This I Believe

Gail - Rockledge
Entered on December 10, 2008

This I Believe

I believe fate plays a large part in our lives. Timing is everything.

On his way to work, at 5:00AM, on a deserted highway my son experienced a life altering tragedy. While stopped at a signal light a tractor-trailer truck rear-end him, literally running over Barry’s small pick. The probability of his survival appeared grim. It took approximately five hours to extract Barry from the crumpled vehicle. At the age of thirty-four my son took his first helicopter ride a life –flight to Georgia Baptist Medical Center.

Twenty-four hours later my husband and I stood in the Intensive Care Unite (ICU) staring at our son with tubes, probes and shunts sticking out everywhere, a picture forever emblazoned in my memory. Barry had suffered severe brain damage, a broken back and neck which would leave him paralyzed from the waist down. The doctors suggested the family prepare for the inevitable, death.

As we walked away from Barry, I recalled a sermon we heard when Barry was a child, the unconditional love God has for all his children. He portrayed a picture of all age groups gathered around in heaven and the sweet laughter of a child at Jesus’ feet. How sad a place heaven would be without that sound. “Be thankful God has blessed your life with all the love and happiness a child can bring. He is only on loan. Cherish every moment…for in an instant he may be gone…” he said.

We would recall these words over and over again as we waited. My constant prayer would be God’s Will be done. I believe without my faith and belief I would not have been able to survive the following years. So, with these thoughts I tried to prepare myself for the worst. Don’t get me wrong, no one is ever ready for that moment, however, if God wanted Barry more than I did, maybe I could someday accept his death.

Barry survived and was eventually transferred to the Shepherd Center for Brain and spinal Injury in Atlanta. The ensuing nine years have not been easy for any of us. Barry is better today, but remains mentally and physically impaired. His short-term memory has improved, but his every day life is a challenge, and he will never be the same. I’ve always felt and believed Barry suffered “a fate worse than death”< something none of us was prepared for. Yet, I believe God did not take him for a reason, He has a purpose for Barry’s life. I may never know the reasons, but I believe He created us all, and we are here to fulfill His Master Plan. Everyone involved in Barry’s life has been touch in someway; his wife (Kim) adjusting to his daily needs and continuing to work; Kim’s family assisting her with care giving; we as Barry’s parents no longer living in Atlanta Face our own challenges not being there. This tragedy has taught us that life is precious. We should live each day as if it is our last, helping those who are unable to help themselves. Throughout all of the heartaches and obstacles each of us involved in Barry’s life has reached the same conclusion, we believe God has a plan for Barry. Nothing happens without a reason, because elusive fate is waiting in the wings.