I will kill him. The thought dug its thorns into my mind as it wrapped its tentacles around my heart. Apart from the fact that my family would live, my silent rage had become my solace. I would watch the light fade from his eyes. Death and I would remain patient until that moment presented itself. The constant plea of reason fell on deaf ears. I stood silent and still in the emergency room as my mind raged out of control. I WILL KILL HIM.
The phone rang as I sipped my morning coffee. I answered, “Hello.” I heard a woman crying hysterically trying to communicate but I could not understand her.
“Ma’am, calm down. I can’t understand what you’re saying,” I said but my heart stopped as I heard through her muffled sobs, “Uncle George . . . Christy, went through the windshield of my car. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry . . . ” And then the phone went silent as the signal was lost.
The dial tone pierced my mind as an arrow with a vengeance. The few seconds I sat there in stunned suspension seemed like an eternity until the reality of her words released the earth to turn again.
My thoughts raced out of control. “BRENDA,” I yelled. She ran into my office. “Tammy and Christy were in a car wreck. Quick, what’s Tammy’s cell phone number? I lost her and I don’t know where they are.” She quickly dialed the phone and gave it back to me. “God, help us.” I said listening to the phone ringing.
The ring tone stopped. No one spoke but I could hear someone crying in the background.
“Yes, sir,” She said, still trying to stop crying.
Thank you Lord, I sighed. After a few minutes I was able to find out what had happened.
My daughter was broken and bleeding. A drunk driver crossed the center line of the road forcing my family to leave the road in which the vehicle went air born striking a tree at six feet above the ground. The car flipped twice end-over-end before ejecting my daughter through the rear windshield. The drunk driver never stopped. He continued on leaving my family for dead.
My niece was driving her car with her mother in the front passenger seat and my daughter and first grandson in the back seat. Thank the Lord; my grandson was strapped in his car seat.
When they crawled out of the wreckage my niece was bruised with minor glass cuts to her arms and face. My sister had a bruised abdomen from the seat belt. The seat she was seating in broke all four mounting bolts upon impact. My grandson had a minor cut to his head and on the back of his leg. After frantically searching for Christy, she was found sixty-five feet from the wreckage by my sister. My niece watched as her mother knelt down beside my daughter and touched the side of her face before she herself fell over unconscious.
My niece fell apart seeing both Christy and her mother lying there unconscious thinking they were dead as my grandson screamed hysterically for his mother. That’s when she collapsed to her knees and dialed the first number that came to her.
My sister had a concussion. Christy was treated at the hospital for a concussion, fractured eye socket, bruised heart and lungs, and a broken femur of one leg. That same leg had a severe “L” shaped cut approximately twelve inches long.
When we arrived at the hospital the doctor told us that Christy was in early stages of pregnancy. He said they had already done one x-ray which is bad for a fetus but that Christy had fluid building up around her heart and they needed to do a CAT scan to determine if there was eternal bleeding. He went on to say that CAT scans would be at least five times more harmful to the fetus but that it had to be done and I had to sign for it since Christy was unconscious. I signed the papers and the doctor left us standing in the middle of our worst fears.
As I stood there my fear dissolved as the heat of my anger rose against the man that would harm my family. I WILL KILL HIM, was my only thought. At that moment I found no room in my mind or heart for God. Looking back it still scares me now at how quickly I abandoned faith, love, and forgiveness. Especially at a moment when I should have been on my knees at my daughter’s side for her well being.
The State Police received a description of the drunk driver’s pickup truck and was broadcasting for information over the local radio stations regarding the whereabouts of that truck and its driver.
Three days later he was found and arrested. The State Police called the hospital to inform us the man had been arrested and was being charged with four counts of Attempted Vehicular Homicide. When Miss Brenda informed him concerning the baby Christy was carrying and the potentially harmful effects of the x-ray and CAT scan, according to the doctors, the officer went silent. After a few seconds he replied, “Thank you for telling me that Mrs. Parler. As of right now he is being charged with five counts of Attempted Vehicular Homicide instead of four.
