Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Concussion and an "F" for Trust

Happy Father's Day to you and yours!  It's been a good one for us.  Sleeping in, Mass, and eating out make for a pretty great day.  I also emailed my Dad the links to my posts where I wrote about him (A "Rough" Life - A Tribute to my Grandma, Uncle, and my Dad).  He doesn't do blogs, but it occurred to me that he might better understand how much I love and respect him if he could read what I had written.  He was deeply moved, printed it off, and put it in his Bible.  Happy Fathers Day, Dad.

Two weeks ago today, my husband (and the father of my children) got a concussion when he and his skateboard parted ways.  I was at the swimming pool (roughly 100 yards away) when it happened.  My oldest son came and told me "Dad has a concussion, but he's fine.  He's up and walking around".  I clambered out of the pool to go see what in the world was going on.

As I was gathering our stuff, my husband walked into the pool, saying he thinks he has a concussion, was seeing stars, and half of his vision was blurry.  He wasn't really sure what happened or if he lost consciousness, so I sat him down on the pool steps and went to investigate.  What I found was a pool of blood in the bottom of the skate bowl.  At the time, I couldn't find any witnesses, so I assumed he was knocked out because he laid there long enough to make a puddle of blood (from his elbow) the size of my footprints.

I did my best to wash the blood away and we loaded up to go home.  He had virtually no memory of the day and began to ask a series of questions, which went something like this..."What happened?  Was I awesome?  Did anyone see?   Was I unconscious?  What happened?  Was I awesome?  Did anyone see?   Was I unconscious? What happened?  Was I awesome?  Did anyone see?   Was I unconscious? What happened?  Was I awesome?  Did anyone see?   Was I unconscious?..." 

You get the idea.  I worked for an ambulance service for 6 years, so I knew he had a concussion at least, and was worried he might have bleeding in his brain.  I waited for a couple of hours to see if his symptoms (repetitive questioning and memory loss) would improve, but they persisted. 

To make a long story short, we ended up in the ER.  He had a CAT scan which showed no bleeding on his brain and he got three stitches in his elbow.  He took the following day off of work for "brain rest".  Aside from a sore neck and elbow, and a little light sensitivity, he was back to good. 

But, then I wasn't so good.  The more I thought about what happened, the more I had my own series of thoughts that went something like this...

"It freaks me out that my husband was lying unconscious (or something close to it) 100 yards away from me and I didn't have any idea.  I guess I always thought that if something happened to him I would somehow know.  A gut check or something.  Nope.  Nothin'.  What if it was worse?  What if his brain had bled, and he had a stroke or an aneurysm?  What if he had broken his neck?  If he died, financially we would be able to make it, but if he's disabled and it didn't happen at work, we'd have nothing.  I am totally dependent on him and his good health.  This vulnerability feels like crap. Should I get a full-time job?..."

This went on for about two days.  I was pulling back emotionally and he knew it.  He was telling me not to dwell on what could of happened, and that I couldn't love him any less because of some dumb accident.  But, I was trying to.  I don't want to be physically, emotionally, psychologically, and financially dependent on someone who could check out at any minute!  I told him he was a liability, and he was quick to let me know that I was one, too.  Then, he said something to the effect of, that's what happens when you get married...


Good point.  He would be in as much of a fix if something happened to me, as I would be if something happened to him.  Not for a paycheck, but for someone to run the household and take care of the kiddos, and all of the other things wives do. 

After this conversation, and by God's grace, I started to realize that the only problem I had was a trust problem.  In the unusual circumstance of seeing my husband incapacitated, I withdrew my trust from God, and put it in myself.  Only, I quickly realized how drastically short I came from being able to provide the solution that I was trusting myself for.  If this whole scenario was a test for my trust in God, I'd have a Big 'ol "F" over here...

As Providence would have it, one of the Mass readings during this time was from Tobit 2:9-14.  In the story, Tobit became blind for four years after some birds pooped on his eyes.  (I'm not making this up!)  Eventually, his wife weaved cloth and provided for the family, and life went on...


God has provided for me for 35 years.  Some of those years, he provided for me through my parents.  Others, I provided for myself.  For the last 10 years, my husband has provided for me and our family.  If something were to happen to him (God forbid!), God would continue to provide for me.  Yes, it would look different.  Very, very different.  But, I would have what I need.  Just like I always have.

It is a paradox to be sure, but our security is our vulnerability.  It doesn't matter if I like it.  It's just the way it is.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are not you more important than they?  Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?   Matthew 6:25-27

Dear Heavenly Father, Happy Father's Day!!!  Thank you for being The Father of fathers, King of kings, and Lord of lords!  Thank you for fathers who help us believe in You and Your love for us.  Thank you for my husband and the way my kids will emulate him even before they recognize his greatness.  Thank you for his health and the big lesson in humility and trust, when it was compromised, even for a short time.  Please bless him with good health and a long life. 

Lord, please draw near to those who don't know what a good father is.  Make Yourself known to them!  Please grant the grace of forgiveness to those who need it. 

Abba, I love You.  Thank You for loving us first!  Make us love You more and more.  Amen.

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