Out Of The Darkness



It’s a word that gets thrown around with such casualty. “It’s a miracle I made it to work on time today.” “Its a miracle my kids aren’t arguing right now.”
No. You want to know what a miracle is? A miracle is who I just got off the phone with a few minutes ago. A familear voice, a little slower and softer than usual, but still cracking jokes. And I want to fall to my knees right in the middle of hearing him talk and just pour out my thanks to a God that I so often take for granted. But I wait until I say goodbye and hang up and then I just stand there smiling and crying and I cannot believe how GOOD “happy tears” feel to shed. I am overwhelmed with how beautiful life is. Because sometimes I forget.
Sometimes I forget until I am casually chatting away on FaceBook to a friend and another friend pops up on my screen and tells me one of my dearest friends is in a coma in the ICU. And before I even finish reading the sentence on my computer screen I am on my feet, poised for some action, but not sure what.All I knwo is someone I love is not ok and I need to do SOMETHING.
But all I can do is pray. And I do. All day and all night. No sleep. Just pray. And I post on FaceBook asking for prayers to go up and literally THOUSANDS of people are lighting candles and praying and asking me for updates and my heart is so flooded with love and fear that I don’t know how to even think straight. I just pray. I call the hospital. His dad is by his bedside and tells me he doesn’t know if he will make it. Doesn’t know much of anything. And for 24 hours I try to wrestle with the reality I may never see Brandon smile again or hear his voice. I wonder if the boys will be able to handle going to see funeral. (the older two anyway.) I go in his room and sit on his bed and cry and talk out loud to God.
The next day Chris and I go to the hospital. My friend Norma, on her birthday, with no sleep the night before, watches our 6 boys for us so we can go see him. Because that is what friends do. And it is not until the next day that it dawns on me that I never thanked her or told her Happy Birthday. (Happy Birthday Norma. Thank you for being there. I love you.)
And I have to go into the gas station bathroom on teh way to the hospital to throw up because my nerves are shot and I hate hospitals so much but I’m going because Brandon is there and that is what friends do too.And I cling to Chris’s hand as we make our way through teh maze of hallways. And the chaplain meets us at his door and introduces herself and we go in.
His wrists and ankles are strapped down. So he won’t thrash and hurt himself. Chris starts talking and Brandons eyes pop open but he doesnt focus on anything, he is intent on the ceiling behind him and he is moaning and trying so damn hard to talk. And I’m not going to cry in that room where he might hear me so I step out into the hallway to breathe. Chris begins reading the notes the boys have written to Brandon. And when he is almost done Brandon begins to yell, then scream. The nurses tell me he does that when he has visitors. He gets agitated. They seem unfazed by it. But to me, I hear pain. I hear physical pain, I hear a heart in torment. I walk away from the nurse in mid sentence and back into his room. The mother in me wants to climb right up in that bed and hold him and somehow soothe his pain. But I can’t. So I take his hand. And he’s thrashing. And I have nothing more to offer but to pray so I do. And slowly he calms.And he focuses on us a brief moment. And a few tears roll down his cheek and I wipe them away . And I thank the nurse who comes in to check his vitals and wet his mouth and lips with a sponge and I kiss him goodbye on his forehead and we go home.
And now I know he is going to survive. I tell Chris he is in there fighting so hard to get out and THAT is the Brandon we know so well. Tough, and a little pist at times. And I am so thankful for that. To see it. But now a new set of emotions. Now we worry and wonder if he will ever be the same old person. If there is permenant damage to his brain. But nothing is impossible with God and I keep praying. And all day long I am getting phone calls and texts and messages on FaceBook asking how he is doing and is there an update and all I can say is “Just keep praying.”
And Friday morning, two days after I kissed him goodbye, I see the missed calls on my phone form the hospital. And the voicemail. And I’m a little scared. And I listen to the message. And he says “Hi Princess Tonia, it’s Brandon. I’m not dead.” and I have to listen to it again to hear the rest because I am bawling so hard. And I listen to that damn message 4 times in a row because it is the most awesome beautiful thing I have ever had the honor of hearing. And I am so happy.
And I sit here now pondering how we as humans all hit moments of darkness.No one is immune to pain or heart ache or hopelessness. It drags us all down at some point. Some of us just get lost a little longer than others. Some dig down a little deeper than others. Some don’t get a second chance.
But some do. Some get more than that. Some have a purpose so profound that God won’t let them go no matter how hard they try to be released. Because that’s love. Real love. That’s how God works.
THAT is what a miracle is.
It’s light in the middle of pitch black. Its hope when everything is totally hopeless. Its beauty in the center of tragedy. It’s an 18 year old young man on the edge of an abyss finding his way back because he simply shines too bright for the darkness.
I believe in miracles.
I know one personally.
❤ ❤ ❤

A special thank you from the bottom of my heart to every single person who prayed, lit candles, sent well wishes, healing vibes, etc etc… There was a flood of love that flowed over Brandon through all of this. All too often we forget to show we care or say we love a person until it's too late. I always found that to be the sad tragedy of funerals. That the ones we are talking about loving so much can't even HEAR us anymore. It's a waste in that way.
But he got to come back from all of this and see for himself how truly loved he really is. THANK YOU for that.

3 responses »

  1. Tonia, you are an angel in this young mans life, The reasons that people do the things they do to themselves is beyond me, but I have said for sometime that the best thing I can do is to be there and love them no matter what. You are a shining example of this. I lit an candle for this young man last week when I first saw your post on Facebook and continue to burn one for him. Keep on being you, you’re pretty wonderful.

  2. Aww, you’re very welcome 🙂 I had a fun day hanging out with you for a lil bit and your kids. I used to work in a daycare, and being from a huge family, babysat all the time, and your boys are the best behaved kids I have ever had the pleasure of watching. And hearing how Brandon called you, made me cry too. I had tears in my eyes when your man called about 12:30 today and said that Brandon was awake. We will continue to pray and send positive thoughts for him 🙂

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