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Hoping for a Miracle at Christmas

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Dear Spark Friends,

Thank you so much for your all your comments and messages on my blog and Spark page. I have treasured every single one, but have been unable to reply to many in the last two or three weeks. So much is going on here, most of which is temporary and minor (FIL's imminent move to a nursing home after all these long months of procrastinating, son's indecision on his next career move, etc.), but there is one big thing that has taken up most of my emotional energy, and that is the fact that my nephew, my twin sister's (fraternal) son--who is thirty-two years old, grew up in Georgia where we're from, and now lives in Colorado with his wife and his 9-month-old baby girl--was in an auto accident last week. They had missed a flight out of Colorado Springs and were hurrying to the Denver airport to catch a later one to their destination in Georgia, to go home for the holidays. Their car hit what's called "black ice." I had never heard of that before this incident and have never seen it in real life, having grown up in Georgia, where snow and ice were uncommon. Their car flipped over, ejecting Perrin and his wife from the vehicle. The baby was completely unharmed--thank God for car seats! Perrin's wife sustained multiple bone fractures and a badly broken arm, but a truly terrible thing happened to my nephew Perrin. His spine was broken in two places and he is now paralyzed. He has undergone surgery. I don't know any of the technical words for what was done, but my image is that they are trying to fuse the spine back together and restore neurological function. I'm told we will know more in the coming days and weeks whether or not the paralysis will be permanent.

I've been praying and praying that the surgery succeeds and that Perrin will go on to lead a normal life. He went through so much trauma as a child and adolescent, surviving as a toddler his parents' bitter divorce (my sister tragically lost custody), his own wild party/alcohol phase, a tour of duty in Afghanistan, and lots of other suffering I don't know about. It was only recently that he seemed to have found himself and created a truly happy life with his soul mate and cherished child. He had just posted pics on Facebook (I'm told by my children; I'm not on FB) that showed him leading a peaceful, happy life with his beloved wife and adorable child. The baby is being cared for by her maternal grandparents, and while she loves them, it's clear that she's missing her mother and father, who remain hospitalized.

Being so far away, over here in Japan, is hard at a time like this. All I can do at the moment is send messages and talk on the phone when people feel like talking. It's hard not to be close by to offer physical help, like shopping and cooking, especially to my sister, who is nearing stage 4 polycystic kidney disease. Perrin, bless his heart, had been found to be a match for her as a donor, despite the fact that he is adopted--how is that for heartbreaking? My sister nevertheless seems to be holding up so much better than I imagine I would under the circumstances. "We will get through this, we will get through this," she says repeatedly on the phone as I try to stifle my sobs. She puts her faith in the doctors, God, and Perrin's indomitable spirit.

I am already scheduled to go to the US in January, which turns out to be extremely lucky, as this will be when friends have started to get over the shock of Perrin's accident and new status and will no longer be able to visit Perrin or pay as much attention to those devastated by this turn of events, such as his wife, in-laws, and my sister, as friends and family have no choice but to get back to the daily routines of their own lives.

At times like these, I feel more than ever the importance to remain alert, to stay away from the bad habits that prevent me from being a grownup--drinking more than I should and consuming excess amounts of food that can make me groggy and less able to respond. (Irresponsible means unable to respond, and that's what I am when I'm "using.") I'll admit that in these first few days after the accident, I've wanted nothing more than to drown out these feelings--sorrow, pain, fear--with some sort of substance (preferably alcohol), but fortunately, and through great effort (I'm struggling and that's good!), I've been able to foresee the aftermath of any kind of binge, and it is very clear that I can be of no use whatsoever if I am under the influence of anything in excess--alcohol, or the unnatural chemicals in junk food, or the massive number of calories from unneeded food that leads to a foggy mind, a reluctance to move, and the inability to HELP! To stay sober and abstinent has never been more important.

Well, friends, it's a cliche but so true. Life can change in an instant. We have to be ready to help at any moment. I don't consider myself a very religious person, but I strongly believe in God and that we were sent here to accomplish a mission. I don't know why, but since Perrin's accident, a verse from the Bible has been coming back to me. I don't have enough time to go look it up at the moment, so I'll just tell you how I remember it from my Sunday school class at a Baptist church in a small Georgia town more than fifty years ago. God was looking for someone to do a very difficult task, and Samuel, just a boy at the time, said, "I will go. Send me." I wish I had time to go reread the story, but at the moment, the details are not all that important. What's important is Samuel's words that move me so deeply now, all these years later. "I will go. Send me."

Please have a safe holiday, full of love and gratitude!

