Over the last several weeks and months, I’ve been thinking a lot about today. How will I feel when I wake up? What does this day hold? Will I be sad, grieved or worshipful? Will I rejoice, celebrate or praise? Will I be angry or resolved? If my shoe choice is any reflection of my emotional condition, I could be in trouble. In reality, none of the above is going on right now.
Exactly one year today me, my wife, youngest son, brother-in-law almost lost our lives in a bad accident(See “Grace” Post). With the exception of some final medical & legal matters, the major stuff is behind us, and for the most part Becky, Chris and I are as healed as we are going to be.
Of course Chris being 16, he seems to have not missed a step in his physical development. He started his second year on varsity football and had a very good season. He is gearing up for soccer in a few weeks and track in the spring. With the exception of some scar tissue on his neck, arms & knees you wouldn’t even know he was on the injured reserves for almost 6 months of the last year. It was prophesied over him, while still in the womb, that he would have the build of Samson, so I’m not surprised.
Becky has bounced back with a vengeance. She began walking as soon as she was physically able, sporting a designer piece of titanium headgear, but walking daily and doing 5K’s none the less. The week after the halo was removed, February 2012 – 12 weeks after she broke her neck, she began running again. Today with several 5K’s and 2 half marathons, she is almost back on target with her pre-accident pace. Next month, she will continue her heart for missions as she embarks on her second trip to Port au Prince, Haiti to care for orphans. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to continue my life journey with her by my side. She is the most remarkable woman I know…Proverbs 31 in action.
As for me, the road to recovery was less about getting back to my pre-accident physical condition because frankly I was in bad shape. Of the three of us, I was the least injured, but endure the results of the accident more. Each day I wake up not knowing what kind of discomfort I will have to navigate through…sore ribs, painful breathing, stiff knees, neck or back. My chest pops where my sternum was cracked, my lungs gurgle and I sound like a famous breakfast cereal any time I move. Ironically, I get the most relief when running with Becky. That is until I stop.
I guess I had naively hoped for some divine symbol of closure today, which is surprising since I’ve never really defined my life by a single event. We humans, especially Americans, demand things to be wrapped in nice packages, but life is really too messy for that. Do we ever really find closure? I have scars on my body that no longer hurt, but I remember the pain that caused them. I have painful memories that replay over and over, but I no longer shed tears over them. I see the results of my decisions, good and bad, all around me defining who I am, but not who I am endeavoring to be.
Someone told me a while back after the accident that “pain means I’m alive”. This truth is so profound. It is in this very simple statement that I have found comfort, compassion and courage. In two weeks, I set out for my fourth mission journey to Kenya to oversee our orphan and widow project, and set our course for the future. It is for this purpose I survived. It is for this purpose I live. It is for this purpose, my daily pain is all the closure I need.