The Accident That Took Home My Friend Herm.

On March 7, 2010, my friend, mentor, and neighbor of eight years, Hermione Joy Wommack, was killed by a drunk driver slamming into her SUV head-on at 80 miles per hour. Reports say his blood alcohol levels were 2x over the legal limit and he was driving without a license.

Let me take you back to that day.

On March 6, 2010, I gave birth to my youngest daughter and final baby. I telephoned Herm later that day to tell her the good news and see if she could come take a peek at my new bundle of joy at the hospital. I was greatly looking forward to her visit because she and I had both recently moved miles apart and hadn’t seen each other in months. She told me she could visit the next day since it was Sunday and a bit less hectic for her. I was due to return home Monday, so I assured her Sunday was perfect and couldn’t wait to see her again.

Herm, an Argentinean high school Spanish teacher, had always been a precious friend and neighbor to me. Going through difficult times in the early days of marriage and job loss was made easier by her wisdom, counsel, and prayers. There wasn’t much I didn’t tell Herm and her presence in my life was constant.

There would be times when I would open up my front door to find bags of gifts awaiting me that she cleverly sneaked there. Generosity was always nothing but second nature to Herm.

I vividly remember watching my oldest daughter, who was three at that time, putting on the gorgeous Sunday dress Herm had given her and walking next door to show it off to Herm before church. I can still see Herm’s smile as she knelt down to admire the dress, and my daughter trotting proudly back across the lawn towards me.

Sunday evening March 7, 2010 at around dinner time, Herm came into my hospital room, and immediately took my newest baby in her arms. It was so good to see her again. She and I caught up a bit and I promised her I would come visit her at her new farm they had just bought in the country. I grabbed my digital camera and asked for a picture. She said she looked awful since her grandkids had been with her all day and they’d been gardening together. I assured her she looked great as always and began snapping away.

Herm holding my youngest just moments before her death.

I’m so glad I did. Those were the last pictures ever taken of Herm, for only an hour later she was taken to heaven.

She was on the phone counseling another friend when the drunk driver, a man named Mark Elliot, slammed his vehicle into her Honda SUV.

Her husband later told me she had the presence of mind to tell the police officer his phone number and he arrived at the scene to be with her in her final moments.

The news of Herm’s death hit me very hard. One friend tried to comfort me by telling me that Herm could have been killed before she saw me and then I would have never seen her, visited, and gotten photos of her. For years I felt guilty for asking her to visit me and experienced severe grief and remorse. Knowing Herm, she would have told me to stop.

“STOP CHICA” is what she would have said. Herm never let me wallow!

Whenever I start missing her and feeling remorse, I’m reminded that God is still in control, even in this crazy out-of-control world. He was with Herm in her final moments comforting and ministering to her. He came to her that night with His hands outstretched towards her saying, “Come Home Child”. She was driving along Leesville road that night journeying towards her true Home in heaven.

She was never alone in death. Knowing Herm, she was praying hard as her body breathed it’s last and God answered by giving her peace and everlasting happiness in heaven with Jesus her Lord.

1 Corinthians 2:9 King James Version (KJV)

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

This verse gives me comfort knowing that right now Herm is experiencing delights unimaginable in heaven that await those who love Him.

Several years before her death, Herm shared this scripture verse with me from 2 Samuel 15:26. ‘But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.’ I’ve highlighted that verse in my bible with her name marked beside it. It encourages me to surrender to God’s will for my life and to hand over everything to Him saying, ‘here I am’. Whatever seems good to God is what’s best for me. It may not always look like it at the time but I’m trusting, as my Herm did, that He always knows what’s best. Always.

So many have been killed or severely disabled by drunk drivers. Although my brain injury is not from drunk driving, I’m still heartbroken when I find other TBI survivors (there are many) robbed of their happy lives by the carelessness and selfishness of others. It needs to STOP.

In honor of my friend Herm, please share this post with others.

Herm and my two oldest making Christmas cookies together Christmas 2008.

The article that explains the accident and sentencing of Mark Elliot.

http://www.newsadvance.com/go_dan_river/news/man-pleads-guilty-in-wreck-that-killed-campbell-county-teacher/article_818e9b0a-2f8d-5be4-9dde-d98c7886015e.html

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A Quote To Remember

~Unknown

Have a wonderful Thursday.❤

Much love!!

Viv🤗

Psalm 119:73a King James Version

73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me:

Everyone’s Broken

Last spring when things got hard with my TBI journey, I was crying to my best friend saying, “I feel so broken!” Her response to me was, “Everyone’s broken.”

It’s amazing how God can use the honest words of a friend to wake us up.

Yet, it was not the response I was hoping for just then. I yearned for words of comfort, instead I felt like my brain injury was being undermined. Of course she didn’t mean to hurt me, it was my emotional state of brokenness at that time.

