This I Believe
This I believe, fate plays a large part in our lives. Timing is everything.
On his way to work, my son experienced a life altering tragedy. While stopped at a signal light a tractor-trailer truck rear-ended him. The semi literally ran over Barry’s small pickup. At 5:00AM on a deserted highway sat one unrecognizable Chevy S10 pickup truck and one tractor-trailer truck, the larger resting on top of the other. The probability of his survival appeared grim.
While returning to home base an off duty ambulance crew just happened on the accident. It took approximately five hours to extract Barry from the crumpled vehicle. Barry at the age of thirty-four took his first helicopter ride a life-flight to Georgia Baptist Medical Center.
Twenty-four hours later we stood in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) staring at our son with tubes, probes and shunts sticking everywhere. This picture will be forever emblazoned in my memory. Listening to the doctors yet not hearing, advising little else could be done. Barry had suffered sever brain damage, a broken back and neck; this 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 sermon, the unconditional love God has for his children not just the older ones, but babies and young adults. 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 with all the love and happiness a child can bring. He is only yours for a little while. Cherish every moment you have…for in an instant he maybe gone…” he said.
These words would be recalled over and over again. My constant prayer would be, God’s will be done. This I believe, without my faith and belief I would not have been able to survive the following years. So, with these thoughts firmly implanted in my brain 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; it being nearly certain he would not survive.
Barry 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. His every day life is a challenge. Even though he has improved greatly he will never be the same. This I believe, fate awaits all of us, nothing in life just happens. I’ve always felt and believed Barry suffered “a fate worse than death”, something none of us was prepared for. 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 this I believe, he created us all and we are here to fulfill that Master Plan.
Everyone involved in Barry’s life has been touched in someway; his wife (Kim) adjusting to his daily needs; Kim’s family assisting her in care giving; we as Barry’s parents no longer living in Atlanta face our own challenges not being there. Throughout all of the heartaches and obstacles each of us has reached the same conclusion, we believe God has a plan for Barry’s life. This I believe, nothing happens without a reason that elusive fate is waiting in the wings.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.