Last year around this time, on Mothers Day, my nephew, Joe was hurt in a terrible accident. We where all praying hard that Joe would make it another minute, an hour and day……Every time we saw the doctors that week they all said the same thing………”Every minute he hangs on is good. We are taking this minute by minute, hour by hour.”

They where tough words to hear……….mostly for Karen, Joes’ mother.

A year later Karen wanted a party to celebrate Mothers Day and the fact that her oldest child made it through what we all hope will be one of the toughest trials in his life. In fact; In their lives.

The night was dark, rainy and late…….Joe was going home coming from a party. While he was riding his bike down a dark country road something terrible happened………We really didn’t know what it was…..All we knew……… he was hurt and hurt badly.

Among the cuts and bruises he had hit his head. There was a cracked skull and swelling on his brain. While in a drug induced coma, he had a stroke and things only seemed to grow worse for him…….Later that same week…..part of his skull had to be removed. It would be saved and replaced for a later date when things inside his head had settled down.

He was in the coma for almost a month…………. I think……..

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It has been a hard year for Joe, Karen, and the family. William, Joes “little” brother, made himself available daily to help his brother in his recovery. Karen never left Joe’s side.

This Mother’s Day was going to be different. This Mother’s Day Karen wanted to celebrate the trials and tribulations of the year.

Through out this whole year there where questions left unanswered. All we knew about the night Joe was hurt was; some one…….a man…maybe…..watched over Joe and waited until help came. We didn’t know who it was. We really didn’t know much about anything……just that someone helped Joe that dark, foggy and rainy night.

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Among other things this past year; Joe had decided to go back to school and we are proud to say he is progressing beautifully.

The first day of school;

As often as it happens with a brain injury………….Joe got lost. He found himself at the school counselors’ office. She was talking to a woman. This woman happened to be going to the same class Joe was headed too…….The counselor asked if this woman would mind making sure Joe found the class…..He followed her.

In the new class, the new teacher wanted to help her class relax. She had her students play a “get to know you game.” Each student took one card. That student had to find the match …….which another student would have. When the student found his match they were to find out as much about each other as possible and then he would share it with the class.

Joe took his card and set out to play the game. It happened Joe found his cards match in the woman’s hands that lead him to his new class. They talked……”small talk”……they shared a few uninteresting facts. There names……….Joe ~ Sharonda
There ages……….30 ~ 28………Where do you live……..?…….What brings you to this class…….?……..

Then the big question came……..

Sharonda asked…………..”What’s with that big scare on your head?”

“What happened to you?”

Joe tells her………..what he knew………She listens and then says………..

“What????”

“When????”

“Where????”

“That was you???????????????”

“I am the one that stayed with you that night………I am the one that called the police…..I am the one……….I thought you died……..Oh! That was you? I almost didn’t stop…….If it was not for the church light shinning on you that night……I wouldn’t have stopped…….I can’t believe that was you?”

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Sharonda came to the Mothers Day party ……..Then it was Karen’s turn to ask the questions……….

Sharonda told us all about that night…..The Church Light……and the dark, long, country road.

Sharonda told us as she was driving home from work that night. She saw a light in the sky…..spinning……she thought it may be a license check. So she fasten her set belt…….she told us how she hates set belts and never wears them………and she also said, she slowed down. (This part was very important because as she told us; this road………the road Joe was on…….. was one of those roads that you “drive straight on and people don’t stop for nothen.” “They don’t care if there is a dog in the road or whatever. They hit it and keep on go-en.”)

She said as she approached the light, she saw a man and a bike in the middle of the road………..But the thing that got her attention was not the man lying beside the bike. It was the light from the church shinning on the man. She said she “was scared”…….because she doesn’t trust people……She said, she didn’t know if the accident was staged and the man would grab her when she got out …….. Or what would happen….……She told us, she “was scared for her life”.

…..She told us, she has been in and out of foster homes most of her life…..she told us her mother tried to kill her when she was just 12 years old and ……she told us about the beatings her mother gave her..….. She told us, she had to fight her way through…….
most of her life………. She said if it was not for the church light that was shinning on Joe…..showing him plainly, she would have just kept going. But the church light bothered her……the church light showed he was bleeding on the side of his face…..she said she saw a “white” man in a “white” truck drive….look……and drive past…….(maybe he was going for help………we just don’t know….)

