Saturday, May 13, 2006

No Small Miracle

My mother is a miracle. I'm not just saying that because Mother's Day is approaching. It's the truth, plain and simple.

In 1963, the year they were married, my parents were involved in a near-fatal car accident. A drunk driver ran their Volkswagen van off the road. Daddy's legs were broken and he had a concussion. Mother was thrown through the windshield and rendered unconscious. For 19 days, she remained comatose while Daddy recovered. She was 22 and pregnant with their first child. Her family kept vigil at the hospital waiting for the doctors to deliver the prognosis. Her lacerations and other injuries would heal in time, but her brain was damaged. She may never walk again, they said. She would never drive. She would never be able to teach again. She would need constant care and supervision.

When she regained consciousness, her parents and siblings were gathered around her, but she couldn't speak and couldn't remember their names. She would have to relearn everything - talking, walking, dressing and feeding herself. Her parents took her home with them after she was released from the hospital. They watched over her, cared for her, and tried to keep her from hurting herself, often reminding her "the doctor said you can't do that!" She was determined not to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair, and she hated being told there was anything she couldn't do.

She had been a straight-A student, had played basketball in high school, was named Best All Around and Most Likely to Succeed by her peers, and had been valedictorian. She was the first and only member of her family to attend college where she made the dean's list every year and graduated with top honors. She went on to teach business education, and two of her brothers were among her students. If anyone had ever told her there was something she couldn't do, she set out to prove them wrong.

Her mother most likely was frustrated with her strong will, and no doubt she was frustrated with her mother's attempts to keep her from doing things for herself. She continued to fight for her independence, and eventually won.

My mother gave birth to a healthy baby girl in March, 1964. I was born in March, 1966, and my younger sister in January, 1967. Mother filled our baby books with pictures, dates, accomplishments. She sewed clothes for us to wear. She kept us fed and managed the household finances. Thanks to her aunt, she even learned to drive. She taught us to read and write and instilled in us a love for learning. We moved to Little Rock in 1970 when Daddy went into business for himself. While my older sister was in school, my younger sister and I would accompany Mother to the preschool where she worked part-time. When I started first grade, Mother opened a kindergarten in our home. The following year, she discovered that she was expecting again. My brother was born in January, 1974.

Since the accident that should have ended her life, she has accomplished all of the things they said she would never do and more. She raised four kids, taught us to love the Lord, married us all off, and is now a doting grandmother of 12. She and my dad will celebrate their 43rd anniversary on May 31. In my book, that is no small miracle.


BooMama said...

Hey - we have the same anniversary! But ours will be 43 minus 34 this year. :-)

What an encouraging story - and what a testimony to your mama's determination.

Let me know what you decide to do with the whole children's ministry deal...sorry for all the toe-steppin'. :-) It IS so neat, though, how your life seems to be right where we are each week in the study. What a cool "God thing," you know?

Barb said...

Your Mom's story inspires me to write my own mother's story - pretty amazing, too. Your mother sounds like mine -- nothing would keep her down. Great post If your Mom isn't blogging, you should print this out for her.

Diane said...

I have holy goosebumps after reading your post. Your Mom is a remarkable woman and I know you realize how blessed you are to have her. What a great tribute to her determination and drive to move beyond what others told her were her limits. :-)

Happy Mother's Day to you and your family, Brenda. :-)

Brenda said...

BooMama - it is truly amazing to me, every time I read one of your LBY posts, how God speaks to me through you. I'm just flat out AWED.
Happy upcoming anniversary to you!
and Happy Mother's Day!

Barb - I took your advice and emailed it to her. I so wish she were blogging. I've invited her to visit my blog a few times, but so far I don't think she has. We can hope! I am glad you and Bev encouraged your mom to blog. I love her stories. Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

Diane - We are blessed, and she really is amazing, but she doesn't even know it. I know your mom was a gem, and how much you must miss her. Just imagine what heaven must be like with her there! I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. Happy Mother's Day!

Praying for your Prodigal said...

What an inspiring woman your mother is! Thanks for the great tribute to her...and BTW....Happy Mother's Day to you too!


Judith said...

Brenda, Just read "No Small Miracle". What an accolade to your Mom and her indomitable spirit. I call it the Winston Churchill syndrome: "Never,never,never, never,never! give up". You do realize you inherited some of her genes, don't you. But I do have a question, not about your Mom, but you: With your obviously excellent writing ability, what are you waiting for? If I have stories to tell, you do too. Let's hear them! Judith

Leslie said...

Beautiful tribute to your mother. What an amazing woman.

Sissy said...

First of all, I can't believe you look like a woman. Your still long haired and little in my mind. You do look marvelous. Second, I did not know that story. All I knew was she was in an accident. How amazing is that?! What an incredible, incredible woman. No wonder she was able to change my life for the better. What an impact she had on my outcome. I love her! And where did ya'll live before Little Rock? I thought you always lived there.