Things were not going well between us. She was working in media, in Dalton. Three years into our marriage she left the road. The car, as best we could tell, hydroplaned, hit a telephone pole, clipped it and she suffered a spinal cord injury. I remember after the visitation in intensive care was over that night, they were saying, “Right now she is paralyzed. It will be a couple of days before we know if this is shock or if it’s going to be longterm. I remember going into that room face down on the floor crying out to God, “Why? Why doesn’t this happen to the wives of drug dealers? Why does this have to happen to us? You have to bring us through this.” I prayed. I cried out. I screamed. I went through every emotion just about that you could think of for about five hours. I got up. I walked over to the sink in the room and splashed some cold water on my face. He said, “This is longterm and you’re in it for the longterm but I will be with you.”
This was eleven years after my dad was in his accident. He was thirty-seven years old.
I was eighteen. I had a sister thirteen, a brother eleven, and a mother thirty-eight. I was mowing our grass at home and we got a call. My sister came running outside and said that my father had been in a wreck. I walked into the hospital. A few minutes later the young attending physician came in. I will never forget this. He called me Chief. He said, “You’re Mr. Tucker’s son?” I said, “Yes Sir.” He said, “Your father is not doing really well right now Chief.” I latched onto that; “He’s not doing really well” to which I said, “But he is still alive isn’t he?” He said, “No he’s not Chief.”
We were very close. He was really involved. For instance, I played high school football. He was president of the Booster Club and that type of thing. I walked up into the garage. I looked over to the side. I saw two softball gloves lying in there together and a softball on top of it where we had just thrown that around two days before in the front yard. I broke down at that point knowing this will never happen again. This was something that happened to other people. This didn’t happen to people like us. We are a good family and this didn’t happen. This was not part of the plan.
I went off to college with this newfound freedom and so forth. I tried to find happiness and fulfillment in that and it was not there. I left a lot of hurt and broken people in my wake. I think it was the absence of my earthly father that put me in tune with my heavenly father. The things that I was feeling would be pounding at my conscience mostly at night when I would lie down in bed alone and try to get quiet and go to sleep. There was something hitting me, hitting me, and hitting me. I just said to myself, “Okay. Okay, Lord. I give up. I will live my life for you.” When I said that, when I did that there was just a peace that began to fill me, that came down through me. That peace is seared into my soul. I have never felt that go away from me.
My wife, we held out hope that she would be healed. It’s been decades later and I still pray every day for her to be healed. I ended up going to China to adopt our daughter. She is an R.N. now. She made us grandparents three and a half years ago. It’s wonderful. We have a great son-in-law who is a good provider for her family.
All of the trails on Lookout Mountain she would be hiking if she could. We don’t take ski trips. We go to the beach. We play scrabble together. I am very much an extrovert and she is an introvert and we kind of meet in the middle for that. The marriage is a whole lot better since the accident than it was before the accident because we are on the same page.
Sure, I look at things that I think, wow, it would have been to have done this or done that. The enemy uses those to hit us in the face with things like, “Why did you do this? Your life didn’t have to be over. Why did you stay with her?” Well, because she is my wife and I love her.
You may have a plan for your life and it may align perfectly with what God’s plan for your life is or it may not but whatever His plan looks like, His plan is best.