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Our Christmas miracle and the sweatshirt reminder

By Laura Geiger It’s every parent’s nightmare. Our daughter Livia had just called to tell me she was leaving Athens for Christmas break after a grueling week of final exams at the University of Georgia. ‘Be careful, the weather is terrible,’ I said. Thirty minutes later I got another phone call from her. She was crying. ‘Mama, I’m okay but I’ve been in a wreck ‘“ it wasn’t my fault ‘“ but my car is really messed up.’ ’I’m on the way. Where are you?’ She was outside Madison. It was Friday, Dec. 13 and it had been raining for days, saturating the roads and obscuring driving conditions. The incident report states the other driver said he fell asleep at the wheel. Crossing over two lanes and the center line, he caused the collision. Liv swerved just in time to avoid a head on collision as the front of his car crashed into the driver’s side of her Toyota 4-Runner and pushed it down an embankment where her SUV struck a tree. Livia remembers screaming for help. A 22-year-old stranger was there immediately and assisted her in crawling out of what had been the driver’s window. He dialed 911 with her phone and then called me. He stayed with her until we got there. Thank you Jackson Counts ‘“ we are counting our blessings that you were our action hero. The other driver was cut out of his vehicle with the jaws of life and went by ambulance to a hospital where he was reportedly treated for a broken leg. Our Livia’s foot and leg hurt too but she told emergency workers she wanted to wait for me before going to the hospital. About an hour and a half later, I got to her. After seeing her beautiful face, I noticed she was wearing a white sweatshirt I had never seen before. A stranger had given it to her as she stood in the pouring rain at the scene of the wreck. Centered on the sweatshirt was a graphic picture of Jesus being crucified on the cross and as I looked closer I saw it had the year 2000 printed on it. That’s the year our Olivia Lanier Geiger was born. So, there was the message in black and white on her chest that Jesus had saved our baby. She had been blindsided by someone and something totally out of her control but she had survived. The unexpected can happen and there can be collateral damage to rock your world but you can survive. It was nothing short of a miracle she had gotten out of that crushed SUV. It was our Christmas miracle. It was a miracle any time of year. Now, back in Athens with a broken ankle, she is trying to navigate getting to her classes which are spread across campus. She is using crutches and a knee scooter. And she’s learning to let others help her, especially the one on the center of the sweatshirt.

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