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O’Shea Lowery’s Testimony: The Day I Became a Single Mother
It was April 27, 1990, a day forever engraved in my mind. As the sun came up on this particular morning, no one could have envisioned what awaited a twenty-four-year-old mom and her children, and no one could have imagined the sorrow that would overshadow their hearts.
My husband awoke for work as was his normal routine. Jeff was a construction worker, and he enjoyed his occupation quite well. The drive for him each day was close to an hour. Therefore, he arose early to get to work by daybreak.
Later in the morning, the kids and I awoke and began to prepare for the day. My home church was having a revival during this particular week, and on this exact evening, it was scheduled to be friendship night. I was looking forward to visiting people to invite them to church, so the kids and I gathered our things and proceeded toward the mission.
Back in those days, we had no cell phones, so inviting people to a church function required either calling on a home extension or showing up at someone’s door. Yet, as the day progressed, with my children in tow, I suddenly developed a sick headache. I attempted to stay the course for a time, but the throbbing persisted. Unable to continue, I drove to my sister’s home to visit and to rest. Yet, unknown to me, I was about to have a visitation of my own.
Shortly after arriving at my sister’s home, the phone rang with my mother on the other end. “Keep her there,” was the message conveyed. “We are on our way.” No words were uttered to me that an accident had happened, nor did my sister tell me who was on the phone. We just continued to talk and to visit. Minutes later, my mother arrived, walking swiftly through the door to my sister’s home. As she quickly helped gather my things, she calmly explained that my husband had been in an accident. Little information was given as I climbed into her car and headed to the hospital.
As we proceeded down the drive, my mind was engulfed with questions as to what had transpired. I wondered if Jeff was okay and even what he might be going through. While nervously anticipating the arrival, I continued to grapple with the unknown.
Finally, after arriving at our destination, I was told where to go for information. When I reached the specific floor of the hospital, I ran up to the desk to inquire about my husband. Yet, as I turned to witness a doctor speaking with my mother, I noticed a distraught look come over her face. I knew immediately that something bad had happened.
As I walked over in the direction of the doctor, I was slowly led into a separate room. The doctor had me sit down in one chair, while he sat in another one across from me. Unable to fathom what I was about to hear, I sat quietly and waited. As the physician began to speak, I honestly do not remember every word he uttered, but I do recall the news he delivered. My husband had been electrocuted and killed instantly at his job site. With those words, I immediately fell to pieces.
By this time, additional family members began to arrive. My mother was by my side with my aunt on her knees in front of me, ministering as best they could. Both my daddy and sister had walked through the door with my two babies. Yet, all I wanted to do was to see my husband.
While I waited, I continued to receive information about what had happened to Jeff. As details emerged, I remained in my chair with my head bowed and tears flowing. Then, after a period of communication, I was given permission to enter the room where he lay.
As I headed down the hallway toward the cubicle that housed my spouse, I was led by my mother. As I arrived at the door’s entrance where my husband was, fear suddenly overtook me. In the process of moving slowly toward him, I began to tremble greatly. I could not believe what had transpired over the course of a few hours. My heart was breaking with emotions in disarray.
Finally, after reaching his side, I collapsed on his body weeping profusely. I did not want to let him go. Jeff and I were only a few days away from celebrating our fourth anniversary. Yet, instead of making preparations for such a time, I would now be planning his funeral.
After a period of time with my husband, it was now time to say goodbye. As I returned down the hallway that had led me to Jeff, I veered into a restroom and found myself gazing intently into a mirror hanging over the bathroom sink. As I pondered all that had transpired, I cried out, “Lord, what am I going to do?” I was a stay-at-home mom with no college education; the next step would be uncertain, to say the least. Yet even though calamity had come to my family, God’s faithfulness would not be altered, nor even compromised. A new journey had been ordained, and through His grace, God would bring my children and me to the other side of tragedy, entrusting us with lessons we would never forget. God took a mess and made a message, while birthing a ministry entitled Strong and Courageous.