Then God did something in my thought process and heart that only He can do. He showed me that even though what she said to me came at a difficult time in my life, those two words are 100% true and I needed to hear them.

The problem with chronic pain, illness, or severe bodily injuries is that they can make a person extremely self absorbed. It’s impossible to not be so fully caught up in the pain and suffering that scream for our attention 24/7. We can’t help but forget that others we love have issues of brokenness in their lives and are just as broken. They may not be broken physically, yet in some way they’re broken emotionally or spiritually. Everyone’s broken.

In Ann Voskamp’s book, The Broken Way, she writes on how Jesus was broken first, so that we can be healed by His brokenness. She writes, ‘Could all brokenness meet in the mystery of Christ’s brokenness and givenness and become a miracle of abundance?’ I’ve often dwelled upon these beautiful words. Everyone’s broken, yet Jesus meets us in our pain and since He overcame all brokenness we are made whole by His broken body on the cross.

I’m so blessed to have a wonderful friend and sister in Christ who understands the big picture here. Her words have stayed with me and kept me from throwing myself a huge pity party or turning into “Debbie Downer” on tougher days of dizziness, nausea, pain, fatigue etc. and staying there. I still struggle with negative thinking, but those two words keep reminding me, that even though there’s a big, sad world of suffering, there’s a bigger God who meets us in our suffering and brokenness and gives us hope to keep fighting.

Blogger recognition award

blogger recognition award Thank you Missy from One Stone Away and Joel from In the Desert With Jesus for nominating me! I feel greatly honored and humbled beyond words. Your kindness and encouragement, support and prayers mean the world to me.

Here is a brief recap as to why I started blogging.

In April, I decided to blog about having a traumatic brain injury to raise awareness and to give hope to others who suffer by proclaiming gentle truths from God’s heart. I would never even have dreamed of blogging before TBI but now realize this was God’s plan for me all along. My blog is to encourage, inspire, and uplift. Mostly, my message to people like me is; YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Two pieces of advice to new bloggers are:

1) Write from within and don’t be afraid to share your heart.

2) Quality, not quantity. Focus on each post like it’s your only post. I personally find that posting once or twice a week at the most works best for me and if you get writer’s block, you can always try a Japanese haiku.😉

The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 or more fellow bloggers for this award.
  6. Let each nominee know you’ve nominated them and leave a link to your post.

I feel that God wants me to use this opportunity to recognize and encourage other bloggers who also suffer from having a traumatic brain injury. These truly heroic individuals are huge inspirations to me personally. Some paracycle, sing and play the guitar; some are seasoned authors with numerous book publishings. I’m amazed every time I read about their endeavours and gain new insights as to what it means to persevere, and beat the odds. Several will be nominated below alongside my other favorite bloggers who I’m honored and privileged to call my friends.
God richly bless and keep you all!

Loads of love!

Viv

Nominees:

A brain injury life

Inspirational Leader

Jumbled brain

Living with a head injury

My Daily Walk With TBI

Unstoppable Maria

Blue and Green Together

Bible Blogger

Commissioned by Him

Eclectic Contrarian

God Help Me I

Inside Cup

I Refuse To Give Up

Jesus Christ Still in Control

Miraculous Smile

Mom Life With Chiari

RabBits

Real Christian Women

Rejoicing in Hope

Simply My Swank

There is no need to rush. If you choose to participate that is fantastic, but please don’t feel like you have to take part. This is my way of highlighting my favorite blogs and also in hopes that they too will feel as supported and encouraged by this nomination as I have.

Don’t give up

Falling yet again

Will this ever end?

Brave heart tries so hard

Three steps back again

You’ve got this God

I’m yours

I need your surge of strength

Please help my weak faith grow

Though progress is snail slow

Persistence will prevail

Though seems like total fail

Step by step each day

Help me Lord I pray

It’s not about the tall

Pinnacles of growth

It’s about the subtle small

Rising after fall

And God will help us all

Written by Vivian Joy

Compassion starts with Jesus.

I believe that much of the secret of soul-winning lies in having bowels of compassion, in having spirits that can be touched with the feeling of human infirmities.

C. H. Spurgeon

The good Samaritan, he had compassion. A very unlikely person to show compassion to a helpless Jew, but he did. Jesus used this story to demonstrate what compassion is. It doesn’t come from personal gain or selfish motives, it comes from love.

Luke 10:25-37 King James Version (KJV)

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.


When I see a broken person treated with love or helped by others it reminds me of that verse in scripture where Jesus was “moved with compassion”. The verb “moved” is two-fold. He was moved in his Spirit with emotion and desire to help and those feelings became the act of moving in order to physically heal.

Mark 1:41 King James Version (KJV)

41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

Compassion defined is “sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of another or others, accompanied by an urge to help.”

