Slightly over a year ago, my Granddaughter died at only 2 weeks old. In the past, I have suffered the loss of my grandparents, my parents and my Brother. Yet nothing could have prepared me for the loss of my Son and Daughter-in-law’s baby girl — my Granddaughter. I still struggle with understanding how to “be” mentally and physically. As I mentioned in Grieving and Grateful, the vintage advice I got from my friend and mentor was,
“There is no way other than, ‘the way’”.
That advice remains as relevant today as it will always be. I only had to look at those two young grieving Parents. My Son and Daughter-in-law show me how to “be”. They traverse the abyss of the death of their beloved baby Daughter with such a level of maturity and a healthy balance — I am in constant awe. Over this past year, together they have courageously managed to “be”. They made it safe for me to “be”.
Over 5 months ago, an 18-wheeler truck crashed into me on my scooter. The truck was going through an intersection (under caution for me to cross) and struck me side-on, breaking my left femur. The crooked road back to recovery has offered me the opportunity to again marvel at the grace of God. He always manages to use challenges and suffering to help us mature and grow in character.
I spent almost a month in a state hospital. For 22 out of the 24 days, I was in a vibration bed lying on my back with my leg in traction waiting for surgery. The surgery I had is called open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). The two incisions where the surgeons entered — the large entry point on the hip and another smaller cut on the knee — took longer to heal than the broken femur. They have both been the culprits of much pain and suffering over the past 4 months since the surgery.
Some time ago, I was lying in my bed one night in so much pain, I thought I would never make it to work the next day. I was close to tears, and I’m a Dutchman, we have high pain thresholds. I couldn’t sleep because my leg was raised on two pillows. It’s been like this since I left the hospital. So, I started feeling sorry for myself.
I started to bemoan my slow recovery. How long will this pain still carry on? When will I be able to walk properly again, and without pain? Why did that 18-wheeler have to smack me? Why did I have to be on a scooter? I felt sad that I hadn’t been able to go on my knees to pray since the surgery. I felt bad that I put so much strain on my employers who paid me for three months while I recovered at home. I have no transport which has taken away my independence.
Look at the state this has all gotten me into.
And while I was lying there in my bed, I shook my head from side to side as if to shake off an attacking insect. I caught myself and needed to shake off this negative cacophony going on in my head. I started to pray and asked God for help. I made it to work the next day. And as with all things with God, He is never in a rush, but He is always on time.
Over the next few days, my leg started to feel stronger and had less pain when walking. Within a week, I was walking a fair distance without any gait or limp and without much pain. For short periods I’d feel a dull pain where the break in the leg was, but most of the pain was gone. I’m not fully recovered because the leg is still weak and that only time can heal. I feared never being able to walk normally again. I needn’t have worried. God is in control.
Shame on me.
A few weeks ago, my Daughter-in-law posted the most fitting announcement of their joy.
“Just when you think you will never see the light again, a rainbow so beautiful and precious comes along to remind you just how bright your world can be…
Handpicked by our angel above us, Kinlee Karter, to love and cherish…
Our Rainbow Baby coming… 2024
Kinlee, we know this is our gift from you♡♡ always loved and missed baby girl♡♡ forever and always!”
Shame on me.
I have so much to be thankful for, it’s scary.
Last week, I thought I’d try going on my knees to pray. As I went to kneel, I felt no pain. When my knee softly touched the floor, I felt no pain. I sank onto the ground and felt no pain, only joy. I started to cry. I thanked God for everything He has given and done for me and my little family.
We are all human and now and then, it’s okay to stomp in the poo for a while until you’ve had a good old whiff of the stench. Reminding yourself of the life you have been blessed with provides the fertile ground for genuine gratitude and humility to take root. You will soon realise, like me, that your cup is full to overflowing.
Have an awesome weekend and please remember to be generous! 😄
As always, thanks for reading 🙏
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