A couple days before our Orthodox Christmas, I kept thinking how I would tell my parents the news about Deacon Hermon and I. I am very close with both of my parents and we have a great relationship, but when it came to telling them this news, I had no idea how to tell them. I was so nervous and I kept practicing. I locked the door to my room and rehearsed a few times. I kept praying for God to give me the words I needed.
On January 7th, our beautiful Tewahedo Orthodox Christmas had finally arrived. We got home around 4 a.m. from church and my parents were getting ready to go to bed. That’s when I told them I had wonderful news for them. They quickly sat at the kitchen dining room table and they both looked eager to hear what I had to tell them. At that moment I forgot everything I had practiced. I silently said a quick prayer and started out by saying Deacon Hermon and I started talking after our church’s negdet. We have decided to get engaged and we wanted their blessing to proceed with the engagement. My parents were shocked, especially my mom. My mom could not believe it and she kept asking me if this was a joke. She kept telling me, she’ll have to ask Deacon Hermon herself because she didn’t believe me. She kept asking my dad if this was a dream. I had to reassure her a couple of times, I was serious and wouldn’t joke about something this important. That’s when they both had tears of joy and we all hugged. My parents thanked God and felt truly blessed to hear this wonderful and great news because three months prior to meeting Deacon Hermon, I was in a terrible accident and could have died.
I was driving on the highway to an assessment, I was conducting for the hospital and all of a sudden I was awakened by a lady who managed to squeeze herself near my broken window. She starts telling me to stay awake. I had no idea what had happened except I couldn’t move. My car was pinned under a semi-truck that had cut me off the road. My car slid underneath and I managed to duck my head as my car went under the semi-truck and all I could hear was the lady at my window telling me, “Don’t sleep.” I remember all I wanted to do was sleep. My face and shirt was covered with blood. I kept dosing off, but she kept talking to me and asking me questions. She kept reassuring me I was going to to be fine. My right arm was covered by blood. She held my left hand and stayed there and kept me company until the fire truck and ambulance arrived. I glanced to my right side and noticed one of the tires of the semi-truck landed on my passenger seat, I immediately thought of my co-worker Tonya who was scheduled to shadow me that day. She was new and I was training her, but for some reason I had told her to finish up reading the policy and procedures and I would take her with me the following day. I thanked God she didn’t come with me. Who knows if she would still be alive today. I could hear the fire trucks and ambulance had arrived and they were using the Jaws of Life to take me out. I couldn’t move my legs and I kept telling God to please save my legs. They successfully took me out of the car and placed me inside the ambulance. Everything seemed to be moving so fast and it felt like I was watching a movie. I remember laying in the ambulance as they cut off my clothes and I kept thinking to myself oh my Lord, I have no clothes on. Thankfully they covered me with a sheet. At that point I didn’t know the severity of my accident, I just thought it would be a quick trip to the ER and I would be out within a couple of hours. The EMT guy kept asking me questions. What day is it? Who is the president? What year is it? I kept dosing off and could hardly answer him.
Once we got to the hospital, I just wanted the doctor to finish fast so I could call my dad to come and pick me up, but I was informed I would not be leaving anytime soon. I had cuts all over my face and lacerations on my forehead, nose and chin from the shattered glass. Those lacerations just required few stitches, however my right arm was severally damaged from the glass of my windshield that cut through my forearm and damaged a lot of my nerves and cut my tendon. Thankfully my legs were fine. They had to schedule me for an emergency surgery to repair my arm. They were trying to contact the hand surgeon since many of the nerves on my arm had been severely damaged and I had a lot of tiny broken glass that were inside. They told me they were waiting for the hand surgeon to arrive and I would be staying in the hospital for a few days. I told the emergency room doctor, my right hand is my dominant hand and to get me the best hand doctor they had. He just smiled and said, “we will.”
I was quickly placed in a private room and my manager had contacted my parents who were on their way to the hospital. I remember my mom coming into the hospital room with tears in her eyes and giving me a big hug. I kept reassuring her I was going to be ok. Then the police woman came in my room and told us the car was totaled and she was amazed that I made it out of that accident. She stated from the looks of the car, no one could possibly think that anyone could survive an accident like that. She got my statement and wished me well. The hand surgeon had finally arrived and he was in the room talking to me and my parents. He was telling us he will be doing the surgery in the morning and he was expecting it to take at least 12 hours due to the severity of damages to my arm. This meant that I couldn’t eat anything and I was starving.
The next day, I was prepped for surgery and all I remember was when the doctor woke me up and was asking me to rate my pain from 1 to 10 and I told him a 12. I happen to tolerate pain well, but after the surgery the pain was unbearable. I was on some heavy pain pills and can’t remember how they got me home. When I woke up, everyone from our church and family friends were there. I’m not sure how my parents managed to fit that many people in our family room. Everyone was kind and my Sunday School kids came over the next day to see me. That was an amazing surprise.
I knew the recovery was not going to be easy and I was scheduled to attend Occupational Therapy five times a week and had weekly follow-ups with the hand surgeon until I was healed. The doctor had warned me, due to the severity of my injury, it would take at least six months to see any changes and I might not recover 100%. I on the other hand, never forgot that I served a God who would and could heal my hand. I’ve learned what’s impossible for man is always possible for God. My faith and trust was in God and I truly believed that I would be able to use my hand again. I was determined to use my right hand and did not give up. I worked hard and at times extra hard. By the grace of God, within three months I was using my hand fully and returned to work without any restrictions. The doctor asked me if I wanted to have plastic surgery to cover the scar that is on my right arm and I told him no.
The scar has become my constant reminder that God is always with me. Through the trials and tribulation of my life, it is He that I have learned to depend on the most. I appreciate life a little more and truly have an understanding that life is short and we can die at any moment. When we die, we leave everything behind. Therefore I’ve learned to make time for those that I love and less time on obtaining material things. I try to fill my life with only godly people. But most importantly, I have learned to serve God in everything I do. So when someone asks about the scar on my arm, I tell them how God saved me from a semi-truck with a just scar and a better appreciation for life.
I remember my Priest telling me after my accident, that God had amazing things planned for my life. He was definitely right! One of those things was meeting Deacon Hermon and getting ready for our engagement celebration.
To be continued…..