The Birthday That Almost Wasn’t
So I just celebrated my 55th birthday on March 29th, and as each birthday rolls around, I continue to be amazed that I’m still here and able to celebrate birthdays at all…because of the birthday that almost wasn’t.
If you have read any of my previous recent posts (or posts from other years in March), then you know why I say that. The injuries I sustained in my plunge to the ground from a second-story window, in an attempt to escape a fire, were life-threatening. They occurred on March 25, 1985, a mere four days prior to my 27th birthday…the birthday that almost wasn’t.
The blood loss from the lacerated scalp, along with the fractured skull, broken neck, and other significant obvious injuries – as well as the unknown internal injuries and fear of spinal cord damage – rendered me unconscious for about three days, from early afternoon of March 25th to some time on March 28th, 1985.
I learned later on that a church member “just happened” to be working in the emergency department that fateful day, and apparently he overheard a discussion about the likelihood of my survival being questionable, due to the severity of my blood loss and injuries. He called my pastor and the prayer chain began.
The drop in my vital signs compounded the delicate balance my life was in at the time, and – so I was told – even led to some emergency personnel walking away on the assumption I wasn’t going to make it.
But God had other plans. My vital signs suddenly, miraculously, improved – and a shout of “She’s coming back!” alerted emergency personnel to return and work to save my life and stabilize me enough to move me from an emergency trauma room to a private room on the orthopedic floor. I can only imagine what it was like for family and friends during those three days of waiting, as nurses and doctors continuously checked my condition, my vital signs, and tested for paralysis.
The day before my 27th birthday, by the grace of God, I rejoined the land of the living in a conscious, though fuzzy and memory-impaired state. As I celebrated that milestone birthday the next day, with my husband and children in the room with me, reporters and the local TV news crew were allowed in my room for the first time, to interview me about the whole incident.
While I came back from the brink of death, with the distinct impression that it wasn’t yet my time to depart, I can’t help but reflect this Easter weekend on the death and the resurrection of Jesus…and what His loved ones and followers must have experienced as they waited and wondered if they would see the fulfillment of His words that though He must suffer and die, He would come back to life again.
This also makes me think about promises people have made to us, or expectations we have, and what condition they are in. What about you? Are you waiting on unfulfilled expectations? Are they barely alive or dead and in need of reawakening and new life?