When you’re faced with tragedy, pray

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 17, 2006

It’s funny how things happen. A few weeks ago, I did a little complaining about my family. Now, I am grateful they are still here.

On Dec. 22, I left work, went home and began to unwind. Around 11:30 p.m., my phone rang. After catching a glimpse of the caller ID, I knew it was my sister-in-law doing her yearly “What do you want for Christmas?” call. Not wanting to be bothered, I let the answering machine pick up the call.

“Driena, I need you to pick up the phone. We have an emergency,” the distressed voice spoke to the machine. “Driena, please pick up mom; and dad…”

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I picked up.

I didn’t know what to expect once I had the receiver to my ear.

“Mom and dad have been in a real bad accident. It doesn’t look good, Driena,” told me.

As tears began to stream down my face, I couldn’t believe the words I was hearing. Are both of my parents going to leave me now? No, He wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t take both of them. Or would He?

“Driena, I am going to give you my credit card number and I need you to get a ticket up here right now.”

Speechless, I threw on a pair of sweatpants and a fleece and ran downstairs and out of my apartment into the brisk, cold night.

I ran to my neighbors. I know I startled them by my powerful bangs on the door.

Tony Scott answered the door to see my face full of tears.

I collapsed on the arm of their living room chair and began to bawl.

“What’s wrong?” I remember him asking me.

Not being able to catch my breath, let alone speak, I handed him the cordless phone, which had lost its signal and disconnected me from the source of bad news.

“There’s no one there,” he said.

So, I was forced to get myself together just long enough to tell him what happened.

His wife, Mary, came downstairs and he filled her in on what he understood of my tear-filled mumbles.

Mary held me. For the first time that night, I almost felt comforted.

They sat me down and told me everything would be all right. Between my silent prayers and cries, I could hear Tony praying for my family.

As the night progressed, Tony and I talked to various members of my family and they filled us in as much as they could.

As my parents were driving on I-91 in Connecticut, a car rear-ended my parents traveling at more than 100 miles per hour.

My parents’ Mercury Mountaineer was tossed into the air, turning over numerous times. It landed upside down, leaving my parents trapped in the vehicle.

After about 15 minutes, they were able to pry my father out of the car, but it took a little over 20 minutes to get my mother out.

Word had it that my dad was fine, but it still didn’t look good for my mom.

A few hours later, I found out that both my parents were going to be all right from Mr. Scott, who had became my spokesperson for the night.

The wreck fractured three vertebrae in my dad’s lower back and my mother broke her right arm and is suffering nerve damage, since the car basically landed on it.

My dad wasn’t wearing his seatbelt; my mom was.

Strangely enough, if dad had his on, impact from the crushed windshield may have killed him and had my mom not been buckled up, she might have been thrown from the vehicle. Luck? No, it was a blessing.

The reason my name had been missing from the paper for a few weeks was because I went home to take care of my family. They are doing much better now.

But, I am not telling this story for sympathy, this is my way of saying thank you. Thank you to God first for keeping my parents here, and thank you to the Scott family for helping me when I needed it the most.

I can never repay you for all you have done.