they lifted me onto the boat, that became fully realized, as blood went everywhere, choked sobs and gasps of shock could be heard. Aunt Lynn was dialing 9-11 . . . my dad started up the boat and turned the boat in the direction of shore, where a marina stood. In retrospect I only recall everything in hazy flashes, in bits and pieces that are incomplete and blurred. I remember my mom clutching me against her as sobs racked her body, terrified sobs, catching glimpses of the gleaming water in passing, the limpness that stole over my body, a numb, vague fear. I asked repeatedly of anyone and everyone, “Am I going to die?” I knew that something bad had happened. But for some reason a peaceful calm enveloped me, and I only wanted to know if I would die. Would that mean seeing Heaven? If I died, that would mean seeing Jesus, and seeing my Grandfather, who had died two years before. Death did not frighten me, oddly enough. Because I knew where I would go. I knew Jesus would take me. Not even the dark stain gathering on my mom’s white T-shirt really disturbed me. The peace stilled my racing heart, even as my mom held my arm wrapped up in a towel, with only a small ligament holding it together just below the elbow.
The next thing I knew, my mom was crouching on the dock of the marina, and blood pooled on the wooden boards beneath us, as I nestled close to her. The loss of blood had become dangerously heavy, my consciousness blotting out every few seconds, beneath the hot noonday sun. A crowd gathered there on the marina, people staring at the two little girls held by their mamas while the paramedics arrived.
Then came the stretchers, long yellow-barred things. The paramedics strapped us down onto those stretchers and bore us up the ramp to the helicopter, punctured us with shots to alleviate the pain while they took us to the hospital. That ride proved an insane and merciless journey through North Texas, in the Dallas metropolis. My poor parents found themselves swerving down streets to follow the directions of one of the paramedics, to Cook’s Children. Heavy fear shot through everyone when the doctors at Cook’s Children Hospital admitted that they could not treat an injury such as mine, for its severity outdid their skills. Thus another long period ensued, heart-pounding worry, tears, prayers, petitions to the Lord. At last my mom recieved a call from one of the paramedics, who gave my parents the message that Baylor Hospital, a very large prestigious hospital in Dallas, would be taking me. One of the surgeons, Dr. Freudigman (I believe that is how you spell it), had walked by at the precise moment that the helicopter paramedics broadcasted over the emergency radio that they carried a six-year-old girl with a right arm just dangling, losing blood too fast . . . to understand the situation, you have to know that this prestigious Baylor had stopped admitting children patients shortly before this.
Before taking me to Cook’s Children, the paramedics had asked the Baylor staff if I could be admitted into their emergency rooms. Baylor refused. So, at the risk of his job, Dr. Freudigman took up the radio-phone and told the paramedics to take me to Baylor. One must see some sort of Providential mercy in this moment. Dr. Freudigman is a surgeon of brilliant skill, for he and another doctor, Dr. Zhare, managed to reattach my severed veins, my fractured bones, and seam together the torn nerves. I cannot imagine how on earth they did it, but they did. My church family prayed, my relatives prayed.
Prayer’s potency is unquestionable, and even in those hopeless moments it can really bring comfort and renewed peace. It is crazy to think that I might have died that day in August, 2003. I was only six, but I came out with a battle wound on my right arm. This is my testimony, for in spite of ups and downs in faith in the Lord, there is the iron truth that He really does exist, and even if my faith falters or weakens, he makes the sun rise and set, he causes the rain to fall upon all his Creation.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord