Happy Birthday – but it almost wasn’t

Roman is 23 today.  I should be helping him celebrate, and I will get to that.

I’m so grateful to God that he is here to see his 23rd, because by all means, I cannot believe that he is.  We are coming up on the one year anniversary of the accident that should have taken his life.

I will never forget the phone call at 6 in the morning, 3 hours after the crash, mind you.  It was the social worker from the hospital, informing me that my son was in the hospital, two chest tubes keeping his lungs working, a cracked chest plate, a broken back.  What?  When did this happen.  Why didn’t anyone call me sooner?  He didn’t want to inconvenience me??  INCONVENIENCE ME??  For the love of God, of course I’m on my way.

I will never forget the fact that he took his first helicopter ride that morning, a 30 mile trek, from the crash site to the hospital.  A helicopter ambulance ride he does not remember.  I look at those medical helicopters with awe now.  They are saving lives up there.  They saved my son’s life.  I have no idea who they were, but they are true heroes in the sky.

I will also never forget the sight of my mini van that he crashed headlong into the side of hill.  The entire engine was smashed like an accordion right up to the wheels.  The windshield stopped and the rest of the car was gone.  No, it wasn’t gone, it was all there, completely smashed.  And how that engine never entered the cabin, I will never know.  The steering wheel and airbag cracked his chest plate, but how in the world did he escape without broken legs?

I loved my Toyota Sienna, and I thank Toyota for building such a strong vehicle.  The guy at the salvage yard, where I had to empty the van of our belongings, could not believe the driver had survived.  People don’t usually walk away from vans in this condition, he said.

There were no skid marks on the road to determine how fast he was travelling on impact.  No skid marks means no brakes were used.

I have no idea how he survived.  But the fact is, he did.  I told him at the time that there was a reason he survived.  We may not know it now, but as life plays out, the reason for his second chance will be revealed.  I’m quite confident of that.

So Happy Birthday, Roman!  It’s truly worth celebrating!

It’s truly a miracle.

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