Home       Site Map      Archives      Search      Bio & Photos       FAQs       Links       Contact       Get Brent       Help

 

Want more?  Check the archives!

 

 

 

 

 

Victims

Week of October 3, 2005

 

            When I have had a rough day at work I have occasionally, by Godís grace, learned a little about my wifeís.  It is a good reality check, leaving me ashamed of whatever piddling problem I let ruin my mood. 

            My beloved is a medical social worker and has seen about everything life and the human will can inflict.  Though she now works in the relative calm of an outpatient clinic she spent years in emergency rooms, cancer wards and pediatric units, places most of us face only at our worst moments.  She has the God-given gift of working strangers through their darkest times while keeping her own sanity, and the crush of the dayís traumas rarely make it past our front door.

              But once, years ago, while working in an emergency room, she left a terse message that she would be late.  She got home after midnight, shaken, saying only that there had been a bad accident.  The ethics of her profession allowed no more and I have learned not to ask, but as rattled as she was I knew it must have been horrific.

            It was.  According to newspaper reports a car driven by a repeat drunk driver crossed the center line of a local highway and hit another car head-on.  It was dark and the woman had been driving with her lights off.  I donít recall her blood alcohol content but the car reportedly reeked of it. 

            In the other vehicle was a family of four, including two small children.  The driver, if memory serves, was the motherís boyfriend and also under the influence.  He, the mother, and a young child were dead on the scene; a 3-year-old boy made it to the hospital but died later.  The only survivor, the woman who had crossed the line in more ways than one, was horribly injured but lived.  She was eventually tried, convicted, and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

            As the social worker on duty my wife would have had to locate and notify the families of both the woman and the dying 3-year-old.  She would have seen their injuries.  She would have comforted the families and prayed with them.  She would have helped as much as anyone could.  I know, truly know, she would have been a rock.

            And I know she came home and wept.  We stayed up for hours, her unable to sleep and me unable to do anything but comfort her without knowing exactly why.

            Though my wife never can, I had almost forgotten until today, when a member of my church spoke during the service about her life and journey to faith.

            Her mother was in prison, she said, a longtime alcoholic who had driven drunk one too many times.  She had killed an entire family, leaving her own teenaged children to be raised by their grandmother.

            As recognition set in I looked at my wife, who sat motionless and pale.  The young woman at the pulpit had sworn not to follow her motherís footsteps but had, a legacy suffered by many children of alcoholics and addicts.  Fortunately her battle ended in recovery rather than tragedy and she will soon marry a fine young man.

            After the service my wife told her she had been there and had been praying for the children.  The woman assumed she meant the crash victims; my wife said no.  They were gone.  My wife prayed for the victims who lived, including a child she never met, a child who became the young woman who stood before her astonished.

            Maybe all things donít happen for a reason but some do.  I know that as much as I know anything.  And I hope, we hope, one young victim feels a little less pain from guilt she did not earn and shame she does not deserve. 

 

 

 

 
 

 

Email Brent:

 

Brent@brentmorrison.com

 

 

 

Latest columns:

   
 

Getting the most hits:

 
 

Need an antidote to "Harmful to Minors"?

(See column

Try Rae Turnbull's excellent "Be the Parent Your Child Deserves"

 
 

Get Brent

in your local paper.

Click here!

 
 

Hear Brent

speak to your community group, church, fundraiser, or business group.  Click here.

   

 

 

 

© 2005 Brent Morrison