Accidents happen. In our family they happen often, usually to me. In fact, my granddaughter had a bicycle accident recently which was promptly blamed on the “Nana gene”. Years ago, after about a dozen accidents, my family decided that I am inherently clumsy and that I have cursed a few other family members as well. Probably true since my own mother broke her leg just months before I did, in much the same way. Well, yesterday’s accident wasn’t my fault and it wasn’t my body that hit the pavement. Gary tripped on his way out of the convenience store and twisted his ankle. It’s swollen and sore this morning and he plans to spend the day pampering it a bit. I feel sorry for him because I’ve “been there, done that”. I even offered to loan him my brace, cane, walker, or crutches. Souvenirs from the past.
As I wandered about the house this morning feeding the fish and cats, making coffee, I thought about accidents and how they change the course of our lives. It’s hard not to wonder if they are a message from God or some detour he wants us to make. Are they our protection against something worse? Is there a reason Gary isn’t supposed to be at work today? Is this part of a bigger plan to change something in his life? Or are accidents just that- accidents, random occurrences, speed bumps on the road that divert our attention for a moment and mean very little.
I’m of the opinion that everything in our life means something. Sometimes the tiniest things change the course of our lives and we don’t realize their impact until years and years later. I recall a trip to the doctor fifteen years ago that changed my life. My cousin happened to be there and as we sat in the waiting room chatting, I mentioned to her that we were looking for a place to live, and she mentioned that the house across from our grandparent’s old place was empty…and the rest is history. We ended up living there for thirteen years. If I hadn’t gotten sick would God have figured out another way for us to live in that house? I have no doubts.
“God’s plan for our lives, free will, and accidents”, those were the thoughts rattling around in my head this morning as I drank my coffee and started reading my emails. There are questions and ideas that are too large for my modest brain. I know we don’t have control over our lives. Yet God gave us “free will”, the right to essentially say “no” to him and choose our own path. Or did He? Is that an illusion to keep us happy? Are accidents God’s way of thumping us on the head? Or was the “accident” part of the plan all along and we just didn’t see it coming? I was about to get dizzy when God gave me something far greater to ponder- perspective.
My life is so blessed! Anything that has happened to me or will happen to me pales in comparison to the “accidents” and the pain and the problems endured by my friend Suzanne who has lupus. I haven’t seen her in person in many years. She is still in CA and we are here. But her life and her attitude continue to inspire me. So God gave me a message from her this morning. (I didn’t ask her if I could share this with you. I ask her forgiveness if she has objections.) If this doesn’t put some perspective on your own problems, nothing will. Suz has had at least three or more years of this kind of suffering, not to mention decades before that of “normal” problems and complications associated with her condition. I’ve lost count, being so far away, but I’m sure she and her family can tell you exactly how long it has been since they have had anything approaching a normal life. Yet, she always seems positive and matter-of-fact about it. She keeps on keeping on. That to me is true faith.
I ask that you read this message and then pray for my friend. Keep her in your prayers forever. She needs and deserves your prayers. And if her “accidents” are indeed part of God’s plan, then I think the plan must be to make all of the rest of us more mindful of our blessings. My grandmother always said, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” I don’t know why I have received God’s grace, but I’m certainly mindful of it this morning.
Dear family and friends
After almost four months in the rehab unit at --convalescent hospital, I am finally home. Jim did his best to keep everyone informed, but I apologize if he missed you.
To bring you up-to-date: For the last 1 ½ years I have had the use of only one leg for transfers into and out of my wheelchair. After a long wait I finally had a surgery date to fix the “bad” leg of March 4th with the specialist in --. However, on February 4th I fell in my new shower and broke the knee cap (Patella) of the lone functioning leg, tearing muscles, etc. After surgery and a brief hospital recovery, the reality hit that I would not be able to go home or to put any weight on the leg until it healed—at least eight weeks. So it was off to the rehab hospital to lay in bed until it did.
After my leg healed, I was faced with more weeks of physical and occupational therapy until I could again safely transfer to my wheelchair. By then my surgery date on the other leg had passed. The months have been traumatic and we are now hoping for a fall surgery on the “bad” leg and more therapy. So much for 2009.
I am now home. My “hurt” leg is still weak so I am carefully adapting it to what I do at home. I have learned a lot. I can again take care of myself but will need help showering, and other things I cannot do, while Jim is gone.
All the prayers, cards, and calls have been appreciated. They helped me get through the long days and nights.