Sharonda said she tried to call the police on her cell phone……….but her phone had one bar on it and “out there you can’t get good reception.” So she drove in a panic to the nearest gas station, called the police……..”gave as little information as quick as she could” and raced back to the man in the road and the church light.………hoping, praying….. NO ONE else would race down that dark country road too….

She made it………

She stayed with Joe until the police came…..until the ambulance came….until the crowds came…….she said she heard a woman crying saying “that’s my son”……”my son is dead”……..”that’s my brother”….” my brother is dead”…….”that’s husband”…..

She said she had to stay at the the scene because the police questioned her about what she saw….she said they checked under her hood to see if she hit him…….She didn’t……..They thought he must have hit the sign….after all the night was rainy, fogy and dark…He didn’t………..they checked for deer prints…there was nothing.….They thought maybe he slipped on the straw on the side of the road……he didn’t …..The police said many things…….

But nothing seemed to fit…..

Nothing seemed to fit until Sharonda told us more about what had happened..…….She felt; Joe could not have slipped on the straw…..the bike was to far away from the straw…….Joe could not have hit the sign. The sign had no damage to it. There was no damage to her car or his bike ……. …..Sharonda felt he slipped on the road……..There were heavy rains, heavy fog and visibility was tough that night………Sharonda said he slipped and hit his head on the yellow reflector in the road……….

She told us she tried to find the man in the road the next day. She said she went to the local hospital but they did not have any information on him…..She thought he had died.

The images of the church light shinning on the man in the road haunted her. They haunted her so much she could not travel down that road and……..after the accident she couldn’t sleep for days. She said she still has difficulty traveling that way……so much so……..she moved.

Little did she know Joe was transferred to Chapel Hill…….Little did she know he was in a fight for his life…….little did she know……… He made it. Little did she know she would be sitting on his front porch celebrating this fact with his family and friends.

All because of the church light…….because she was kind enough to stop…..little did she know……She was his angel that night…….seems to me they both may have been saved by the church light……

Joe has learned a lot this year….he has learned he is a fighter…and he has learned he is not afraid of school and he has learned …the body can take many things…..He has also learned….you never know where your friends will come from….. Maybe Sharonda will learn to trust and learn about faith and family…..I know she has found a life long friend in Joe.

I can’t help but wonder………..what will come from all this? I hope only good things……..For both of them.

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16 thoughts on “The Church Light

  1. Lisa…words can not even express my emotions while reading this, and now sitting her with my cup of tea. My eyes have filled, and I am choking back sobs…this truly is a modern example of the Good Samaritan…You have touched my heart, and blessed me with your telling…I am so very glad to call you my friend…this is extraordinary, and so well-told. ~Janine XO

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  2. Wow Lisa, what a beautiful and well written story. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am happy to hear Joe’s recovery has gone so well, and also Sharonda was sent here for a very special reason.Hugs my friend, to you and yours!

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  3. Lisa, I’ve given you the award, “This Blog Has Heart” because in your writing, you continually demonstrate such an open, hospitable, and compassionate heart. You bless everyone who knows you! I am so glad you’re my friend! ~Janine XO

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  4. Oh my! Unbelievable!Isn't it inspiring how they reunited? Sharonda was there again, in the right place at the right time, to lend Joe a hand.How can people say there isn't a God? How can people not have faith? This is a remarkable story…from start to finish, and Lisa you told it so well. Although, somehow, I don't think it is the end. Joe and Sharonda have a very unusual bond that will last a lifetime. Great story! I'm so happy for everyone! Good luck to both Joe & Sharonda in school. And a belated Happy Mother's Day to all…Karen especially. This could have been a sad reminder of that devasting night, but instead God gave you plenty of reason to celebrate.High fives & Smooches all around!Regina

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  5. Talk about "prickly arms"!!! We most definitley serve a MAGNIFICENT God!!! We never did get around to talking about this!!! Had forgotten about it until trying to catch up on your Blog entries!!! Wonder how many more things we've forgotten to talk about that we were going to talk about!!!! LOL!!!

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