The Awful Day the Doorbell Rang!

For the past number of months I have been writing my memoir.  It has been cathartic, and faith building as I have recalled the countless times that God has seen me through some extraordinary challenges.  My book has gone to print and arrives on my doorstep in a few days. I am excited to hold a copy in my hands.  It will be more than a bunch of words on paper - it is my own story.  My personal narrative is filled with excitement, heartache, and most of all an amazing God who has been with me throughout my life.  It is an honest account of my journey to this point; exposing my vulnerable and challenging moments. 

Below is a short portion from one of my chapters.

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I was about to get my coffee and go and sit on my back porch to read my Bible when the doorbell disturbed my rhythm. I muttered something about the untimeliness of the person ringing the bell as I went to answer it. But I smiled as I opened the door to a big, burly police officer.

Thoughts were tumbling around my brain. I wonder what he wants? Then the ah-ha moment! Ah, yes, he wants my money. Must be collecting for the police force. The terrorist attack of September 11th was still fresh in everyone’s minds and there was a constant flow of people asking for money for the police and fire departments.

As I stood there, he interrupted my thoughts by inquiring, “Are you Mrs. Alexander?” I responded quizzically, “Yes!” “Do you have a son, Jason Alexander?”  Now my mind was working quickly. I wondered if Jay had been caught going over the speed limit. I thought, Wow! The laws in North Carolina are weird. Why must a police officer come to my door to inform me of a speeding offence? That was the sum total of what I was anticipating on this hot summer day of July 1st.

Before I could question the police officer, words began pouring out of his mouth. “ I have some bad news for you, ma’am.”

I thought, I don’t want your bad news, so buzz off and take it with you!

But the words kept coming. Slowly and deliberately they fell from his lips, hitting me with the force of a ton of bricks. “I am so sorry. Your son has been involved in a tragic motor-vehicle accident. He has been airlifted to a hospital in Charlotte.”

I stood there in stunned silence. Instantly the world stopped. The police officer’s lips were moving, but I could not hear anything. I was surrounded by darkness and intense quiet. Then suddenly, with brutal force, the words seemed to batter my consciousness and bring me back to the awful moment of reality staring me between the eyes.

Tears I had no control over streamed down my face, running down my neck and wetting the collar around my dress. My hands shook. My stomach churned, and fear like wildfire charged relentlessly through my body. “Is he okay? Tell me, is he okay?” I pleaded.

“Ma’am,” the police officer replied regretfully. “He was not breathing when the emergency vehicle got to him. But they managed to get a breathing tube down his throat and he is being transported by helicopter to the hospital as we speak.” Each word was emphasized with a staccato like clip. When he said, “You need to get to the hospital quickly,” I knew the situation was desperate.

I implored him, “Can you please wait with me while I phone my husband?” He was kind and gracious and stood indoors with me while I phoned Paul.

The phone in my hand shook with an intensity that astonished me. It rang a few times before Paul’s familiar voice answered cheerfully. “Hello!” For some reason I could not repeat the words the police officer had said to me. I simply could not say those words out loud.  With a trembling voice I hardly recognized as my own, I said, “Love,  Jay has had an accident, and he has been taken to hospital.” Paul could hear I was shaken, and he replied with empathy, “Love, control yourself. It will be fine.”


How could I tell Paul that our only son, our precious boy, was fighting the greatest battle of his life and he might not make it through the next hour? My hands trembling, I handed the phone to the police officer and asked him to tell Paul which hospital Jay was in. I had not heard the details clearly and I felt the back of my throat burning as I tried to swallow the salty tears that refused to stay down.

The police officer gave Paul the address of the hospital and then passed the phone back to me. Paul spoke soothingly and reassuringly to me. “Sam and I will come as soon as possible.”

Paul was out having lunch with our pastor and friend, Sam Farina. Obviously the reality of the situation had not yet registered, because it seemed like forever before they showed up. I phoned Paul ten minutes later and with sheer desperation pleaded, “Where are you?” Paul replied, “We’re on our way. Sam was held up with some parishioners.” Clearly the urgency of our situation had not sunk in.

I was a bit more cognizant at that moment, and with agony in my voice I said, “Love, it is bad. It’s very bad. Jay had to be taken to the hospital by helicopter.”

I heard a gasp and then, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” was all that Paul managed to utter. They arrived a few minutes later to make the agonizing drive to the hospital in Charlotte and see what awaited us.

Fear settled on me like a cloud, and with it came an agony that is difficult to articulate. I perceived that the worst pain was the one I could not glimpse—the one on the horizon, like a thunderstorm brewing in the sky. I could sense the tempest was at hand, and with it pain would come like a flood. I felt helpless.

As Sam drove us to the hospital, I phoned our precious Anna to tell her that her brother had been involved in a horrific car accident. She sobbed uncontrollably and the anguish in her voice made me want to protect her from the horror we were all confronting. I could not. We could not run from this, hide from it, or will it away. This was our reality and we had to face it.

Our long nightmare had just begun.

My book will be available from early May!

My book will be available from early May!

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I hope you will take time to read my memoir.  I know it will inspire you to faith in a God who is so much bigger than you or I...a God who walks with us through every season of life.  My prayer is that you will experience His grace and peace today for whatever situation you are facing.

I am and always will be,

recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,

Carol

Jay's car!

Jay's car!