Love, Carolyn

P.S. My SparkFriend READYSTEADYGOGO has kindly identified the Bible passage including Samuel's words. Thank you, Auna, for letting me know. I will go back and reread that story:

The bible passage is from Isaiah, Chapter 6, verse 8. The whole chapter is very interesting, because before Samuel speaks, an angel purifies him. https://www.bible.com/bible/1/
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Praying that it happened for you.
    924 days ago
    Oh my Gosh, Carolyn, i am so so SORRY for this terrible accident with your nephew and his wife and baby girl. I will read more and PRAY For Healing in all concerned. What a terrible shock for you. My thoughts and hugs are with you and your family. I am SO HAPPY you will becoming to the US to see him in January and maybe you are here now. Let us know his progress and keep us informed as much as possible.
    Hugs, Prayers, Love,
    Irish Ei emoticon emoticon so So emoticon
    949 days ago
    So I'll join the others in prayers for a miracle, but one is already happening in you. You are recognizing the evil in excess and are battling it for the good of others. Good job! Now for prayers for continued healing for you and healing and assistance for Perrin and all the family. Peace be with you my friend, and safe journeys in January. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
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    956 days ago
    Carolyn.....I haven’t been on Facebook this week but something kept telling me to look at your page! All I can do for you and your nephew is pray and I will certainly be doing that! Please post updates when you can! Sending much love. Gloria
    957 days ago
    Oh Carolyn I am so sorry to hear about the black ice accident your nephew and family were in. I've had an experience with black ice; one second you are driving along and the next you are spinning in circles. I just nicely got through one patch when I immediately went into another spin not 100 feet away from the first. It was quite the experience. Thankfully, I wasn't hit by another vehicle and although I ended up in the ditch my vehicle stayed on its feet!!

    I am adding my prayers to the multitude of others already praying, for your nephew and his wife and for a safe trip as you journey to the US. Do take care of yourself, eat strengthening food and be sure to hydrate yourself with plenty of water. Like all others I will be looking for even a short blog updating us on the status of Perrin and his wife.
    958 days ago
    Even after quite a long time in colder parts of the country, I have only encountered black ice once. It was the day of the Virginia primaries in 2008, and the sidewalk in front of my polling place looked damp. That's all, just damp, no sheen or anything to it. But stepping on it was like entering a skating rink, I couldn't believe it. To find it on the road with your car must be absolutely terrifying.

    I am so, so sorry to read about your nephew and his family, and so relieved that the baby wasn't hurt. I will keep them, your sister, and especially you in my thoughts and hope that he recovers well.

    I was reflecting today on life changing in an instant like this--I read about a man who was riding in a car, and teenagers were throwing things from an overpass, and they hit him in the head with a sandbag. He didn't make it. They're charged with murder. Five lives, not even counting all their relatives, irrevocably altered forever in a second. It makes me anxious to think about.

    You are so wise, my friend, to appreciate not just the rewards of achieving your goals, but the struggle, too. You inspire me!

    I have been writing you a letter for I don't know how long. I hope to finish it soon and send it off. Love you.
    959 days ago
    Dear Carolyn I am so very sorry to hear this.I will be praying for every one & also for you. You need a clear mind to be there for them,praying for that for you & for wisdom.When things are so bad sometimes going into God's Word gives us comfort & strength he hears your cries knows your worries,just go to Him. I know you will be so busy with every thing once you get to the States,but when ever you get a chance give us an update
    Love hugs & prayers
    Judy .
    960 days ago
  • no profile photo JEANNETTE59
    Keeping you and all your family in prayer emoticon
    960 days ago
    Thinking of you dear Carolyn
    960 days ago
    Sending prayers up for your nephew and family. Miracles happen. emoticon
    960 days ago
    You know my sweet Perrin has such significance in my life. The name means rock, wanderer...your nephew. May his momma’s prayers be answered...I add mine to all of yours. I read recently where we cannot choose our tragedies, who would want to? We choose our response...

    Sending love, prayers and strengthening thoughts...relying on the faith and strength of others is an incredible blessing!
    960 days ago
  • INSH8P
    In a community of faith, we can all come together to support, to uplift, and to live so that the right expertise, the right connections can be there to restore the harmony and healing that is so needed for your situations. Thoughts and prayer to you and yours.
    961 days ago
    Praying for miracles! Thinking of all of you! I wish there was something I could say to bring comfort. My heart goes out to everyone and I truly will be praying for miracles.
    961 days ago
  • _BABE_
    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Living near the mountains one is acquainted with black ice which is horrendous because you don't see it. Take care this holiday season. emoticon
    961 days ago
    Dear Carolyn,
    My prayers and thoughts go out to you and your family. God bless you all. Miracles can indeed happen.

