Thursday, December 14, 2017

2014 Christmas Contest: Light of the World

December 29, 2014 by  
Filed under 2014 Christmas, Contests

by Maria Taormina

Maria Taormina is someone whose passion is writing.  She takes care of her handicapped husband who was electrocuted in a catastrophic work accident. She has written a book titled, “Three Lifetimes In One.” It is a story about her husband’s accident, his altered state experiences and how it affected their family. She had a short story published in Lori Wagner’s book, “The Quilting Patches of Life.”  Her short story titled, “Thoughts Before I Sleep,” won Third Place in the “Heart of Israel” writing contest.

 

Light of the World

November 4, 1994

As my husband, Jim, a commercial and industrial electrician, left work on Friday, he was speaking with his supervisor.  Jim volunteered to go to work at another jobsite on Monday.  The man who was supposed to go had left work early.

On Monday, November 7, 1994, I received a call in the afternoon to go to a hospital about a half hour drive away.  My husband was just brought there by ambulance.  He had been electrocuted; 480 volts-3 phase, and was in serious condition. When he left the hospital a week later, he had been diagnosed with two broken shoulders, a fractured T-12 vertebra, and herniated discs in his cervical and lumbar spine. The doctor hinted he could possibly have a closed head injury as well. He would never work again.

About four months had gone by and people would ask Jim what happened the day he was electrocuted. He would just reply, “I got hung up on the wires.”  One early Saturday morning, neither Jim nor I could sleep. We sat at the kitchen table sipping coffee.

“I have to talk to you about something,” he started slowly.  “I think I’m going crazy.”

“What?” I replied.

“I’ve never told anyone this.  I’m not even sure how to start.  I want to tell you what happened when I was electrocuted.  We were there to take down existing light fixtures, so they could be relocated.  The fourth floor of the building was being remodeled.  I went over to help Tom, the other electrician.  I could hear him running wires off coils.”

“Tom was using two ladders, one in the area where he was with the coil and another where the wires would come out.  It was easier because you don’t have to carry the ladder back and forth.  It also saves time if another person is at the other end on the ladder.”

I sipped my coffee and listened intently.

“I climbed up into the ceiling and must have been touching metal.  I put my other hand on the existing wires to move them out of the way, so the new wiring could come through.  There were wire nuts on the existing wires where they had been spliced and the electricity was on.  The wire nuts were not put on properly, when you twist them on wires several times to lock them together, they should never come off.  As I moved them aside, one of the wire nuts fell off.  I was immediately being electrocuted.  It was going in one hand across my body and coming out the other hand.  I was hung up on the electricity.”  Tears came to his eyes and his words struggled to come out.

“I knew it would kill me and I couldn’t break away.  I thought to myself, ‘please God don’t let me die.  I’m not ready to leave my wife and kids.’  The next thing I knew I was on the floor at least 15 feet from the ladder.  It was dark now in the area except for the light shining through a window.  I was lying on the floor screaming, the pain was unbearable.  Tom came running to me.”

“Jim what happened?” Tom asked.

“I got fried real bad.  I got hung up on the wires.”

“Stay calm, I’ll go for help.”

It felt like I laid there for hours.  The paramedics came running in and someone said, “We’re here to help you!”  They asked me what happened and were checking me and then all of a sudden the pain stopped.  After that I heard no noise.  I know the paramedics had to be talking, but I heard nothing.  I could see my body on the floor and there were men working on me, two on the one side, two on the other.  They were dressed in navy blue.  I could see the flesh on their faces, but they had no features.”

I sat there in shock, and didn’t know what to say.  Tears came to my eyes.

“I was overhead and looking down at my body and the paramedics.  Maria, I cannot tell you what incredible peace I felt.  There was silence, no pain, just a loving peaceful feeling.”

“Did you see a tunnel or a white light?” I asked.

“No I was the white light.  I felt. . . illuminated.  It was such a wonderful feeling.  To say there was no noise doesn’t do it justice.  There was this tremendous feeling of silence and peace.  I don’t know if it lasted one second or ten minutes.  I’m not afraid to die because I know that there isn’t a feeling on earth that was as peaceful as I felt. I didn’t want to feel anything else.  In an instant I heard, ‘we’ve got a pulse’ and the next thing I knew I was in the worst pain I have ever felt in my life.  All I could do was scream.  I think back on that day and I don’t know what happened.” Tears streamed down Jim’s face and his body shook as he cried.

“Jim you’re not crazy, I think you were touched by God.  It wasn’t your time to go.  He kept you on this earth for a purpose.  It will be OK; I think we need to pray.”

I am preparing for this Christmas like so many others since 1994. Some of them were difficult times since Jim’s accident. When I see Christmas cards and pictures of the Christ child in a manger there is always an illumination around Him, such as the one in the email about this writing contest. This makes me reflect upon our lives and how God has always been with us. Even when I thought He wasn’t.  I believe in Christmas, the miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ. He brought Light to the world and His Light shines in all of us.

 

 

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