Potent Quotables for another October 7

October 7 stands out.

I am sure for many it is a happy date. A birthday, an anniversary, a day marked with fond remembrance or happiness.

For me, it is a black mark drawn down the fabric of my life. The before life and the after life. As I reread this it seems so melodramatic, and that is not my intention. I am just trying to express that I see it as a line of demarcation, the end of something and the beginning of something else. A car accident on October 7, 1995 forever changed our family. Changed the way we were, the way we went forward, and for one, the way she travels this earth.

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.  ~African Proverb

For the first fifteen years, the preceding weeks produced a building of sorrow that culminated in a weepy, sad October 7th. Sometimes the day coincided with other hard things. Last year, I was inexplicably offered a reprieve. I thought I might sail through again this year, but the telltale signs were becoming more noticeable as the weeks went on.

We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, “Why did this happen to me?” unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way.  ~Author Unknown

It was a different sort of sadness though. Not so much focused on the sharp pain of loss, but on the heartaches she has endured. Abby’s life has not been typical.

I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle.  I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.  ~Mother Teresa

There have been trials for her. Six years old seems too young to experience those kinds of trials.

The feeling of being left out, rejected, dismissed.

Knowing that your differences are sometimes greater than another’s willingness to accept.

Junior high and high school, magnified by a 1000.

Invisibility, lack of eye contact, talking to those with her but not to her.

The condescension, rudeness, and thoughtlessness of others.

Pain. Emotional and physical.

Brokenness. Emotionally and physically.

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold.  They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.  ~Barbara Bloom

Yet, she has survived, and in many instances, thrived. She has a strength and determination that I admire. She has endured more than most while complaining far less than some do every single day. She is learning to move forward, to try new things, to believe that God has a plan for her, a plan for hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.  ~Mary Engelbreit

She has experienced many blessings since that day.

The blessings of:

A swift arrival of police and paramedics on the freeway.

A quick thinking doctor who administered the proper medication to prevent more swelling of her spinal cord, so there would not be further damage.

An available life flight to take her to the University of Michigan Hospital, one of the very best places for her to be, and almost in our own back yard.

A diagnosis proved wrong. She is not completely paralyzed from the waist down, as all doctors assured us she would. While she is not able to walk, this mobility has helped her to crawl, move and transfer with much more ease.

Strength and determination, in abundance. She went back to school full time just months after.

Wonderful physical therapists who worked with her and encouraged her to do more than we ever knew she would be able. Gretchen, Barb and Markus come to mind.

A father who would not give up on his Girl. Honey was her staunchest advocate, biggest cheerleader, and most able to spur her on.

Loving friends and family to provide support during those long, hard days and weeks, and months and years.

I have seen many changes in her the last few years. All for the better. She has decidedly gone after the sort of life she desires. She started attending a young adult group at a nearby church with her dear, nearly lifelong friends, Running Lauren and Working Autumn, where she has developed some nice friendships.

She has spent the last two summers interning in the business world, thanks to Jip the Farm Dog’s husband, Jaw.

She graduated from college, while enduring surgeries, physical therapy and the weather, which is a much bigger deal for her than it is for you or I.

She invested 8 or 9 years volunteering in the 2 year old department and VBS at our church. She loved those little kids and was so good with them. It’s good to have success when other things are not so good.

Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.  ~Henry Ward Beecher

I have always believed that God would redeem the hard years for her, would teach her to bloom and flourish and allow her to have a productive, fulfilling life. The timing has always been the unknown entity. It has been encouraging watching her make strides in that direction.

Scars tell us more about the future than the past, about how we can live strong despite any pain we’ve been through. ~Terri Guillemets

God can use all things for our good, even the things we wish we could have avoided. As we wait to see how life unfolds, I have found comfort in my favorite verses:

Proverbs 3:5-6

New International Version (NIV)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

So again, we mark another year of remembering. Remembering it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. And then I will put it away, because you can’t really live in that state, it’s not productive. It’s too hard, too draining, too…..something.

Allow yourself a moment of grief when life’s misfortunes visit you. However, do not spend your days building a monument in honor of them. ~Dodinsky

I am thankful for my little family. Thankful for the dear daughter that the Lord spared all those years ago. Thankful for the web of support from our dear friends and family. Thankful to the God who has cared for us every single day since that other fall day.

Isaiah 43:1-3
But now, this is what the LORD says – he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”


I found a piece of paper in my purse last week. I had heard someone say “there is a purpose for our history” and I wrote it down. I can’t even remember who said it, or why, but I like it. I like it a lot.


  1. caprilis said,

    October 7, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    I love all of these quotes and verses.
    I also love your “little family” and the inspiring way you live your lives with faith, love and laughter in the face of trials that most folks could not get past without a whole lot of whineing. Hugs to all of you!

  2. Carol said,

    October 7, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Thanks. This is such an encouragement and a testimony of God’s faithfulness. You and your whole family have amazed me at how you have handled life. Really. Thank you. I love your girl. God is at work in her and I’m so excited!

  3. Laurie said,

    October 8, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    What a beautiful posting. Your way with words is wonderful. Congrats to the Ab-cat for her successful journey through all those days and wishes for ever continuing triumphs.

  4. CapriP said,

    October 8, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    I so remember that day of the accident. It was so sad and seemed so unfair. You all have weathered the storm well and are truly inspiring to those of us around you! Love you all MUCHLY!

  5. warren said,

    October 8, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Ditto exactly what Laurie said…

  6. deb said,

    October 9, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    I want to put all of your quotes/verses on pieces of paper in my wallet! Pain, hurt, unfairness are so hard to understand. But Ab, and your little family have overcome so much through faith and love. I can’t wait to see what He has in store for Ab! Love you all.

  7. October 14, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    I feel I can’t comment on this blog…..it is so personal and no one but you and your family know what it is really like. I didn’t know you then, but I know you know and you and your family are my heroes. I love your attitude, fortitude, and courage. I love that the Ab-Cat is thriving and learning and growing up into a beautiful young woman. These things have brought your family closer together. I love your quotes. I must print them up. Thanks for sharing your very personal thoughts.

  8. Vickie said,

    October 19, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    I see more love in your little family, than I see anywhere else I look

  9. October 7, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    […] I Named it Mark , Way Back When-sday-1995 , Unfairness Abounds , Potent Quotables for another October 7. […]

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