“I can’t waste that gift”

Some people like to pit big stage life, such as papal visits to the UK, against "real" life, such as average people who need to pay bills.

Both are real life.

But, in the wake of the real life experience of the papal visit to Scotland and England, I found this story on CNS:

Real lifeFacing crash, Vancouver man sacrifices self to save pregnant wife

Vancouver, Canada, Sep 19, 2010 / 05:06 pm (CNA).- Brian Wood, a 33-year-old resident of Vancouver, B.C., was killed in an auto collision on September 3, when the driver of an oncoming SUV lost control of the vehicle and crossed the road into his lane. His wife, Erin Wood, said that Brian acted just in time to save her, and their unborn child expected to be born in November, by sacrificing himself.

Evidence from the crash, which also killed two passengers in the other vehicle’s back seat, supported Ms. Wood’s description of her late husband’s final act: unable to avoid the errant SUV, Brian Wood slammed the brakes and swerved his side of the car toward the oncoming vehicle, ensuring his certain death but protecting his wife, pregnant with their first child.


Erin Wood told the Today Show that the final sacrifice made by her husband of five years was in keeping with the way he had lived, “It’s not a surprise at all. He was very excited for this baby, and always … incredibly loving towards me, and putting me first.”

His final act of love, she said “breaks my heart, and it also fills me with gratefulness.” Ms. Wood received only a black eye and a relatively minor blow to her head. The unborn child, a boy, was not harmed


I’m just trying to draw a lot of strength right now from knowing that he made that choice to save me and the baby, and so I can’t waste that gift,” she explained. “I’m just trying to focus on what I need to do right now … and just do my job as a mom.” She said that in spite of the tragedy, she is anticipating “the joy that we’ll have once this baby is born.”

A fund, the Brian Woof Memorial Trust, has been established to assist Erin Wood and her child, at www.brianwoodmemorialtrust.com.


Life is being lived.  Big scale.  Small scale.  Big scale within our small scale is still big.

Don’t waste it.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Stvsmith2009 says:

    “Life is being lived. Big scale. Small scale. Big scale within our small scale is still big.
    Don’t waste it.”


  2. Jason says:

    An example of true manhood; called to headship of family, which means protection, providing, and sacrifice, even unto death. Referring to her as “Ms.” Wood reveals the lack of understanding. Mrs. Wood was not property, she was cherished deeply and the charge of Mr. Wood to serve, which he obviously understood. Prayers for their family.

  3. shadowlands says:

    It’s just after 7.00am here and this story made me cry. Here is a testimony that I can bring to mind, whenever my tendency to indulge in self pity tries to assert itself.
    They look such a young and beautiful couple, with life ahead of them. We never know what a day holds. Jesus be near to each one of us, always.

  4. “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church, and gave himself up for it.”

  5. Jack Hughes says:

    Reminds me of the opening scene of the new Star Trek Movie, Lt. Cmndr George Kirk knowing that the auto-pilot is disabled and that the shuttle carrying his wife and newborn child will be destroyed by enemy fire if he abandons his post he rams the enemy vessel killing himself in the process; If I’m ordained and a couple comes to me for marriage prep I’m gonna take the guy aside, show him that scene and say to him – thats what I want you to be able to do before you get married.

  6. Ed the Roman says:

    Even as was said of Samurai Cat, “what a stud.”

  7. Supertradmum says:

    Do we know if he is a Catholic? A possible pro-life saint?

  8. chironomo says:

    Now THAT’S what I would call “Pro-Life”…. making a decision that you wouldn’t have had to make under normal circumstances. And some people think that giving up a “lifestyle” is too great a price to save a child…

    It doesn’t say whether he was even a religious man… but I’m certain that at least at that final moment he knew.

  9. Supertradmum says:


    Those who get upset about Ms.,please back off. Many women who have been in the working world, including myself, prefer to use the term for many reasons. It does not signify an anti-marriage or traditional female role as much as it does a neutral term in a world where married women are not respected.

    A woman should have the choice of being Mrs. or Ms. Until very recent times, Miss was only used for an oldest, unmarried daughter and not the rest of the girls present. This term, like others, is convention, not totally political meaning. I know trad women other than myself who chose to use the term for various reasons. Do not put meaning in the term which may not be there.

