I find myself standing at the edge of a vast chasm of sorts. As I look across, it is not unlike the Grand Canyon with its ragged edges and stony walls. All I can see as I look down into it is gray-black darkness. In my soul, I know this is the valley of the shadow of death. What am I doing here? How did I get here? I was just on my way to work……………
Just another day
It’s Wednesday May 14th 2008, just another day. Really, it was just another day, in the middle of the week, in the middle of the month and almost the middle of the year. It was beautiful weather, a little cool maybe but a great morning for a quiet ride to work. Little did anyone know it could be my last.
I showered, shaved and got ready for a day at the office like I had for the last 8 years. I got on my bike like I had most days for the last four years. I chose the Yamaha TW200 this day for reasons I will probably never remember. I actually hope I never do. I rode to the end of our dirt road and then headed west on Georgia 16. My wife left about the same time or shortly after but she headed east on Georgia 16.
About 10 miles down the road, she saw a Georgia State Police car speeding west with his blue lights flashing. Immediately, she felt a deep sickness in the pit of her stomach. She resisted the strong urge to turn around and follow the trooper saying to Herself that she had no way of knowing where he was going but she felt deep in Her heart that she was sure what had happened. The only question was “How bad was it?” She kept driving and less than a mile down the road, a Spalding County Sherriff car in front of Her flipped his blue lights, pulled a U-turn and flew past Her going west on 16. The sickness in her stomach got worse but once again she fought the urge to turn around. She didn’t know anything for sure and cops do that all the time so she kept driving.
Shortly after she made the right turn from Hill Street onto Georgia 155, her cell phone rang. She looked at the number and it all but confirmed her worst fears. It was from my cell phone and I never used my phone while I was riding and since I had left the house less than 20 minutes ago and it is at least a 30 minute ride to my office, this couldn’t be good. Still she had hope that maybe I forgot something or just broke down and was calling to let her know but as soon as she heard the voice on the other end, she knew. A man’s voice confirmed what she already knew when he asked “Do you know an older gentleman who rides a motorcycle? All she could say was “How bad is it? Is he alive?”
He told her I was alive and she said she was on her way there but he told her not to come out 16 because the whole road was blocked. He told her to head for downtown Atlanta because they were life-flighting me there. He just didn’t know which hospital yet but would call and let her know as soon as he found out.
This all seemed to be happening in slow-motion but the next few hours were a blur. She doesn’t remember stopping to turn around but she found herself headed back to the house to get things she knew she would need like phone numbers of family and my office. At that time, she was not a person who prayed much but she took time to ask God to help and keep me alive if He could.
She did not give much more thought to that prayer but God apparently did. The accident happened on Wednesday May 14th and the only thing resembling a clear memory I have between the Sunday before the accident and the first week of August is of the canyon I was looking into at the beginning. I was about to step in or float in or something when I felt a beautiful and powerful presence surround me and pull me back from the edge. I don’t know how I knew but I knew it was my wife Bonnie pulling me back from wherever I was headed.
I believe with all my heart that that is when I was in the life-flight helicopter. The medical reports say they had to revive me twice while flying me to Atlanta and I feel that during that time, God heard her simple and sincere prayer and sent her spirit to the edge of the valley of the shadow of death to bring me back because he was not finished with me yet. He wasn’t finished with either one of us.