    Much love sent to you this Christmas day.
    961 days ago
  • JANET552
    I am so sorry for the trauma your family is handling. Sending prayers for the best possible outcome.
    961 days ago
    Words fail me at this moment. Sending tons of hugs and prayers to all.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    962 days ago
  • DESIREE672
    What a terrible thing to happen! Yes, life can change in an instant. I learned that eleven years ago, and like your sister, we often find reserves of strength we didn’t know we had. You are such a deeply empathetic person that Maringal’s advice rings absolutely true to me. Keep strong and calm, dear Carolyn.
    962 days ago
  • 1958TMC
    Carolyn, my dear friend, my heart hurts for you and your family. emoticon Please remember, you are brave and you are strong and you can get through this without any kind of binge!!! We believe in you. Also remember that you and your family have the best Father, the best Friend and the best Healer at your fingertips!! I will continue to pray for healing and strength for all of you. Stay calm, ok. Love to you
    962 days ago
    So sorry your nephew and his family is dealing with this horrific accident and the aftermath.
    I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers for a full recovery. Please keep us updated on his condition

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and nothing but the best for the New Year!
    Don't ever forget how strong you are! You can do anything you set your mind to.


    962 days ago
    I hit black ice when I was stationed at Fort Leonardwood, MO. Like you, I had come from GA. It was scary, as it’s not visible on the asphalt roads. So sorry about your nephew & his wife. Hang in there, Carolyn. (((Hugs)))
    962 days ago
    Oh my! I'm so sorry to read about the tragedy in your family and know that you must feel so helpless. I lost my Father in a fishing accident this time of year 25 years ago and the shock and horror of horrific accidents really jolt your soul. I'm glad that you will be in the States next month and I'm sure that will bring much comfort to yourself as well as your family. My thought and prayers are with you all and may God wrap you and yours in his loving peace. Hugs, Rhonda

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    962 days ago
  • WHITE-2
    emoticon Thinking good thoughts for you and for Perrin and all involved.
    962 days ago
    Oh...my beautiful Carolyn...I'm SO sad to hear this horrific news! It is so true our life can completely change in the blink of an eye! I know you will be strong and helpful when you get to the states to support your sister and your nephew and his family. I always say you never give yourself credit for the strong and indomitable spirit you have within you. emoticon Take a look in the mirror and concentrate...you'll see it too!

    I also believe that God gives his fiercest angels the hardest lessons because he knows they are capable of sharing a message that those around them need to hear.

    I'd say his message, in this case, is TREASURE your life, savor the moments with clarity and full experience of what you are going through.

    I will be sending up massive prayers for you and yours my friend! emoticon
    962 days ago
    962 days ago
    I am so sorry this has happened. I will be thinking of you and hoping for a Christmas miracle. Stay strong and I hope you can take comfort in knowing many people across the world care about you and are praying for you and your family. emoticon emoticon
    962 days ago
    Oh I am so sorry for this! Hugs and many prayers.
    962 days ago
    The bible passage is from Isaiah, Chapter 6, verse 8. The whole chapter is very interesting, because before Samuel speaks, an angel purifies him. https://www.bible.com/bible/1/ISA.6

    I am so very sorry to hear about all that your family is going through. There have been some real breakthroughs with back surgeries. So many new things are possible. My grandpa had a tree fall on him one year, on Thanksgiving, and he was in a wheelchair for over thirty years. It's a very hard life. You have to be dependent on other people for so many things. He made it seem easy, when I was young. But as he got older, it became more difficult. I'm really glad that the baby didn't get hurt. I'll pray for your family.

    We have black ice here in Portland, Oregon sometimes. It's very awful. It's slick and people hit their heads a lot. It's best to stay inside when there is black ice outside. You have to walk super slow on it, and even then it's slippery, so that's not safe.
    962 days ago
    Holding you and yours in the light of Divine Love and Peace.

