Brush with Death is a wake-up call
Larry Gray is a 54-year-old ex-Marine who was in Vietnam. His life is wrought with near-death experiences. Larry, who is my niece Lisa’s husband, sat in our living room this week, talking about his life and the brushes with death that he has had. He recently came from the hospital; most it spent in ICU, where he was for two months, having faced another near death experience. This time he says it was a wake-up call for him.
When Larry was 6 years old, he was traveling with his daddy and his grandpa somewhere in West Texas. He remembers it was night, and he was in the back seat by his grandpa, lying down on the seat, and even though he was so young, he remembers looking up at the full moon in sky. Then he may have fallen asleep because the next thing he remembers there was a loud crash and he was out side the car, tumbling over and over again, on the ground.
He had been thrown from the car, out into a plowed field, and his head hit a stump, or something, he says, and he stopped tumbling. Then he remembers his daddy and grandpa calling his name, from way far off. He saw the headlights of the car, and the shadows of his grandpa and daddy in the distance. He jumped up and ran to them across the field crying. Larry was okay, except from that night on he began to stutter in his speech. His mother took him to doctors and they could not do anything for him.
Larry graduated from Highland High School in San Antonio and joined the Marines when he was 18 years old. He was in the infantry and went to Vietnam. He tells us about another time he should have been killed.
They were in a trench far out it the field in Vietnam. The trenches were just wide enough for one man and about 8 ft. long. They started getting rockets coming in from the enemy. Larry ran and jumped in a trench. He got down, and then he heard rocket hit and go off. A rocket hit right beside him in the trench. But it didn’t explode! It turned out to be a “dud”. It wasn’t his time to go, Larry said.
He had another brush with death in later years. Then he was living out in the Hill Country near Boerne. He was on his motorcycle on a winding road. It was nearly dark and all of sudden a large deer jumped out it front of the motorcycle. He just had time to grip his hands and his arms hard, on the handlebar of the cycle as he hit the deer broadside. The motorcycle flew over the deer, when it hit, and the deer was dead. He was still on the motorcycle. It had landed several feet on the other side and the cycle was nearly demolished, but Larry stood up not badly hurt at all. Just some scrapes and bruises.
As Larry thoughtfully stared at the floor, he turned and looked at me, and stated that he had three friends who had been killed on motorcycles. And one was when he hit a deer. I could tell he was thinking: “Why had God spared his life?”
Two months ago Larry got up one night to let the cat out. He fell down a flight of stairs that night, and lay in a pool of blood when finally Lisa who was asleep, woke up and heard him calling her name. He broke five ribs and his nose, but wound up in the ICU. Larry’s heart was not functioning right (he is on disability because of his heart), also developed kidney failure and pneumonia, then being put on a respirator, was in critical condition, and we didn’t know if God was finally going to call him home.
But God intervened again, and with the doctors and nurses taking care of him, he lived and is slowly gaining his strength back. Larry said to me that day in our living room, when he fell down the stairs, it was a wakeup call for him. I think he realizes that God wants him to make the most of the rest of his life. There were too many times that he should have died and God saved his life. He doesn’t just want him to sit around the house and do nothing. He is excited about life now. He is thinking of what it is God wants him to do.
The first thing Larry and Lisa are going to do is take a long needed vacation. Lisa is a 2nd grade school teacher and these last two months have been draining for her too. She spent April and May teaching school, and then going to the hospital when she got off work. She didn’t know if Larry was going to make it this time. It has been long days and nights for Lisa.
Bon voyage, Larry and Lisa! Hope you have fun in Cancun!