CREDOS: Most Beautiful Word — I

Please God, let my son live,” I pleaded during the hour-long drive to the hospital.

All I knew was that Terry and his friend, Lowell “Chubs,” had been in a terrible car accident early

that Saturday morning in July of 1984. My son was eighteen with a wife and beautiful six-week-old baby girl, Amber.

Since we had no phone at that time, a neighbor had come over to tell me the hospital was trying to contact us. There had been a bad accident.

My husband Jerry was out on errands with our other two sons, Perry and George, ages seventeen and ten.

Terry’s place was about a mile away, so I drove over to break the news to his wife, Sandy.

Chubs’s wife was there also. With a car full of various family members, we sped off to the hospital

in a panic.

A cloud of fear and disbelief hung over us all.

We prayed unceasingly, pleading for the lives of Terry and Chubs. My shock prevented any tears.

I could not believe this was happening to us. We lived a simple but happy life in a modest, two-bedroom house in Marshall, Arkansas. The two youngest boys lived at home while my daughter, Tammy, and Terry both lived close by with their spouses. At the time, my husband Jerry worked as a mechanic. I had been employed at a shirt factory for eight years.

When we reached the hospital, we were told the boys had both been taken by helicopter to Springfield Hospital, a trauma center that was three hours away. We got back into the car for the longest drive of our lives.

At the trauma center, we were taken aside so medical personnel could prepare us. Terry had a brain stem injury. This meant paralysis was a possibility. —