    962 days ago
    Thinking of you with prayers for strength and peace. So glad you'll be able to come "home" for awhile. May 2018 bring you and your family miracles, blessings, and abundant happiness. emoticon
    962 days ago
    Prayers to your and your family Carolyn, Stay strong and know that life has many trials. We adjust our attitude, accept what is and move on.
    962 days ago
    Carolyn, My heart goes out to you dear one. Yes, our lives can change in a split second. This is a huge trial period for you to prove your strength and tenacity. Care for yourself even more so now. Avoid the alcohol, it is only a depressant with no answers and unfortunately endless complications. Eat right. You need to be strong and proactive. Don't get involved with DRAMA. Stay balanced and calm. My almost SIL was in a terrible accident (car) as well and barely escaped surgery of a rip in the intestine. He is okay today, but boy oh boy at a young age he knows how his life shifted in a second flat. Carolyn, be strong and hopeful. Lessons to be learned is all around you. I am here if you ever need to vent. xoxo
    962 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/24/2017 11:23:55 AM
    Life can be so scary and unpredictable sometimes. I'm so sorry for your nephew and his family. Sending healing thoughts and warm hugs to all of you.
    962 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear about your nephew and his wife's accident. It is a blessing that the baby was unharmed. And now I'm praying for a miracle at Christmas. Doctors can perform miracles too. May God guide their hands. I am proud of you for abstaining and wanting to be in full control of yourself in order to be able to help your loved ones! Sending hugs and praying your nephew will be able to make a full recovery.
    Be good to yourself, so you can build the energy needed for your trip next month.
    May the miracle of Christmas fill your heart with peace.
    962 days ago
    So sorry for everything going on right now. I'm glad the accident wasn't worse than it was, black ice can be nasty and is all too likely to be deadly on the roads. I see it alot in Michigan. Keep on trying, you will make it. Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers dear.
    962 days ago
    What a sad, tragic turn of events, and to a young man who is finally finding some joy and peace in his life.
    I am so sorry for all of you and am wishing for a miracle along with you.
    962 days ago
    Black ice is so treacherous -- I am sorry for your nephew's situation and wishing with you for a miracle. I am sure that you will be a strong and caring support for your family.
    962 days ago
    Oh Carolyn, I am so very sorry that this has happened to your family, especially now and with your sister already dealing with a very serious health issue. It's good that you will be visiting in January, I'm sure your presence will help them all. I have been attending bible studies at my church recently and have seen the power of prayer. I will include your sister, nephew and his wife in my prayers - and I will add you as well.

    Good for you for staying away from the very things that give you a sense of balance and peace - I am fighting that battle myself these days. The holidays always make life more challenging and I certainly wish I knew why!

    Blessings to you and your family!
    962 days ago
  • EISSA7
    What a horrendous accident....black ice is so dangerous because you simply cannot see it. Prayers for your family as your nephew and wife recover. Whatever the future holds is unknown to all of us. emoticon
    962 days ago
    What a shocking turn of events. I'm sure you will be a great comfort to them, good timing indeed on that visit.
    962 days ago
  • PCOH051610
    You are stronger than you think! What a horrible situation - that black ice is truly awful. I'm saying a prayer for all of you.

    Merry Christmas - although it probably is the furthest thing from your mind right now.

    emoticon Susan
    962 days ago
    Oh Carolyn, what a dangerous accident, I'm so sorry your nephew and his wife were seriously hurt.
    Yes, life can change in an instant, and we have the reason to be grateful for every day in safety and health.
    It is so brave and nice to you to to stay strong and alert, compassionate and ready to help your family in need.
    I'm sure they will appreciate you.
    962 days ago
    Have a Merry Christmas filled with love, joy and peace.
    962 days ago
  • SEAGLASS1215
    P.S. Black ice is basically when the road in front of you appears to be dry but there is just enough ice on it to cause a car to slip out of control...you don't really see it and assume the road is fine, so you drive at normal speed and suddenly you are sliding. It happens a lot here in New England - I encountered it once when I was going along fine and suddenly found myself spinning backwards into oncoming traffic. Luckily I only ended up stopped on the wrong side of the road, no one hit me, but it was a lesson learned in not trusting the road in wet, cold conditions.
    962 days ago
  • SEAGLASS1215
    Oh my gosh, Carolyn, how sad for your nephew and his family! And how difficult for you, being so far away and feeling helpless...thank goodness you will be able to come to the US in January!

    My friend's ex-husband was in a horrific car crash about 12 years ago. He survived but is paralyzed from the chest down (he can use his arms). It is amazing how far he has come, what rehab can do. He drives, works, travels, lived alone for quite some time before he got remarried. Obviously life is more challenging for him now but he does not complain, he has learned to adjust. I'm praying that your nephew makes a full recovery, please keep us posted when you can on his progress.

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    962 days ago
    My thoughts are with you and your family.
    962 days ago
    Merry Christmas !
    962 days ago
    emoticon Merry Christmas emoticon
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    962 days ago
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