There were no shows at the theatre we wanted to see, so he suggested we drop by Blockbuster for a rental. I was driving, so I chose the route home beside the movie store, but as I came near I drove right past. Alan questioned me and I gave him a simple, “I changed my mind.” I paused thinking, “How strange. I wanted to see a movie just five minutes ago,” but drove on home.
My parents were up the street at a birthday party. The house was empty. I walked straight back to my room and put my purse down. The phone was ringing when I returned to the den.
“Hello, is this Mrs. Buell?”
“This is Carol Buell.”
“Carol, is Susan Buell your mother?”
“How old are you?”
“Twenty-three. Can I take a message for my mom?”
“I guess you are old enough. Carol. I need you to listen. Your brother Jay Buell has been in a car accident-”
“Is he okay?”
“Well he’s a strong guy, but he is hurt pretty bad. Do you know how to contact your parents? You need to come to the hospital.”
I sank in the chair next to me and listened while she gave me the details of where we needed to go. I grabbed the closest pen and paper. My hand shook. My eyes were wet.
I hung up and knew why my desire to stop at Blockbuster left. We would have missed the call. No one would have been home.
Alan and I got back in the car to get my parents. They were laughing and opening gifts with friends and relatives. I wasn’t sure how to approach. I beckoned my mother to me and don’t even remember what I said, but we quickly left – my parents in one car and Alan and I in another.
At the hospital, we waited for an eternity before anyone would let us see my brother or even come talk to us. When the doctor finally appeared, he tried his best to prepare us for what we would see. He explained how Jay was trapped in his car after a head-on collision. The Jaws of Life had to cut him out. His car had completely crushed his lower body. His face was bruised and bloodied, and there was a large chunk missing out of his arm. I’ll never forget the doctor explaining how Jay had NO internal injuries. “It was as if someone were to have placed a hand over his middle section,” the doctor explained and placed his own hand on his chest, “and protected that part.”
Chills ran down my spine and tears fell down my cheeks because I knew someone had done just that.
Jay spent all night in surgery to fill his legs with steel rods and pins. But within a week, he was home. He could barely walk, each step caused excruciating pain, but he was home.
When my dad went to see if he could get some things out of the car before it was totaled, he was in shock. Mom said he sat down and cried, thanking God for sparing his son. The car was a mangled mess. It was a miracle my brother survived.
You won’t believe this, but my brother wore a tuxedo to my wedding just two weeks after the accident. He was in a wheelchair. We were so thankful.
Today, my brother is married to his high school sweetheart. The accident brought them back together after many years apart. She never left his side, and he knew she was a keeper. They have three children. Jay can walk, run, ride a bike, and jump on the trampoline.
And every day I have the privilege of watching. Watching God’s plan unfold for my brother’s life. Because on June 14, 1997 it became very obvious that God was not done with him yet. He had a greater plan.
Jay and his three blessings. 6/2008