2 Years Ago…

Two years ago today, our world got turned upside down (for the first time).

We were hit on the McKenzie Highway at highway speeds, and all of a sudden my birth story turned into a birth nightmare. While I had my C-section that evening a short time later, my parents were in the ER and David was in the ICU with awful injuries. The good news was that no one died that night. The bad news was that it was a long, slow, painful recovery for everyone involved, but most specifically for David (who had multiple shatters of bones) and for my mom (who suffered many deep muscle & tissue injuries that required countless dr appointments and physical therapy). We were all emotionally affected, and even to this day we all avoid driving on certain types of roads or even at night whenever possible.

An event like that changes you.

When the accident happened, I thought, “Wow, this is so crazy that it happened to US! This is one of those things that happens to a friend of a friend of a friend but never to US!” It was a bizarre feeling.

But after a year of recovery, surgeries, and therapy, things seemed to be getting back to a relative sense of “normal” again. And then mom started to feel sick. For a few months she had some odd symptoms that came on like a flood. We guessed it might be food allergies, autoimmune issues, IBS… the list went on and on. Never once did CANCER even cross my mind.

But just a year and one month after the accident, in the Urgent Care here in Springfield, mom was diagnosed with colon cancer that had spread to the liver already. Not good. Not good at all.

I remember the 10 or 11 days that she was at the hospital after that as a total fog and a total daze for all of us. For the first 4 days, I had the most intense headache of my life almost constantly and constant nausea (though I wasn’t pregnant). We all walked through those hallways in total shock.

Then mom came home from the hospital and there were some very good weeks as she recovered. I will always remember sitting outside in the warm summer sun with her, feeling that warm breeze brush across our faces. Things felt ok again. We knew there was a long, scary road ahead, but we trusted God. We knew He was in control.

Then the chemo started. Then the chemo ended. Then mom’s life here on earth ended.

But during that 8.5 months after her diagnosis, we often talked about, “Why would God keep you alive in that car accident only to allow you to be taken out by cancer a year later?” The question plagued us and taunted me. It almost seemed a surety to me that mom would be healed of this cancer, because nothing else made sense to me. I mean, what are the odds that two world-rocking, awful things happen to us in just a little over a year’s time?? This kind of thing wasn’t supposed to happen to US!

So we talked about it and talked about it. And one day, mom had an answer. (This was towards the last month or so of her life.)

She said, “If God had not kept me alive through that car accident, I never would have had to face my fears (of cancer, of pain, of the dying process) and I never would have been able to conquer them.”

It was poignant. What she said was true. Mom DID win the battle that she had fought her whole adult life against fears of cancer. She lost her mom in her 50’s (when mom was my age) to cancer, and her mom’s mom died in her 40’s of cancer, too. It had been a scary thing to think about – was she next? I never had any idea my whole life until the past few months that it was a fear for her.

But with God by her side, she conquered it.

1 Corinthians 5:55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

The prayers of thousands were answered. My mom WAS HEALED! Healed of fear!! She defeated those “Goliaths” in her life. She went to meet Jesus in total victory!! Hallelujah! Praise God!

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11 thoughts on “2 Years Ago…

  1. Kelly,
    This is the first time I’d heard the details of the car accident that involved your family. And to read how the timing of that correlates with your mom’s illness and God’s presence in all of that is amazing. It is overwhelming just to read about what all of you went through, so I cannot even imagine how it feels to actually go through all of that. And yet, God’s hand in all of this is absolute. Thank you for sharing this. Your mom and your family continue to be an influence in our lives; we are so thankful for all of you, and yet to simply say thank you seems so insufficient. Wish there was something we could do to help you out or to give back as you have given to us. We love you all lots. Bob and Judi

  2. Wow Kelly.
    I have to thank you for sharing this and thank you for your example of faith. I’m sure you feel you have your moments of doubt and fear like all of us, but you demonstrate how to stand with *arms wide, and heart abandoned, in awe of the One who made us all* through the most painful circumstances. This is an amazing post, with a powerful realization, a peek, into God’s plan. What a gift. Your Mom had a hand in helping you find this answer.
    You continue to be in my prayers,
    love Brigetta

  3. I was not able to hold back tears. Being able to see and understand what your mother did is really powerful. God blessed your mother with wisdom and you as well….

  4. We serve an awesome and mighty God. And through your willingness to share of your struggles and triumphs, we too are able to continue on. Through our Lord we can face our fears, have victory and pass it on, so the Lord God of all creation will receive the praise and glory.

    Your faith, love and tenderness is awe inspiring. May the Lord continue to be your strength and shield, your hope and courge.

    Blessings to you and all your family.

  5. That was a great post Kelly! What excellent insight your Mom had regarding the conquering of her fears. I agree with you, God surely healed your Mom emotionally and we really are body, soul and spirit. I love your posts! To some degree I feel I am having fellowship with you while you travel through the grief process.
    Rosemarie

  6. Hi from Mickey’s cousin,
    We still have fond memories of visiting in Medford with my family, Richard, Courtney, and Chelsea.
    Richard is working in the funeral biz-God is using his gift of people skills and gentleness. Courtney is in her second year of owning her Interior Design business and in June celebrates her five year wedding anniversary. Her Type I Diabetes is monitored now after two years and has the go-ahead to start a family, but so far after almost 5months no news to tell.
    However, Chelsea the younger daughter is about five months along. She and her husband have been married for two years. I am still working in Sp. Ed. for almost 15 years now. I have been through much testing and seen many specialists and they have diagnosed me with hypothyroidism, another one of my autoimmune disorders. They home it will lower my cholesterol but more importantly bring up my blood count for my red, white, and platelet cells. It has been over a years w/o knowing.
    My oldest sister Jonnie and younger brother Dan have autoimmune disorder as well.
    I still think of Mickey often. I am so sorry, still, for your loss. What comes to my mind, of how intense is your feeling of loss, because she was so dear to you. Some do not experience such loss as your family has, due to not being so close to their family member. I can see that you all had a loving mother and wife who was a huge blessing from God. What bittersweet thoughts to endure and cherish. God be with all of you. Love, Shelley Katz

  7. Kelly, this is an answer to prayer. The women of SVC are heading to Galice for our Ladies’ Retreat tomorrow. Your Mom presented the most precious teachings about the Virtuous Woman last May. I will never forget it!! It was powerful and now in retrospect, it was her parting gift of Love to us. We needed to talk about it but didn’t know what to say. You gave us the answer. Thank you sweet child of God. He always answers our prayers

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