Time In A Bottle

Memory is a double-sided gift. It gives me the ability to hold on to the special moments in life, as Jim Croce sang about in “Time In A Bottle”. Like the memory of being four years old, and playing on the floor with my newly-adopted sister and brother. The first time I met my husband. The moment I held my sons in my arms for the first time. Watching the kids graduate from high school. Laughing and playing games with the cousins. Seeing “Star Wars” on the big screen back in 1978. Yeah, these memories are keepers!

But on the other side, there are the memories that I really want to forget, ones that play over and over in my head like a horror movie.  Like two years ago today, when our son  died and then was brought back. I remember watching him in the ICU on life support. I remember the groans of pain that I could do nothing to alleviate. I remember the slivers of glass and dried blood flakes that slowly worked their way out onto the pillowcase over many days. I remember the therapists trying to get our son’s legs working again as he struggled with nausea and excruciating pain. And yes, I remember that wicked fixator device that he had for almost two months to hold the bones in place.

But as I think more about that day in 2016, it brings to mind other memories. The family friend that came out to the hospital in the middle of the night to sit with us as life and death fought each other. The dozens of soap-makers from an international blog site who sent word that they were praying. Friends that came by to encourage us and pray. The Sunday School class that sent over a care-box of things to do. The crafty friend who brought over a couple looms and an entire bag of fabric loops to make potholders with (the cure for fidgety hands). The trauma doctors who kept tiptoeing into the room during the first week, wanting to see the young man that by all logic should not be alive. Then there were the nurses. I remember the gentleness of seven nurses changing our son’s bed-sheets, a difficult task with someone whose body was broken and damaged in so many places.

It’s been a rough two years for our son, and for all of us. Doctors’ visits and physical therapy are ongoing. There may never be total recovery, but we are getting used to a new “normal”. If you have a body that works perfectly fine, and you have no pain or physical ailments, thank God! All it takes is one unexpected event, one second in time, to take life in a totally different direction. We carry memories of both the joyous and the terrible times. But through it all, Jesus has walked with us, and that is something to remember always.


Note: See this post to better understand what happened to our son:



A Walk Through The Dark – by Eva Piper (2013)

A Walk Through The Dark

If you have read “90 Minutes In Heaven” by Don Piper, you will remember the horrific accident he went through, and his long, painful road back to a somewhat normal life. This book is the story re-told, from his wife Eva’s point of view.

While Don was suffering from unbearable physical pain in a body crushed by a semi, Eva was going through her own hell. She had to see her husband suffering in a hospital bed for months, and there was nothing she could do to ease his suffering. At the same time, she had to reassure their three children, keep up with her teaching job, juggle the bills, and hassle with the insurance company.

Parts of the book were very real for me, after having my son in a similar accident: the helpless feeling of sitting in a hospital room every day while he was in excruciating pain, seeing the love and care of the nursing staff, and trying to make sure the insurance covered things it was supposed to. But the thing in the book that really brought back vivid memories was Eva’s description of the fixator device, a tortuous thing that put rods through his leg and connected them to a metal frame around his leg, in an attempt to hold all the broken pieces together as new bone tissue grew (see sample picture below from wikipedia).

As Eva concluded, life can change in the blink of an eye, but Jesus will walk through those dark times with you.

photo credit: wikipedia