Last night Donna and I slept for eight hours for the first time in a month. In fact, Donna and I woke up at exactly the same time, exchanged loving smiles, we kissed and wished each other a happy anniversary. Twenty-nine years ago on this day, we were married at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Spartanburg, S.C.
Had it not been for that monumental day, we would not be here in Augusta at Doctors Hospital, because Aimee never would have been born. Had our marriage never happened, I am convinced that today my life would be a filled with loneliness and misery. Donna was an answer to my prayers and Paige and Aimee were answers to our combined prayers. God has been good to us by filling our family with the love we share. I can’t explain why Aimee fell ill to that horrific bacterial infection. I would love to be able to go back to the day of Aimee’s accident and undo everything that has been done, but I can’t do that, so why dwell on it? I am simply thankful to have enjoyed a fabulous family life over the past twenty nine years.
2 Corinthians 12:9 is correct in stating that “’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” That scripture hits home with us. In fact, we see the scripture in action every day.
One of the first letters we received after Aimee’s accident was from Deanna Hilgemann of Galveston, Texas. Deanna wrote a beautiful letter and shared her personal testimony of how she made some mistakes in her life, but she confessed her mistakes and advised Aimee to hold her family close and further offered encouragement to Aimee to use her experiences for God’s greater glory. Deanna’s letter has touched our entire family deeply. Her love and compassion poured out of each and every word. God bless you Deanna.
One of my new friends on Facebook, Sean Murphy, decided to step out and give blood for the first time in 10 years. This was not an easy decision, because the last time he tried he suffered a vasovagal reaction and had a seizure. It took a lot of courage for Sean to step up and give blood after that experience, but he was encouraged by Aimee’s courage, so he opted to give it a try. As Sean was being processed as a donor, it was discovered that he had high blood pressure. Sean subsequently discovered that he was suffering from stage two hypertension, a condition that could have been potentially life threatening. He is now on medication to control it. In Sean’s words, “I was zooming to stroke or heart attack land, not even knowing it! Such a chain of events is definitely part of God’s mysterious ways!” I agree wholeheartedly.
Another young man wrote to tell us that he was suffering from depression and close to committing suicide when he learned about Aimee. Her situation caused him to reexamine his own life, adjust his attitude and stop feeling sorry for himself. Another life changed.
When I stopped by United Community Bank a couple of weeks ago, a man approached me in tears and told me what an inspiration Aimee ha