It was the winter of ice and accidents. We watch the disasters on the news and cluck our sympathies to one another, sending out wishes for goodness along the way. The freak trailer gate accident that took the lives of a senior couple two weeks ago … it makes us pause and wonder with sadness.
And after the pictures in the newspaper, the radio announcements and the TV coverage… then, what?
Cindy Morris was driving her youngest child to Guthrie School on January 28. She was on the 5th line of Oro, hit a patch of ice and ended up T-boned by a school bus. It was horrific and will be burned into the memory of her son, Kyle, forever.
In a way, Cindy was lucky. An OPP officer who had just dropped his child off at Guthrie School came upon the scene at the same time as a first response EMT worker who had dropped off his child. With their speedy assistance, Cindy was airlifted from the accident scene to Sunnybrook Hospital. She spent three weeks in Critical Care and two weeks in Intensive Care, and another few weeks in a trauma ward.
Her injuries were extensive. About 30 people from Cindy’s community set up a rotational 24/7 vigil during her weeks at Sunnybrook to be there for her. She was never left alone, and the team helped care for her children as well.
Today she’s calling Soldiers Memorial Hospital her home as she tries to move from wheelchair to walker and deal with bone and tissue recovery.
This is the story we don’t read, after the headlines fade and the TV lights turn off. This is the story of a life of a single mom absolutely shattered in a split second. Cindy’s children, Kayla, 15; Alyssa, 13 and Kyle, 9, have been cared for by her vast community of friends. Cindy’s job as the pastoral assistant for two churches has screeched to a stop. So has her income. Here is this modest, self effacing woman who would blush at any attention.
And here are her friends. Her church community–three churches, in fact– her neighbours, her friends, her community at large have all come together for an evening of song, supplication and support for Cindy Morris.
Three churches have joined forces to offer three concerts on one evening, next Saturday, May 10. At 6:30 pm, the doors will open to Barrie’s Free Methodist Church, Oro’s Trinity Community Church, and Orillia’s Bethel Baptist Church. Christian musicians will fill the rafters with music and song; people will tell stories, and those in attendance will celebrate life.
Terry Craig is one of the organizers of this event, called Under One Roof. “When the accident happened we opened a trust fund for Cindy and started asking for donations. We decided to hold a benefit concert which would involve three denominations in three churches in three communities, all with one goal. In the development of this idea, lovely coincidences are occurring as people connect in an outpouring of support for this popular woman and her family.
Terry stresses that while the doors to this event are opening into Christian churches, all faiths are welcome. It’s an opportunity for humankind to join hands, praise their maker, and reach out to their fellow human being who is in great need.
Terry says there will be video segments that will connect the audience to Cindy, who cannot be there. Dubbed “music, life, faith” Terry expects that live contemporary Christian music, volunteered by three Christian bands, will fill each hall with energy.
Our purpose, says Terry, is to unite in praise and worship, and to help Cindy.
“From our perspective, it’s a tragic event; it has stirred three communities to come together and help someone. I don’t think this has been done at this level before.
“We’re hoping for attendance of at least 300 people per venue and with a voluntary donation, we’re hoping the outpouring of physical assistance will make a big difference to Cindy,” he said.
No registration, just an open invitation.
Thanks, Terry. And thanks, to Cindy’s community of friends.
Under 1 roof
Barrie Free Methodist Church
284 Cundles Rd E, Barrie
Oro Trinity Community Presbyterian Church
110 Line 7 South, Oro
Orillia Bethel Baptist Church,
300 Coldwater Rd W, Orillia
May 10, doors open at 6:30, program begins at 7:30 pm.
Free will offering