Sunday, October 02, 2005

When a Stabbing is a Blessing

Things in our small town were disrupted and devastated last week when a young (at least to me) 36-year-old mother of 4 was stabbed, robbed, and sexually molested while delivery pizzas to a part of town that is, well, sometimes dangerous because of just a few people. Drugs, dark streets, abandonment buildings. Earlier in the summer, someone called the police to investigate fire crackers exploding, and when the cop got there, he was shot and killed while still in his car by a 19-year-old who had cut off his ankle bracelet while on parole. So there is bad blood going on, questions and fears. Last Thursday while waiting tables this young woman volunteered to deliver pizzas to Meacham Park and is ambushed when she steps out to an abandoned building. The knife plunged in 8 inches and lacerated her liver. For some unknown, unrelated reason, her appendix was so enlarged and swollen that the knife nicked it and not her colon or kidney or some other vital organ. She was in critical condition, but, luckily, some car's headlights scared away the 3 teens before more damage could be done.

On Sunday an old friend and her granddaughter were visiting us at church, and it was then that we discovered that the victim was her daughter. The friend has since remarried and retired to a big house in a tiny town outside St. Louis. We had watched her children, particularly this young woman, grow up at church. I had been her Sunday school teacher while she was in high school. Our congregation was devastated. The town and the pizza parlor started collecting money for the survivor and her family. We soon learned that she and her husband and 4 children had just moved back to St. Louis earlier in the month and both parents were working at a pizza parlor to make ends meet. Before long, thousands of dollars were raised, furniture donated for her house, and toys given to the children (ages 9, 5, 3, 1).

After a week in the hospital with an armed guard at her door, she was released and is now home. Her liver was sewn up and her appendix removed to stop any further complications. I took flowers to her today and was amazed to see her up and about. There were flowers and balloons and "welcome home Mom" signs throughout the house. She stood there, a victim of some horrible crime, and said how blessed she was. She said that she wouldn't wish this horror on anyone, but that she is so blessed because it happened. They are still barely getting by, but there were people in the house helping her with the children. Her husband went back to work at the pizza parlor once he was no longer by her bed 24/7. She dragged herself to the county jail for the line up since they have arrested 2 of the 3 suspects. This was no scene out of "Law & Order." She had every right not to answer to door, to be hysterical when someone came into the house, to be angry at what happened to her. And she said, "Maybe God put me there because another driver's appendix would have been the right size and would have suffered much more damage." And this was coming from a young woman who always did and always has fought the power of God. She is so happy to be alive and feels so blessed to be surrounded by family and friends.

Even though she could not identify the perps, I praised her for having the courage and strength to get down there and try. She is so incredibly brave and has so many wonderful things to say about the people who have been there to help her and her family. Once her physical scars heal, she will have emotional scars beyond words, but for right now, she makes me realize how truly blessed we all are. If someone who has been stabbed can see her tragedy as a blessing, maybe we can all realize how blessed we are without going through that pain. She is so amazed and humbled by the thousands of prayers out there across the country for her. Please keep her in your prayers and continue to amaze her.

3 Comments:

At 7:57 AM, Blogger greekchickie said...

Wow... how incredibly sad...

I wish her peace.

M~

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger Frecklehead said...

Wow, what a lesson learned. It makes me feel bad for bitching about things now...not that that was the point, but it definitely puts things into perspective. Thanks for sharing that story, Ellen. It changed my whole outlook today.

*hug*

Frecklehead

 
At 5:44 PM, Blogger Leesa said...

Geesh, goes right back to me doesn't it?? Complaining about the little things when so much worse happens to others. I'm glad she feels blessed and is doing better:)

 

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