Deciding Our Fate

My husband and I were hit by a car while walking in a crosswalk with the signal on the way home from a meeting at our son’s middle school. We were excited to walk in the cold with the brand new gear we purchased to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in July. Walking together to train had developed into our favorite pursuit.

We don’t remember any of the details of the car hitting us. We had waited for the signal to cross. We even waved cars past when they wanted to let us go. I said, “It’s a $200 fine for jay walking” which is one of my regular comments to pedestrians who break the law. When the cross signal started to blink red, we commented that it wasn’t a very long signal.

Then my husband said something about a car and I looked to the right. That moment is frozen in time. My husband’s right hand was almost touching the hood. I could see the car’s right headlight. Deep down inside me I willed that car not to hit us. I was in denial. I arrogantly refused to let it hurt us. I was not allowing this to happen.

I no longer doubt miracles.

We both woke up face down in the street without our tie-on shoes. I rose out of a black hole void of life or death, pushed up on my arms, saw the stopped car, noticed our shoes, and looked for my husband. He was on the sidewalk after dragging himself out of the street, but he couldn’t get up. His head was bleeding. I used my arms as a pillow in what became the most terrifying moment of my life.

The surge of adrenaline that propelled me to move around and gather our things from the street wore off when the EMTs strapped me into the stretcher under blankets. I looked at the EMT and told her I couldn’t feel my right side. I couldn’t move my right arm.

As the trauma center staff took x-rays and ultrasounds, they kept giving me good news. No broken bones. No internal bleeding. The atmosphere in the ER shifted to one of relief and joking. The doctor stood next to me and explained that I was in good physical shape, then added “your husband is too”. Everyone was searching for an explanation.

In an act of unrequired compassion, a nurse wheeled me into the tiny space next to my husband. I’ll always be grateful. If I stretched my good arm through the bars my fingertips could brush the top of his hand. The connection brought strength and our usual love. I knew he was all right. With neck braces in place, we couldn’t look at each other but we could talk. Eventually the worst trauma scenarios were eliminated. Two friends came to stand by our side, make calls, and take notes.

As emergency personnel came through the trauma center that night, they joked about the hospital cost-cutting because we were in the same space then they realized we were the couple hit by the car. All of them smiled to see us. Usually those calls on the radio ended badly.

We both walked out of the hospital in less than 24 hours.

Perhaps there was no better book I could have finished reading before such a life and death situation than The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief. Although I don’t accept every premise in Gregg Braden’s books, his idea that you can create your own reality fascinates me.

…all we require is a little shift to see that we’re the architects of our world and our fate, cosmic artists expressing our inner beliefs on the canvas of the universe. If we can remember that we’re the art as well as the artist, then perhaps we can also remember that we’re the seed of the miracle as well as the miracle itself

You must totally and completely believe the reality you desire and accept nothing less. I did in that moment before the car hit.

As this week progressed, the pain completely filled every part of our bodies. New symptoms and injuries continued to become apparent each day. Because of the head and nerve damage we have more specialists to see. Together we work through the post traumatic stress symptoms. Luckily we have the awareness to recognize what’s happening and can talk to someone who completely understands. We sustain each other in all ways including this accident.

One day as we were sitting together my husband told me, “We need to completely believe that we are healed.”

The Divine Matrix agrees:

We must first have the feeling of healing, abundance, peace, and the answers to our prayers of well-being in our hearts as if they’ve already happened before they become the reality of our lives.

I’ve told our story to so many people and everyone agrees it was a miracle. But as Braedon argues, there’s more to us than meets the eye. The single most powerful force in the universe lies within each of us. We have the power to create in the world what we imagine in our beliefs.

“Ask and you shall receive” satiates the Bible but the “Divine Matrix” insists that modern translations should go further:

All things that you ask straightly, directly
From inside my name –
you will be given. So far you haven’t done this.
So ask without hidden motive and
Be surrounded by your answer –
Be enveloped by what you desire, that your gladness be full.

My life with my husband and my sons is the reality I desired. I wasn’t going to let anyone steal it away.


UPDATE: Subsequent x-rays and tests showed fractured bones which were not apparent in the scans at the Trauma Center on the night of the accident.



