Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Peace and Healing

I first met our friend Tom in 2003. I remember he was saying something about how his shoulder hurt as we drank cokes in a little "comedor" in Guatemala. Su had met Tom earlier when they worked in a community service program, and she had a great idea to go see him where he was serving as Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala. I thought this was a fabulous idea since coincidentally I'd also been a volunteer there.

Anyway, we’d met up with him after he’d taken a youth group on an outing. He’d planned to bring the group up a mountain to a beautiful volcano, and just couldn’t leave Anibal behind. Anibal you see was paralyzed from the waist down and used a rickety old wheelchair to get around.

So they hired a helper and donkey or horse to get Anibal up the mountain and what a sight it was! Magical. Something that I’m sure that Anibal even years later still remembers with joy.

Tom never regretted taking him. Even when they learned at the at the top that it would be too dangerous for the animals to carry the heavy teenager back down and that they’d all have to carry him down in a hammock. By the way, did I mention that Chiquimula is in the desert? Can you spell H-O-T?

For hours and hours they all carried that boy down the mountain. And although the kids all pretty much took turns I think Tom was on duty the whole way down. That's just the way he "rolls" so to speak. And all Tom mentioned was a sore shoulder? I could tell then that Tom was a special guy. Tom later finished his service and has been working and studying since his return. We see him pretty often—he’s in DC too and our circle of friends stays close.

Sadly the waiting room in the Intensive Care Unit at Washington Hospital Center has been a makeshift home to many of these friends the past few days. Tom’s parents, his girlfriend Kristina and friends too numerous to count. You see Tom was hit by a car while riding his bike on Monday. Without his helmet he would certainly have died. Tom always wears his helmet so he’s still with us.

When we saw him yesterday the good news was that he was moving purposefully. The terribly sad news is that he’s in agony when he comes out of his medically induced periods of rest. They are trying to control for swelling on the brain so they need to sedate him but they regularly let the medication wear off to see what he’s feeling. To see him silently scream and try to rip out his tubes was heart breaking. The bones in his face are broken and all of us are heartbroken too to see him suffer so.

I like to think that God has been carrying him these past 48 hours and will continue to do so.

So if you’re the praying kind please take a moment to say a prayer for a good guy named Tom who has a long road to recovery ahead of him. Prayers for peace and healing. We love you Tom. Stay strong dear friend .-Monica (and Susanne)


Jenni said...

So sorry to hear this news - I hope he heals well.

Bugaloo said...

I am sending good vibes!

Casey said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Tom. He sounds like a really great guy.

Momma Mikki said...

I'm not the praying kind, but in this situation, I sent up a prayer last night. I'll send out another today. Keep us posted and let us know if you need anything through the vigil.

Susanica said...

Thanks Mikki. He's opening his eyes now and they are going to remove his breathing tube. We are all so happy. Thanks for your prayers. -Monica

tara said...

Tom has been added to my list of prayers...along with dad..He will be in my prayers every night until he is better! Thank God he had a helmet on.. You are dealing with one very smart man..he will be hard to fell..