Believing in Miracles

Denny and Diana Glusko's journey started last May when their car veered across a rural road in Fauquier County, slammed into a ditch and flipped. The impact paralyzed Diana from the neck down.
By Susan Levine
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 23, 2008

Denny and Diana Glusko start and end their day with prayer. Despite the wrenching transformation of their lives, that much has never changed.

He bends low over his wife's bed, her hand sometimes clasped in his, as both give thanks to God. Denny prays that Diana will breathe free of pain. For himself, he prays for patience. Just beyond the door are the usual disruptions of a hospital unit -- the noise, the glare. But inside Room 2-007, it is different.

"Yours is the honor and the glory," Denny says. Diana whispers, "Amen."

Never have they questioned whether God has a purpose for this journey, which started one afternoon last May when their car veered across a rural road in Fauquier County, slammed into a ditch and flipped. He was driving when a cup of coffee diverted his attention and Diana gasped, "Oh, Denny!" He braced himself with the steering wheel and crawled out his shattered window without a scratch. She had nothing to grab for protection. Neither she nor Denny was wearing a seat belt.

The impact broke Diana's second cervical vertebra, paralyzing her from the neck down.

In the days that followed, both asked God to forgive them for their disobedience of the law. Then they asked for guidance and strength for whatever lay ahead. Three seasons have passed, and Diana still is not home. Yet instead of despair, they talk of miracles -- and faith.

"The Bible says, 'If you're going to share in my glory, you share in my suffering,' " Denny explained.

How many times has Denny offered that scripture to others? It now speaks to him profoundly.

"I have a greater understanding of that resurrection Sunday," he says.

A Spiritual Conversion

She had come to the dance with a flip hairdo and vivacious smile, and when he glimpsed her across the floor of that small-town YMCA more than four decades ago, he turned to a friend and declared, "That's the girl I'm going to marry." Diana was 14, Denny 18. They wed several months after she graduated from high school.

She was essentially who she is today. Quiet and gentle, although capable of quips that make her blue eyes flash. During the interminable expanse last year when Diana was silenced, incapable of breathing without the whoosh of a ventilator, her eyes became her sole means of communication. They conveyed everything from confusion to relief. But never a complaint, says Denny, who has yet to spend a night away from the woman he variously calls mom, grandma, my bride, DeeDee or, in their most anguished moments, "my poor child."

Her trust in Jesus Christ as her savior has always been deep and full. Not so his. Early in their marriage, Diana realized how much of a Sunday-only churchgoer her husband was, and a condescending one at that. Although gregarious with many people, with his wife and two children he was controlling, even cruel. Back then, he was a cocky, ambitious businessman working for a large food vending company. At home, he expected no one to cross him.

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