Ramblings from the Cove...
By Lars Gren
Reminiscence of the accident… In one of the last two postings, I mentioned giving you a bit of news of what happened when I returned to the states from England. So, I’ll launch it right here. Previously to the trip, I had spoken to Arlita Winston. She and her husband have been long time friends of the Howard family and had mentioned to me of coming down to have a weekend with her and husband Joe. Arlita was excited as there was a famous evening at the Longwood Gardens in PA. I’m hearing this push for visiting and I explained to her that I had come back exhausted and wondered if we could postpone it a couple of weeks. She was rather sad about that, mentioning the unveiling of the gardens would be with Hollywood type of spotlights, lighting the various sections, as we walked the paths or were seated near the ponds, a future memory of a grand evening. Plus a sit-down dinner on the Terrace room.
I gave in.
That next morning I set off, for an overnight at the Deaconry, in Liberty Corner, NJ. This is a work that began with a German Order of Sisters that worked in hospitals. When they immigrated into this country, they established several centers for having Christian retreats. Elisabeth was the speaker at a number of events there. Should you have need of a center, it can accommodate several hundred, and would be a wonderful place for a church to go or a couple for a weekend retreat. (If you have an interest in such a place, just send me a note).
The following afternoon I arrived at Joe and Arlita’s home in Moorestown, NJ. A couple of hours to have tea and a chat, Then off we set for the Gardens. True to her description, the Gardens were beautiful, and the day temperatures were perfect, and the lightshow was something to be remembered, and the food excellent! All in all, it was a good afternoon and evening. At the end, I was ready to get back and have a chat and then to bed. We all took our seats and Joe began to drive north. In less than a half of hour from their home, I, in the back seat, looking through the front window, all of a sudden I saw one headlight coming south, in our north bound lane. I heard Arlita say with horror, “Joe! Joe! A car is coming toward us! Turn the wheel and get off the road!” The crash seemed to arrive with three distinct hits. I was slung back and forth in the shoulder belt, distinctly hearing myself calling out twice, (“Oh, God! Help me! My back, my back!”) Then everything was quiet and I realized the people were milling about and emergency lights flashing. Soon someone opened a door and asked, “Can you get out?” I answered “No, put me on a board.” This they did and I was soon on my way to a trauma hospital in PA. It was there that I think I spent 10 days before being freed to a rehab in Haverhill, MA, not too far from Magnolia, and later dismissed. The result of that episode was a variety of injuries, including the compression fractures of the number 1, 3, and 5 in the lumbar region of the back. It was a different ending to a day, which had begun with the expectation of an extraordinary light show in the gardens, not a light show of the lights of rescue vehicles.
In thinking over the incident, two major thoughts come to mind of God’s grace and protection. The first was when we were about to leave, Arlita said to me, “you sit in the front so that you can talk to Joe” I replied “that’s okay, you sit there and I can talk to him when we get home”. She re-issued that invitation and I said “no, let’s do it this way” I entered the back seat with Joe having already starting the engine. When I went to put my seatbelt on, it would not click in no matter how hard I tried, in fact three or four times. I thought, “I’ll just say to Joe, okay go ahead, drive we’re all set.” Then I heard “Just try it one more time and I did, it went in, as though it had been greased with butter. I was encased. I still think of it and how God works in mysterious ways. There must yet be guardian angels to do the biddings and care for us.
Prior to leaving the scene, Joe, said that there was a witness who was in the vehicle behind the one that hit us and offered his testimony of the events to the Police. The driver was 69 years old. He was taken off in handcuffs, after being registered to the highest level possible on a breath analyzer, his third accident due to being drunk. I feel bad for him and hope that he may have learned without needing jail time for that seems to do little good. I have come a long way but still have back aches at times and not able to do weighty work, pick up heavy loads and I bend over in a most awkward, odd way but at least I can do so. For that I am thankful to God.
I’ll leave you then.
God bless and that’s it from the Cove.