There was simply no way that Barbara Parentini should have survived the crash.
Driving along a busy highway near Sarasota, Fla., in 2003, Parentini’s car was smashed into by another vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. The Ohio native was violently ejected from her car and suffered numerous injuries.
A Florida state trooper at the scene of the accident told Parentini’s father how lucky she was to still be alive. He also told her father a possible theory of why she was so fortunate.
Pointing to a bible sitting on the dashboard, the trooper said, ‘It never moved” during the entire accident.
Parentini spent weeks in the hospital following the horrific accident and was forced to undergo two years of physical therapy. Unable to stand for long periods of time and suffering from memory loss, she also had to give up her nursing career.
What she gained, however, was a much deeper faith and a stronger sense of purpose.
The inspirational author, motivational speaker and creator of Soaring Hearts greeting cards will hold a meet-and-greet event Saturday, Dec. 8 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Walgreens in Apex.
Parentini will showcase her new cards, give tips how to frame them correctly, sign inspirational books in which she contributed and simply share her love for life.
“I remember lying in the hospital and listening to the life flight helicopter outside that was coming to get me,” said Parentini. “I heard a voice whisper to me and it said, ‘Life is a gift, life is a gift.’ For those of us who are believers, that voice is known as the Holy Spirit.”
The Fearrington Village resident still becomes emotional when she talks about the accident that changed her life in so many ways.
The tears aren’t so much for the things she lost but, rather, for all that she gained.
“If you asked me before the accident if I wanted to go through something like that I would have said absolutely not,” said Parentini. “But I wouldn’t change my circumstances now. I’m at a place in my life right now where I do what I love.”
Parentini also credits her husband, Brian, for helping her stay strong through the long process of recovery.
“He took care of me like a mother the first year after the accident,” said Parentini. “His love and devotion inspires much of my writing about love.”
Despite the years of physical pain, some of which still lingers to this day, and the loss of her career, Parentini truly believes she has become a much better person.
“I woke up in the hospital happy,” said Parentini. “The nurses would marvel at how much I smiled even though I was in so much pain. The fact I survived was a true gift. I now have much more gratitude and I’m also digging down deeper for more love. I had strong faith before the accident but nothing so personal as today.”
Parentini always loved to write but never pursued it. Following her accident, she began writing stories of faith and inspiration that have appeared in numerous publications.
She also began pursuing another dream – designing her own greeting cards. She sold her first card in 2008 and her growing line of cards is currently available at the Apex Walgreens.
“I’ve always written from the heart and I think it comes through in my work,” said Parentini. “I want to bring more beauty and hope into the world and I want to share my story of God’s love. I understand now that life is truly a gift.”
For more information on Parentini’s cards and writing visit www.barbaraparentini.com.