Compassion flows from a heart filled with kindness. It should not be confused with pity which is sometimes a feeling of contempt because the object is looked at as ‘weak’ or ‘inferior’. Pity may in fact bring about kind actions that flow out of a superior mindset which may in fact be detected by the recipient.

Jesus is our example of compassion because He is kindness itself. He feels compassion for our wounds and sufferings and can relate better than anyone because he suffered and was wounded first.

Jesus is our example of compassion because He is kindness itself.

One of the most profound ways to demonstrate Christian love is by giving our compassion towards others through prayer and acts of genuine service. We can feel sorry for someone, but real compassion is more than a frown, a furrowed brow, or a wee tear. Our genuine compassion comes from our love of God poured out upon others through acts of love. True compassion will bring tangible results.

Years ago a man at my church plant preached on the love of Jesus and said, (paraphrased) ‘There is nothing anyone could say or do to hurt you that you haven’t already done to Jesus.’

He feels deep compassion for the broken because He KNOWS how it feels. His compassion comes from His love. Love is kind (compassionate).

One of the truest examples of showing Christ’s character towards others is by loving them through acts of kindness.

Compassion is not something we automatically feel but is a virtue gained by close communion with Jesus. When we truly love our Lord and others, compassion pours from Jesus’s heart into ours, which spills into the hearts of others. It’s a spiritual current that springs from God’s grace.

Why am I writing about compassion?

I have TBI.

And so do many others….

The number one complaint I hear from my brain injury Facebook group is the total lack of compassion they receive from friends, family, or acquaintances. It’s pretty much universal and it’s the saddest part of invisible illness or injury because when you are broken, and then judged ON TOP OF IT, it shatters you.

I’m not writing this to make anyone sad or negative, I’m writing to shine light on the grim sadness that brain injured and others who suffer from illness feel to be judged, ignored or shunned and why?

People who don’t try to take time to understand but choose to judge without first being aware of the profound difficulty of TBI are doing so out of ignorance or maybe just lack of compassion.

Whatever the reason we are treated this way, I’m almost certain it comes from lack of love because love will bring compassion and kindness. The absence of these virtues will instead bring indifference, harsh words, judgement, and ridicule.

So, I’m writing to kindly ask, please reach out. Show compassion. Send a card or email. Get to know the sick or injured in your church or neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be much.

Having a brain injury does not mean stupidity along with it, so we can understand when we are mistreated for being broken. And we feel just the same way a uninjured person feels and then some, due to bruised emotions and nerves.

The greatest kindness ever shown the world was Jesus stretching out His hands nailed on a cross for us. We can show Jesus’s love towards others through stretching out our hands towards them and pouring out Christ’s love, in whatever way we are able through kindness.

Encouraging Quotes That I Love ðŸ’š

I’ve been gleaning through some hopeful and encouraging quotes that I pray will bring peace and joy to you today.

Please let me know which one especially moves you in the comments below and I will try to add more quotes from that person. Blessings~

Head injuries are all different, often markedly so. If you have a head injury you will live with that head injury all the time and the only person who knows and understands your head injury is you. So called head injury experts will never understand a head injury unless they have had one. Yes, they can help, but when it comes to living with your head injury you are the expert and can feel superior to any doctor. -Philip Watling

You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.

Joy runs deeper than despair.

Both quotes by Corrie Ten Boom

Something will grow from all that you are going through and it will be you. -Toby Mac

The giant in front of you is never bigger than the God who lives in you. -Christina Caine

Make sure Satan has to climb over a lot of scripture to get to you. -John Macarthur

People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it. -Edith Schaeffer

We’re stronger in the places that we’ve been broken. -Ernest Hemingway

David’s pen never wrote more sweetly then when dipped in the ink of affliction. -Octavius Winslow

Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional. Let this be a sign that you’ve got a big heart and aren’t afraid to let others see it. Showing your emotions is a sign of strength. -Brigitte Nicole

Believers look up – – take courage. The angels are nearer than you think. -Billy Graham

God doesn’t want something from us, He simply wants us. -C.S. Lewis

The hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. They are the real heros and so are the family and friends who have stood by them. -Christopher Reeves

Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing the monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward. -C. S. Lewis

Heartache forces us to embrace God out of desperate, urgent need. God is never closer than when your heart is aching. -Joni Eareckson Tada

The Gospel does not call us to receive Christ as an addition to our life, but as our life. -Paul Washer

Trust is the bridge from yesterday to tomorrow built with planks of thanks. -Ann Voskamp

Don’t for one moment suppose that God ever speaks an insincere thing. Question, if you will, your own existence; but do not question the veracity and sincerity of God…There is no insincerity with God. If He tells you to seek Him, seek Him, and do not look at the difficulties. Do not consider them a moment. True, they may appear to be insuperable, but there is nothing impossible with God. -B.H. Carroll