  10. JulieC says:

    Twenty years ago my brother-in-law, John Doran, did the same for my sister Mary, his wife, when a drunk driver swerved into their lane on a winding mountain highway. He died two days later of massive injuries but my sister survived. He died as he had lived—a quiet, brave, thoughtful and selfless man to the end. May he rest in peace.

  11. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Lux Æterna.

  12. FranzJosf says:

    May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

  13. AnAmericanMother says:


    God bless this brave man, and give his wife and child peace.

    This sort of split second decision can only come from the deepest part of the heart and soul. No time to weigh alternatives — just to act in accordance with the right.

  14. Michaelus says:

    “In preachings of the apostles,
    In faiths of confessors,
    In innocence of virgins,
    In deeds of righteous men. ”

    Father – Mother – Child. They cannot ever defeat this.

  15. What a hero. Erin Wood is twice blessed: having him as her husband and being saved by his complete gift of self. I am in awe.

  16. irishgirl says:

    Wow-what a story! Brings tears to my eyes.

    A real hero!

    May he rest in peace….

  17. MattW says:

    Would that I were such man!

  18. JulieC — Thank you for telling us that. There are more heroes and saints in this world than we are ever told.

  19. wanda says:

    Thank for posting this, Fr. Z. Much needed reminder, ‘don’t waste it.’

    Eternal rest grant unto him, O lord.

  20. Jason says:

    Ms. is a silly modernist honorific reflecting a distortion and confusion regarding the special role of women. Using it in the “working world” is a capitulation to modernist heresy.

    If my daughter ever refers to herself as “Ms.”, she’ll hear it from me in spades.

    As for you, nobody is saying you can’t use any honorific you want. The fact that you posted indicates that not only do you want the freedom to choose your honorific, which you have, but you insist that everybody like it.

    Modernist claptrap.

  21. Gulielmus says:


    From Wikipedia–

    “Ms.”, along with “Miss” and “Mrs.”, began to be used as early as the 17th century as titles derived from the then formal “Mistress”, which, like Mister, did not originally bear reference to marital status.[4][5] “Ms.” however, fell into disuse in favor of the other two titles and was not revived until the 20th century.[6][7]

    The earliest known proposal for the modern revival of “Ms.” as a title appeared in The Republican of Springfield, Massachusetts on November 10, 1901:
    There is a void in the English language which, with some diffidence, we undertake to fill. Every one has been put in an embarrassing position by ignorance of the status of some woman. To call a maiden Mrs is only a shade worse than to insult a matron with the inferior title Miss. Yet it is not always easy to know the facts…
    Now, clearly, what is needed is a more comprehensive term which does homage to the sex without expressing any views as to their domestic situation, and what could be simpler or more logical than the retention of what the two doubtful terms have in common. The abbreviation “Ms” is simple, it is easy to write, and the person concerned can translate it properly according to circumstances. For oral use it might be rendered as “Mizz,” which would be a close parallel to the practice long universal in many bucolic regions, where a slurred Mis’ does duty for Miss and Mrs alike.[8]”

  22. Jack007 says:

    Nothing like a rabbit hole, huh?

    Feel free to use the term Ms.
    SuperTrad and Gulielmus, are you both gay? You shouldn’t have any problem with me asking you that, right? The word gay is millennial after all.

    Spot on, Jason! These people have capitulated to the Enemy and don’t even know it. Come on LADIES! You deserve and KNOW, better. It may even be a sin of scandal to use any “honorific” which implies adherence to a belief or lifestyle rooted in SIN. I will NEVER denigrate you by referring to you as Ms. I don’t care whether you ask me to or not. I’ll have to answer for it someday, and I don’t think the Blessed Mother would be very happy.
    Now, Gloria or Betty, or Molly…?

    Back to topic! A truly touching story. May God have mercy on this young man’s soul and keep his widow and future son safe.

    Jack in KC

  23. K. Marie says:

    This made me cry. What a great man, may his soul rest in peace.

  24. The Astronomer says:

    Wow…I am in awe. Many Our Lord grant me the grace to be 1/10th the man this hero was for his wife.

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