My first thoughts were to get him out of jail. I would put up his bail to have him released. I could not sleep because of the pure focus of my unresolved vengeance. My plans to gain his release from jail failed. I could only hope he would get out some way, somehow.
That’s when it happened . . . The phone rang while we were at home. Miss Brenda answered the phone and then soon handed it to me.
“Hello?” I responded.
“George Parler.” I recognized the voice on the phone but it was someone I especially did not want to talk to.
“Yes, Mildred.” I said reluctantly as I glared at Miss Brenda for handing me the phone.
“What are you doing, George?” The tone of her voice unnerved me because the elderly woman of God had a habit of reading the spiritual mail of others, so to speak. That was something I didn’t need or want at that time.
“Right now, nothing.” I replied.
“You know what I’m talking about, George Parler.”
Her words aggravated me. This meddling old woman was sticking her nose where it wasn’t welcome.
She continued, “What are you planning to do about the man who hurt your daughter?”
Now I was mad. I was sure Miss Brenda must have called her and told her as I glared at her across the room. I later found out that was not the case.
“George?” She paused.
“What, Mildred? What do you want me to say? Do I want to kill him? YES! Does that satisfy your questions, Mildred?”
“All but one,” She responded in a lower tone.
“And what is that?” I asked sensing that her softened tone was affecting mine.
“George, in all that has happened, who needs the mercy of God the most and deserves it the least?”
Her soft spoken words were as daggers penetrating the hardened crust of my heart. I felt the pent up rage and pursuit of vengeance fall from me as cloak with broken ties. It was as a shotgun of blast of the pure light of truth piercing my mind and heart. I could not respond to her question but she must have heard my tears falling to the floor.
“You don’t have to answer me, George, I understand. But you do have to answer it for yourself . . . and most importantly . . . to God. Remember I love you. Bye.” And with that she hung up and left me alone with that haunting question. One in which I knew the answer but did not want to admit.
I soon found myself begging God to forgive me and thanking Him that my family was still alive. I turned my focus to them, where I should have been. My prayers were for the healing of my daughter and for the safety of my unborn grandchild.
As for my grandchild, after my daughter was released from the hospital, her doctors kept trying to convince her that she should have an abortion due to the harmful effects the radiation would have had on the bone development of the baby. She refused, thank the, Lord.
Several anxious months later, Kaylei was born. She was examined from head to toe and the doctors found nothing wrong with her. God did not forsake us in spite of me.
When we depart from our faith in God, leaving the path of light, He does not right us off. He will leave the ninety-nine to search for the one. Even to the point of using an old agitating dear woman of God.
Wow, George what a powerful story of our struggles between flesh and Spirit. I am so glad Mildred made that phone call, are you sure her name isn't Mariane?? God's blessings to you and yours. . . Debby
Whew! Now I can breathe again! What a gripping story, George! In the natural you had every right to feel as you did; in fact, many would have applauded your desire to "kill him." But our loving Lord, who asked us to do everything differently from the rest of the world's thinking, who asked us to turn the other cheek, who wanted us to return good for evil, and a hundred other seemingly impossible responses, tenderly through a godly woman asked you to show mercy. What a lesson for us all to learn. "Vengeance is mine," saith the Lord (when and if vengeance is necessary) but how much more effective is His mercy. This should be published. God bless.
Your wonderful story leaves me with such praise for God's mercy to you and your family, His wondrous care of your grandchild, and the wisdom of the spiritual woman who made your realize God's love and mercy for all.
Bless you, dear George.
What a powerful question: “George, in all that has happened, who needs the mercy of God the most and deserves it the least?” You certainly portrayed the natural-man reaction to a devastating situation. And, you give the reader a convincing account of the impact God makes through one of His vessels. Needs a little editing for typos, but overall is well done.