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10 Responses to Deciding Our Fate

  1. Vicki stones says:

    This is such an amazing story it has taken me several days to just be able to read your whole story! It is unbelievable and a miracle. Hug your babies and your hubby. You are very lucky and blessed. My prayers are with you all as you continue to recover and heal.

  2. Cindy Cotte Griffiths says:

    Thank you Vicki! I’ve discovered how you can feel blessed and pain at the exact same time. I keep wanting to say “I love you” to people and give lots of hugs!

  3. Michael Mangum says:

    There is something very special about the love that you and Charlie have for one another. I’ve been fortunate enough to bare witness through the years of how much you cherish the time you spend together. You are truly an inspirational couple.

    I do believe that God’s will intervened and saved both of you. You have a whole lot more to offer this world and your family needs you. I wish you a full recovery.

    Mount Kilimanjaro will wait for you!

  4. Joe Jordan says:

    Cindy, it was a shock to read of what you and Charlie experienced, and Billie and I kept you in our thoughts and prayers. You might know that many NMC residents have already renewed efforts to get someone to do something about the dangerous conditions on Maryland Avenue and the off-ramp from 270 onto Falls, heading toward Great Falls. Sima has been a voice for action long before your accident, and maybe something will be done before something even more tragic happens. I wish you and Charles a full and speedy recovery.

  5. Cheri Rogers says:

    So well written Cindy! I commend your spirit and am so happy your were blessed with the miracle of life! Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  6. Norene Stovall says:

    You and your story are truly inspirational. When adversity strikes, I will remember your courage. Thank you very much for sharing this.

  7. Janet Brown says:

    Thank You Cindy for your story. It’s very well-told and I totally agree – if we are clear about our intent and what we want in life, it is there for us. Sometimes we need to ‘get out of our own way’ and integrate any negativity or fears, but it IS there for us.

    I was wondering: now you’ve had chance to reflect, and express gratitude for your safe (if shaken) return home and your lovely family’s continuing well-being, I was wondering, how do you feel about the driver? I wonder what ‘state’ he was in – was he texting, on the run, scared of something… angry? I’m sure it was nothing directly to do with either of you, but it’s certainly food for thought.

    As a coach who has done a lot of my own self inquiry, I like to think I understand ‘ego’, resistances etc and what actually causes people to hurt others. I’m ready to forgive those that are obviously in so much pain they deliberately hurt others; the lid comes off their emotions and they go wild. There’s an example of this in the news today: Oscar Pistorius having shot his girlfriend. The reason for doing that ‘in the moment’ will not be the full story. I hope that society will come to understand how to halt the chain of hurt by stopping it in its tracks with forgiveness, support and understanding. I believe we will, over time, find ways to help and support people before they get to the stage of really hurting others. I regularly use the mantra “Hurt people hurt people”, and I want the hurt to stop with me, not pass it on or throw it back at someone.

    All nice sentiments, but when one finds oneself as the direct ‘target’ – intentionally or not – I’ve found it’s much harder to forgive. For example, I was recently a target of a long-time friend of mine. Most days she is a lovely person and we get along well, but once every couple of years I’ve triggered something in her and it happened again recently. I received a vindictive letter full of accusations and untruths. It can be hard to ‘stomach’ and my first reaction was to get angry, and I certainly felt hurt. This friend is my best teacher. It’s usually my well-being that triggers her anger; she seems to think it’s virtuous to be a victim, but if things are going well, I must be manipulating someone…. Anyway, that friend is my best teacher and I’m working on forgiveness of her. Not in a “I’m better than you I’ll forgive your wrong-doing” way, but by seeking deeper understanding of what’s behind the anger, maybe triggered by me this time, but caused by some deep-seated pain from the past that even she is denying and I might never fully know that story.

    I’ll always admire those exceptional parents who have chosen to forgive the murderer of their child, have even sought out that murderer in prison and become friends with them. I feel they have something to teach us all.

    So how are you feeling about that driver?

    Much Love


  8. Yogitastic says:

    What an incredible story and so glad it ended well for both of you!

  9. Can’t hardly believe it’s been a year. You are alwys on on prayer list.Love

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