Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Monica's story . .part 2

In 1991 the family that Monica had become a part of welcomed yet another daughter, when Carlos' brother Claudio was married. Carlos' parents soon began to make plans to take the entire family away on a vacation. The following spring the family went to a resort to celebrate Easter together. They went to an all inclusive resort where they enjoyed the last of the warm summer days horseback riding, fishing, swimming and enjoying each others company over wonderful meals.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.

At the end of the weekend as the men were settling up the bill, the women relaxed by the van with the children. They took turns discussing the plans they had on their return home and they laughed when they talked about the extra exercise that they would need to work off all the scrumptious meals that they had all enjoyed.

They looked forward to the five hour ride home together. Even though Carlos' Dad had always felt uneasy to travel together in one vehicle, they weren't overly concerned when they began their journey home. Carlos, Monica with their two children, Carlos' parents, Claudio and his bride all found their seats in the van and began the scenic drive home.


Monica who struggled with car sickness sat in the front seat holding Juliana. The scenery on the journey was pastoral and peaceful. Though the road was straight, the shoulders were narrow and often there was no space on either side of the road to safely allow a car to pass. As they passed a beautiful white church Monica looked down at Juliana and began to sing


"I am small and my heart is clean,


nobody but Jesus can live in me".


That was Monica's last memory of holding her little girl.

No one is completely sure of what happened that afternoon. The vehicle that caused the crash was untouched and left the scene and the driver was never found. Two vehicles collided and life changed forever.

One minute Monica was holding her little girl singing her a song and the next moment she was lying face down in the gravel unable to move. The first thing she heard was a woman begging her to keep her eyes closed. She never looked. The van was completely torn apart except for the seat that Monica sat in. One seat attached to the frame of the van, the rest was utterly torn apart.


Even though I walk through the dark valley of death,

I will not be afraid for

you are close beside me.


Monica remembers very little of what transpired on the way to the hospital. She remembers a woman calling loudly to Juliana trying to keep her awake. She remembers the woman's little girl sitting at her feet. They had wasted no time waiting for an ambulance but rather had transported them in their own vehicle.

In the hospital only a thin curtain separated her from Juliana who the doctors

were doing their best to save.

Your rod and your staff

protect me and comfort me.



In and out of consciousness she was vaguely aware of her clothing being cut off. Cloths that felt harsh and rough were used to clean the dirt and gravel from the scrapes and lacerations on her body, arms and legs. Three hours later in intensive care Monica's parents and Carlos' Uncle were permitted to see her.

When the Uncle entered the room Monica opened her eyes and asked him the obvious question. "What of the others?" Unable to meet her gaze he replied "Everything is taken care of" and he left the room. Monica looked at her Mother and asked "everyone?" and her Mother nodded yes.

In a moment Monica realized the enormity of her loss. Her husband, her children, her parents in law, brother in law and sister in law . . .all of them, gone. How do you begin to wrap your mind around that? Was it possible that only hours earlier they had all stood by the pool for a picture?

April 21, 1992, thirteen people lost their lives in the two vehicle crash, seven of them from Monica's family and six from the other family.
While their church held the seven caskets, Monica lay in the hospital, her Mother sat by her side and together they cried. Over and over Monica speaks of her Mom and Dad and the sacrifice they made to stay with her continually for months. Nothing was more important to them than to help their daughter deal with her devastating loss.
Family and friends did all they could to help. As soon as possible, Monica's Aunt Suzy arranged for a brand new Ambulance to come and transfer Monica back to Curitiba where she continued to regain her physical health. Her hip was badly cracked and she spent three weeks in the hospital that specialized in fractures. Her body began to heal but her heart was broken and no one knew how to mend that.
Everyone wanted to help. Family and friends brought cards, flowers, desserts and even whole cakes. Her sister came from Paraguay and stayed a month allowing Monica to be herself and say the things and cry the tears that very few ever heard. Her parents walked her through the staggering amount of paperwork and daily mind boggling decisions that were so important and not important all at the same time.




Through it all Monica clung to the fact the her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ would not ever leave her or give her more than she could bear. She would never truly be alone. How long does it take to grieve the loss of a child?

How long does it take to grieve the loss of your family? Inconceivable.

I asked Monica what the single most difficult moment had been. With a sigh, she recalled the first time she went back to their church and sat alone in the bench that they had shared as a family.

She knew that God would not have brought her through the horrific crash without a plan for the rest of her life. She trusted Him and waited for the healing to begin.

At her beside someone had given her the verse found in Joshua 1:9.

Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

During the months that followed, Monica inscribed those words in her heart.

Tomorrow I will conclude Monica's story.





13 comments:

  1. Oh...I can't even find the words. To lose everyone...everything. I'm so grateful that you're telling Monica's story, and I can hardly wait to come back and read what you've got to tell tomorrow!

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  2. I know there must be a positive 'part three' but right now I am so sad.

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  3. There are no words. I sit here with tears in my eyes when I think of the pain she went through. I think of a verse in Psalms, "He is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit".

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  4. I am with your other readers - there are no words to describe such loss.

    Only the Lord could carry someone through such a dark valley.

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  5. Oh,I wish I could put my tears into words...I can't imagine the pain of having your world end so tragically...and suddenly.
    Except for God...how could she have survived?
    I see the picture of her smiling at the B&B...so I shall hold out for a happy ending tomorrow...

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  6. I sit here speachless! A beautiful story comes down with such a crash ... and all that comforts me is that it was still a loving God who allowed this ... and the fact that Monica has been able to put her trust in Him. Monica has beautiful memories and no regrets ... Carlos did not break her heart... but oh the loss that she has had to grieve, I cannot imagine!
    what a reminder again to appreciate our loved ones and to speak blessing into their lives every moment that we have.

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  7. wow i can't even imagine how hard that would be.Loosing your husband and your children would be so painful. alot of people wouldn't even want to live after that. wow
    you have to have alot of faith and trust in God to overcome that.

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  8. Aw man!
    That's terrible!!
    It reminds me of Melody Green's story..."No Compromise"...one of my fav. books.

    Thanks for the continuation...I knew there must be something sad about to happen!!!

    Demara

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  9. My heart hurts for Monica...I can't begin to imagine that kind of loss...even in this "God is good."

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  10. Hi Lovella, my mom gave me your blog site. Friends have been telling me to start one and since yours inspired me - I thought I would give it a shot. Don't know how you find the time to make yours so detailed.

    Your latest story is soooo heart wrenching. Not a good thing to read when you are PMSing. Can't wait for the outcome tomorrow.

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  11. When I am reading tears are swelling up. I can't imagine what she went through. That is such a sad story.


    www.sunshinecoastkids3.blogspot.com

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  12. I have read this post 3 times today! Why I choose to torture myself I don't know! I cried all 3 times. I am overwhelmed, but like in part 1 when I sensed something terrible was going to happen in part 2, I also sense that part 3 will be about healing and again finding joy in life. I look forward to tomorrows cry!

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  13. Crying, Lovella. I am around death and grief all day long. And to hear this tragedy from THIS perspective....I truly am breathless.

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Thank you!