May 23, to borrow a phrase from fellow cripple FDR, is "a day that will live in infamy"*
May 23, 2005, I was hellbent on destruction. It took the breaking of my very neck to thwart me from pursuit of darkness. What unfolds is that was not enough...
It was noon, I was hungry in more way than one and I was in the middle of prosecuting a 14 year old girl for assaulting a teacher, a fellow student, and bus driver. After we, the State, had put on our proof in 3/4 of the case, the Judge decided to break for lunch. Agitated, over the present reality of a choice I had in front of me, which had nothing to do with the juvenile trial in progress, I rushed out to get a sandwich and soup. Motoring in my trusty Japanese sedan, without my seat belt, fidgeting with my cell phone, wringing my proverbial hands, going every which way but to God about that decision, I crossed South Fifth and Woodland and life changed.
My car was struck (twice actually) by a fleeing felon who ran the light; struck once in the rear passenger side, which flipped the car on an imaginary axis, and the second time in the front passenger side. Eventually the front of my car careened into a sturdy twentieth century light pole, head on. When I came to, I was folded like a cheap tent; my feet, unshod, were tangled in the armrest of the driver's side door. My bleeding head was face down in the passenger floorboard.
No air was available. That involuntary, less than intentional thing we do all day, every day, and even at night when we sleep, had stopped. I clutched my neck, and as despair was giving way to peaceful resignation that I was going to check out with my skirt over my hip, mooning the south bound lane of South Fifth Street, a gust of air invaded my lungs. Sweet Jesus, I was in terrible pain but alive. I can only surmise it was the gear shift in the center console that had knocked me clean into breathlessness. When I learned hours later my neck was broken, the weighty decision, about which I was troubled, was moot. The humbling epilogue to this chapter of my life is that when presented with a similar choice some five months later, I recklessly chose death-again.
The sordid detail of my choices is not the point. What is prescient, remarkable and worth shouting from the rooftops is this: God's mercies are new every morning! I was committed to enmity with God and nearly chose to give it up for my own thirty pieces of silver. On this third year anniversary of my flight into South Fifth Street, I am reminded of God's great love for me, even when I am faithless. He was, is and will be faithful to his word, to the point of pain.
*Roosevelt's words when addressing the country after the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941.