Last week while surfing some of the blogs I follow, I came across a story of a 38 year old women in Denver, Joanne, who had a massive stroke. Her nine year old daughter found her. She is just now starting to come off the drugs that have kept her in a deep coma (essentially no brain activity) to help keep the swelling down in her brain (she also endured surgery to remove part of her skull to alleviate the pressure). Her husband has been posting on her blog. Her future is uncertain and they have no idea of the extent of her brain damage.
I have never read her blog before this. From reading through her posts, I am sorry I did not discover her sooner. I think I would have really enjoyed getting to "know" her through her writing. She seems to be a honest writer, loves Jesus and her kids. She seems to have a sense of humor and from her pictures, seems alive. She has written a few books so I just might have to add one or two to my 2011 reading list.
I have read about other heartbreaking events through the blogging world. Things that make you stop in your tracks and give thanks to God for the blessings in my life. But for some reason, I can not seem to stop thinking about her and what her family… her two young girls (9 and 12) and her husband must be going through. I can not imagine the emotional struggle they must be enduring. For some reason her story has hit a cord with me.
It is her age. 38. 38. That is five years younger than me. It is her girls. I have two of my own, not far from her daughter's ages. It is the suddenness. One minute she is running on her treadmill and the next minute her life has been forever changed. It is the sadness for her girls for the Mom they knew that is possibly gone forever, while still being here physically. It is an incredible sympathy for her husband and how his life partner was suddenly taken from him. It is all those things and probably lots more.
It has really made me think. How would I handle such an event? Are our "affairs" in order so that Chief could handle the day to day home management easily? I have heard more than once, that it is the logistics of a tragedy that are often the hardest to get a handle on intitially… What bills need to be paid? Where are the bills? What is the doctor's phone numbers? Does Chief have our friends phone numbers to call in an emergency to help with the kids? Where is our will? Where are our medical directives? Are they still accurate?
The other thing that has struck me much deeper than that, is my walk with Christ. I do not know if I would grow closer to God or run in the opposite direction. I am afraid to admit, I think I would run… or at least a slow mental walk away from Him… I think. I think I would get so stuck on the "why" of it, I would not see past the hurt, emotion and loss.
Friends of ours were involved in a car accident five years ago. Their oldest daughter who had just turned seven died and her Mom, my friend, was severely injured. I turned closer to God at that time. The only thought I had was "there has to be some purpose for this" and only God could answer what that was. I still do not know and will never know until I reach heaven. It was during that time that I "cried" out to God to let my friend come back to her family. I was sitting in her hospital room watching her sleep, listening to the moans and cries for help of a patient down the hall. It was a short prayer in my head but so direct I remember exactly what I "said" to God. He heard me. That was the only time I have truly felt his presence. God was in that room with me. I have felt peace from God other times and said many heartfelt prayers, but that is the one time He was present with me.
That gives me some comfort to know that I was not angry with God in that situation. But, while I was close to my friend, I did not lose my daughter. I did not "lose" my husband to a massive stroke. I pray that if ever faced with something like that personally, I would feel God's presence. I am afraid that one never knows until you personally are in that situation. Joanne's husband wrote a very thought provoking post about this very subject that I think is worth reading. I pray that I could honestly write such a post if I were in his shoes.
Last spring during bible study there was a discussion on walking with God during the plateaus in your life so that when you are in a valley you turn to Him. I am not sure my daily walk would get me through the valleys, especially a long valley. I want it to.
My challenge is to grow in my relationship with God so I know without a doubt I would not run if tragedy struck. My challenge is to do the work it takes to be in a relationship, not just attending church. People have told me to write down the times you know God is working in your life so you can recall them when you are in the valley. Good advice. I guess a blog is a good place for that.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
Another year is here… 2011. It is unbelievable how fast last year went. I really understand now how people would tell you how fast life will go by as you get older. They were not kidding.
2010 saw my oldest turn eleven and really hit the swing between being a kid and a young lady; my middle one now really reads and took a stand that she is not going to play soccer. And, my littlest guy started preschool with much more success that we anticipated. Chief was able to leave a horrible job that he had for 2.5 years and start one that he loves; and one where they appreciate his talents and expertise. I started another part time job to help ease the household budget. All in all it was a good year.
I am here to report I succeed in two of the three goals I set for 2010. I officially started my photography business. I had a great time photography families and loved doing five senior picture shoots. And, I guess I can say it is a full-fledged business since I got paid for all those jobs. I also accomplished reading the bible in a year, finishing at 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve – nothing like a deadline to motivate me. I, however, failed miserably at losing 35 pounds. I guess two out of three is not bad.
My goals for 2011 are:
1. Get healthy. That involves losing weight for sure, but more important than that, is reclaiming some energy. Trying to be less crabby and more engaged in whatever I am doing. To me, that is healthy. I want to be a woman who glows from the inside; the one who is engage, active and healthy.
2. Learn to knit. My grandmother knit… a lot. She would make complicated fisherman knit sweaters and also knit little stocking caps to give to the nursery at her local community hospital. She always made red and green ones at Christmas time. That just makes me smile. I do not want to set the knitting world on fire, just learn a basic stitch or two.
3. Read more. My brain needs activity and I love to read. I just do not make time for it and it is kind of hard to get lost in a book when you hear “Mom” literally every 4.3 minutes. But I will try.
My oldest daughter discovered my first gray hair on December 31st and I discovered another one just this morning. What a way to ring in the new year, but at almost 43 (on Saturday!) I can not complain. I am definitely feeling older and more sentimental as time passes. I am just breathing in Little Man’s smell because his “being little” years are flying by. I can see our lives with teenagers, something I could not imagine a year or two ago. It is all good, but it is becoming crystal clear how important being engaged is to me and how important to be present in every moment.
So bring it on 2011 and may I remember these words every day and put them to practice.