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THE HARDEST THING

Written By Carrie Adams

September 19, 2011



The Story of Liz and Eric Nelson

Any parent dreads a phone call at midnight. Panic filled our hearts when we heard our son’s mission president on the other end of the line. Our son, Eric, who was serving in the Anaheim Spanish Mission, had been in an accident. He was not doing well, and we needed to make arrangements to fly to California ASAP. We hurriedly made plans to be on the first flight out in the morning.

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We arrived at the hospital and were taken to the intensive care unit. The mission president sat with our son. Eric was in a coma. Doctors initially thought Eric had suffered head trauma after a bike accident, but after many tests, they determined he had AVM (Arteriovenous malformation), which is an abnormal connection between the arteries and the veins in the brain. Eric had probably had this condition since birth, but with no symptoms.


My mind recalled pinning my son’s missionary name badge on him. Now he lay in a hospital bed, motionless.

After five days, my husband needed to return home to tend our other children and get back to work. I stayed behind in California. As I sat holding Eric’s hand in the ICU, my mind was whirling. I thought of my testimony. I had never wavered, and I would not now. Eric needed me. I knew my Heavenly Father would be there for me. He always had been. Now was the time for me to show how deep my roots were. I needed to be focused, in tune with the Spirit and ready to listen and obey. I knew that the Lord was keenly aware of my missionary son. Eric was His son first, and the Lord would take care of him. I was comforted daily.

Meanwhile, my ward family was busily taking care of things at home. From meals to house cleaning to matching the basket of socks, the ward encircled my family in the arms of love, allowing me to focus on helping Eric. Prayers and good will surrounded our family. We knew we were loved.

Four weeks after the accident, we were able to take Eric to another hospital closer to home in hopes we might be able to begin the rehab process. He took a surprising turn for the worse and died days later. When he passed, he was surrounded by his family.

More than nine hundred people attended my son’s funeral. The Spirit was amazingly strong that day. Eric touched the lives of many. I am grateful for the twenty years Heavenly Father allowed him to be in our home. Words cannot express the love I have for my Savior, and His sacrifice and the gift of the atonement. He broke the bonds of death, and because of that, I will see my son again. Christ wipes away my tears and reminds me that someday I will wrap my arms around Eric and let him know how much I love him and how very proud I am of him. I do not doubt that families are forever.






About the Author

Carrie Adams is a divorced mom with five kids and three amazing grandchildren. To pay the bills she runs a program teaching leadership skills at a local high school.  For fun she  collects sand from beaches all around the world, hangs out with her elderly father watching old westerns, rides her pink cruiser bike and drinks orange soda. Carrie is a popular EFY (especially for youth) speaker and you can follow her blog at www.onerandomwoman.blogspot.com

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