Is what I heard that made me lift my head from my phone and
gasp as I witnessed a black SUV rocket across the road into our lane causing a
head on collision.
Just before impact I closed my eyes, “Dear God…” BANG!
The noise and shock were deafening then SILENCE!
I was suspended in midair that felt like an eternity. The Surrealism
as I opened my eyes floating in a white mist held me captive until the rushing
sounds of color and mangled metal became form around me.
My husband and I calling out franticly.
“Are you alright?”
“I love you”
“I’m pretty bad”
Darkness consumes me for the next 3 days.
My husband at the other end of the emergency room alone and desperate
to know what was happening with me. His phone left in the crushed reminisce of
a car with no way to contact any of our loved ones.
The surgeon came into his room and informed him they must do
emergency exploratory surgery on me.
“Do whatever you need to do doctor, bring my Paula back to
Six days later I am released from the hospital less four
feet of my intestine, fractured toes, fingers, ribs, hip and skull. My husband
released 2 days prior with fractured ribs, toes, fingers, shattered patella, detached
triceps muscle, and concussion. You can say we are lucky to be alive. If you
believe in luck.
I on the other hand don’t believe in luck when it comes to
miracles or coincidences which makes this experience even more miraculous for
me. I cried for days knowing God saved us for a reason. My thoughts, the bigger
the miracle the bigger the task. Feeling unworthy overtakes my emotions, crying
myself to sleep each night for the first two weeks.
The outpouring of love and well wishes were overwhelming. Strangers
holding prayers circles. Family putting their lives on hold to tend to our
every need. Neighbors cutting our grass and organizing a community of well-wishers
to cook our daily meals. Friends creating a Go Fund Me page and a Benefit concert
to raise money, it was all so humbling. We have always been the givers
receiving is a whole different animal.
At first, I wasn’t ready to see or speak to anyone, but I
knew many needed to hear my voice or see me. I managed to put on a comforting face
to help them through while in my mind, chaos reigned. Why am I here? How will I
know what is expected of me? Dear God, I’m afraid I will fail you.
Then the words of love and gratitude came in to help us
understand the impact we’ve made in people’s lives, which helped us become
better receivers. This is just a few examples out of hundreds we received.
“You two are the kindest, caring people we know.”
“Paula has been the Light in My Dark, many times.”
“You have changed my life in so many ways.”
“You need to know the difference you made in my life.”
“I love you so much, you don’t even know.”
“Both you and Paula are two of the most genuinely awesome
people I've ever known.”
“Anything for you and Paula.”
“No thanks needed, I know if I ever needed anything you guys
would be there in a heartbeat for me and my family.”
“One of the nicest people you'll ever meet.”
“It’s been difficult for me to put into words that you two are
the most kind and caring friends I know.”
“Even though he and his wife Paula were in the hospital
after a horrible wreck, he was praying for us… that’s the kind of man Charlie
“Two of the most caring individuals I know. Two of the most
inspiring people I know.”
“You two are one of the sweetest couples I have had the
pleasure to know.”
“God isn’t through with you two.”
We read these sweet caring words and are struck by the power
they hold. Unexpectedly, kindness given
freely does come back 10 folds. We are so humbled by our experience. Treat
others as you would want to be treated. Love your neighbors. Be genuine and
kind. That’s how we try and live our lives daily.