When I returned in the fall, it was the first time in my life I had ever failed a class. I was failing English, what had been my strongest subject. My English professor told me that I couldn't write and asked how I got into college. I met with him later, told him my story and produced a paper I had written a few months before the accident. It was an "A" paper. "You can write," he remarked, and told me where to go for help. That was my turning point.
I began to learn that once I was reminded, it all would come back. I got extra help, and after a year or so, became better than what I had been before.
Then there was the emotional toll. The accident damaged the area of my brain that produces the chemicals that control emotion. I had no comprehension of how I was supposed to feel because I had no memory of it. My aunt recognized that I might need medication and convinced me to see a doctor. I was glad I listened — those are my "Happy Pills."
That was my outward experience. My inward was more incredible.
First, the surgeon in Provo told my mom he had never performed that particular surgery before because usually the person is dead. Second, other than my head, I only received a few minor scratches. My back wasn't broken and it should have been. My left ear drum was destroyed when I was hit, but by the time a specialist looked at it back home, it was perfect. My eyesight improved.
The president of the temple told my mom that as he was rushing to the front door to come visit us in the hospital, he met a man in a white suit. The man was dressed as a temple worker, but the president knew all the workers and he wasn't one of them. The man told him that he had given me a blessing and that I was going to be OK.
After I left the hospital and into the summer, I had a presence with me I can't describe. It was like you knew someone is in the room with you but you can't see them. You only feel them. I have had many spiritual experiences related to this one incident, many of which are too personal to write.
But I will say that because of this I now know that God lives — the greatest blessing of all. The pros outweigh the cons. My mom still keeps the dress I wore that day, bloodied and torn, to remind her of the miracle that was her daughter.
God was there that day. I don't tell this story to many, but sometimes I feel like I have to — like now. I am very sorry you lost your grandparents that day. I couldn't wish for anyone to lose a loved one that way, but I believe there was a reason. It sounds like your grandmother was a great lady. I hope I get to meet her someday, but not too soon.
Feel free to contact me. I would love to get to know you.
Smiles, Lisa B. Brown
I didn’t stop crying for a long time. I will never truly understand how difficult Lisa’s journey has been, and she would certainly have been justified in harboring feelings of bitterness or anger. But I found only forgiveness, optimism and enduring faith in her amazing narrative.
Lisa’s story is a testament to the Atonement’s healing power for all those who suffer, regardless of the circumstances.
I look forward to building my friendship with this extraordinary woman named Lisa — a friendship based on the experience that forever connected us and transformed both of our lives.
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