Yesterday on the way home from her skating lesson, Azia asked me the age old question.. Why do they call Good Friday, Good Friday?
We ended up in a discussion about it concluding that in the end while Good Friday wasn’t such a good day for Jesus that it was a good day for us because of what he had done on that day.
This ‘good’ Friday hasn’t been such a good one for me either. I got the news late last night that Joel Pennington a fellow loom knitter and future contributor to Loom Knitters Circle was in a fatal accident on Monday. He leaves behind his wife Rebekah and their two daughters aged 6 and 9.
Here is what the message from Rebekah said:
Joel was in an awful car accident on Monday March 17th while driving the girls to school. D got herself out of the van which had been hit by an oncoming car and then rolled several times. She told Joel she was going for help, when she then found the nearest person and demanded they call 911 and me at my home which she read off to them. They asked if she was ok and she said yes, but she’s going back to get her sister. She went and help B out of the van. Joel was still conscious and concerned for them to get out and that they were ok. Joel was trapped in the van, and the fire and medic departments extricated him to be rushed to the hospital where I work. I arrived on scene as they were loading (the girls) in an ambulance unsure if Joel was alive at all. I went with the girls to seek treatment. Only by nothing short of a miracle (the girls) are alive. Joel arrived at the ER a while later and I quickly rushed to see what his status was. He was severely injured, but talking and asking about the girls and me. I went right in and talked to him. I knew they were going to have to put him out to evaluate his situation. We learned that his pelvis was crushed, shoulder dislocated, arms/wrist breaks, pneumo thorax and more…. He was bleeding internally. I talked with our general surgeon and he decided to operate. I spoke with Joel again and we had a few minutes of words. He was taken back to surgery to discover his spleen was torn in multiple locations and they removed it. They stopped as much of the bleeding as they could and prepped him to be air lifted to Billings MT for further treatment. As he arrived in Billings he went into cardiac arrest. They were able to revive him, but he had gone without oxygen for a concerning amount of time. He was not stable enough to endure further surgery at that time. They did everything they could, but he went into cardiac arrest again at about 11 pm and was not able to be resuscitated. I was right there all the while held out hope, but sadly God was ready to call him home.
This has been a very trying week and our lives will be much different now. I’m so thankful that God held our two precious girls…one in each hand. Unfortunately he couldn’t let go of Joel. I knew right off from the state trooper that the other car was in Joel’s lane by a good five feet, but didn’t know why. Today we found out that the 44 year old woman driving the other car was text messaging while driving. She died on impact, her two children and one of their friends were in that car. Her kids were hospitalized, the friend was treated and released. I’m thankful that I had a few minutes to talk with Joel and consider that to be nothing less than a miracle, because after seeing the van at the tow lot today I am amazed he wasn’t also killed instantly. We had Joel cremated and we are having a memorial service on Tuesday March 25 at 10 am at the First United Methodist Church in Powell WY.
The girls are doing remarkably well. B didn’t walk for a couple days because she was pretty bruised and sore. She is moving around much better now. D has some visible bruises and her breastbone is sore at times.
I want to tell everyone how thankful I am for the outpouring of support and prayers. We have amazing family, friends and live in a community second to none in terms of outreach. I apologize for not being able to talk to all of you personally yet, but I’m quite overwhelmed with grief, caring for the girls, investigation into the wreck, arrangements for Joel and the memorial.
I also know that this news hasn’t been able to get to everyone that I would like to tell and talk to, so should you like to pass it on that is fine.
I ask for continued prayers for the girls, myself, the others injured in the accident and their families.
I didn’t ‘know’ Joel for too long.. but what I know is this.. he loved his family, he was passionate about his craft and I am confidant that though I did not meet him in person in this life.. that I will in the next.
Love to Rebekah and the girls! God will give you the strength to overcome this.
…… and Drive now.. Text later.. please!