What if Tomorrow Never Comes

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
(Jeremiah 29:11-14)
— Jeremiah 29

32 years ago today I was in a coma, clinging to life.  My friend and I were riding home on a motorcycle from school and we were struck from behind by a drunk driver.  Joe was thrown into a cement light pole where he dropped to the ground as I was thrown into the windshield, then down the hood and onto the motorcycle that was caught under the car.  My arm went into the wheel and I was dragged 72 feet down the road where I finally became dislodged from the wreck and the car kept going.  I woke up in a pool of blood, my left eye was torn out of the socket, my shoulder was piercing my flesh, my face was shattered, and my arm was broken and my brain was bleeding.  I was in bad shape.

I remember getting up and walking toward the sidewalk and a young girl was screaming in horror.  She walked up to me, placed her gym clothes in my hand and then raised them up to my face.  Then she ran away.  I was in shock and didn't know just how bad it was.  I remember sitting on the curb and spitting up blood. It was the that an off duty paramedic who was caught in traffic jumped out of his car an came to help.  This was the first time in this story that I believe God intervened providentially.

The man laid me down and kept telling me not to go to sleep.  To stay with him and help was on it's way.  That is when I remembered that I was not alone and began calling out for my friend Joe.  Joe! Joe! Where are you? Are you OK?  Tell me you are ok!  That is when a familiar face appeared over me.  It was Mr. Aguirre, my metal shop teacher.  Jimenez, your going to be ok, I'm here with you.  We called your mother.  Help is coming, just hang in there.

It was almost 100 degrees that day and I was beginning to feel the heat of the sun on my face and the pain began to appear.  That is when I began to slip away.  I remember telling Mr. Aguirre that I didn't think I would be to school tomorrow, that I wasn't feeling good.  I don't know if I'm going to make it.  I began to loose consciousness.  That is when the first fireman arrived.  He began to cut off my clothes and get me ready to transport.  I heard him say that they were taking me to the trauma center stat.

The next thing I remember is a bright light above me.  It was the trauma center.  I saw my sister Marie enter the door and fall to the ground in horror.  Then the Dr. sat me up and said "this is going to hurt" as he put his knee against my back and pulled back on my shoulders to put it back in place.  My collar bone was protruding out of my skin and my left shoulder was almost under my chin.  Everything was a blur with my damaged eye but I could see.  When he pulled back, I blacked out and slipped into a coma for three days.

For those 3 days my mother never left my side.  I heard later that tons of kids from my school flooded the hospital corridors and my sisters stood watch over my care 24/7.  I was their baby brother, their only brother and they were worried very much.  I had a blood clot in my brain that put pressure on my spine.  I had too many broken bones in my hand, arm, hip, nose, face, and back of my head was fractured in several places.  I don't know what held my head together.  I just laid there.  Those 3 days are gone, never to be lived in my memories again.  It is a huge blank spot in my memory.  Time stood still.

On the third day, I remember waking up to a dark room with a light coming from the hall.  My mother wasn't there, but she swears she never left the room.  I saw a nurse standing in the door.  She wore a hat, like the old fashioned ones in the war time movies.  She wore a white skirt, stockings, and shoes.  She wore a blue sweater and was blond.  I reached toward her to get her attention.  I asked her what happened to me, where am I? She answered me,

You were in a terrible accident but I would be fine.  I would be leaving soon and I should rest.

I remember telling her I was hungry.  Then I fell asleep again.  I woke up a little while later and my mom was there by my side crying.  I asked her why was she crying, I was going to be fine and go home soon.  She asked my how did I know this?  I said the nurse told me.  She replied which nurse, they have not told me anything.  I told her, the nurse in white.  She is blond with a blue sweater.  Then another nurse came in and said.

There is no blond nurse on duty today and we don't wear skirts any more for years.  You were in a coma and you just woke up.  You were in bad shape but your swelling went down and you will be going home soon if you stay like this.

I left a few days later.  When I got home my friends were there with a motorcycle.  With a shoulder brace, a cast on my arm, and bandages all over my legs, hip, arms, and face, I got on the motorcycle and rode it for a short ride.  I wanted to get over any fear I might have.  I then went in my home and began my road to recovery.  Somehow, I had made it through this.  I called my friend Joe who was nursing a busted leg but otherwise he was fine.

I don't know who are what I spoke to in that room, but I know it happened.  It was not in God's plan for me to die that day in June.  He had a different plan for me.  It would take 20 years for me to come to faith in Jesus Christ.  I would live a life completely contrary to God's will and do things I am not proud of.  I was on a fast wide path to hell and it was a downhill ride with the wind at my back and the throttle wide open.  Even still, God was with me, patiently waiting for me to realize I needed him.  He exercised Grace and Mercy every day until I finally succomed to the lure of His unconditional love.

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
— Romans 2:1-4

God has a plan for you.  Maybe you think you are beyond His saving, but I assure you, you are not.  There is no life lived that is beyond His saving.  All you have to do is trust Him, put all of your faith in Him, turn from your sins and follow Him.  Ask Him to forgive you, and He most assuredly will.  Let Him give you a new heart, and new desires, and let Him guide your path.

 

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