"Mom, don’t worry, but…"
No good conversation comes from that beginning.
This phone call from my youngest son came on a quiet, peaceful Saturday afternoon around 5 o’clock.
I braced myself –
"…but you might want to come to the hospital. B (my oldest) fell off a ladder. He’s OK, but I thought you might want to be here."
I drove as calmly as I could to the hospital, thirty minutes away where they lived.
I rushed into the emergency room, told them who I was, and soon (though not soon enough), someone came to escort me to where my son was.
Upon arriving, I found out that B had broken his wrist. And though he was alert, I soon realized that all was not well…
B kept repeating the same questions over and over again.
"Where am I?" – You’re at the hospital.
"What happened?" – You fell off a ladder.
"Which ladder?" – The orange one.
"What’s wrong with me?" – You broke your wrist.
Thirty seconds later – the exact same thing. It was quickly very apparent that B was not thinking clearly – that he had some sort of head injury.
I turned to my youngest, "Why didn’t you tell me?"
"Because," he said quietly, "I wanted you to drive safely."
Over the next couple hours, we realized that B’s short-term memory was not functioning. He couldn't retain a thought past a minute or so. And he had lost about six months of his long-term memories. I asked the doctor if they would come back – he said, probably...
...but he wasn’t sure.
We tried to "casually" talk about things that had happened over the last few months. Some things he didn’t remember were OK – like how we got to tell him over and over how he was getting a tax refund – followed by a big smile, like it was "new" news each of the 30 times we said it. Other things were sad – he teared up a couple of times, saying, "I wish I could remember that. I would have liked that memory."
It was especially awful to have to tell him numerous times that his wrist was shattered and he had a pretty severe concussion. I hated watching him try to process that shock, only to see it happen again within a minute.
We finally left the hospital about four hours later. B’s memory had slowly begun to return – starting about six months out – and then gradually backing up until a day or two before the accident.
When we returned home, his dad and I started to change his clothes. I said something to him, "Do you know why you have a sling on?"
He turned to me like I was crazy and said, "Well, yeah, Mom. I broke my wrist and I’ve got a really bad concussion. Duh…"
My heart thrilled – my spirit cheered. He was back.
To this day, he can’t remember about one hour before he fell, and nothing about the hospital at all (including the cute nurse that came to give him a tetanus shot!!) – but he’s just fine (although it required surgery and weeks of physical therapy to repair his shattered wrist).
It was difficult to have this interruption in our lives.
But something else happened on that day.
What we called an "interruption" was really God’s divine "intervention."
He had a greater purpose to accomplish.
Prior to this accident, there had been a "falling out" in our family. Disagreement, tension, anger, regrettable words - one of those things where people weren’t really speaking to each other.
I wasn’t sure if something basic had changed in us.
Were we going to be one of those families where people didn’t talk to each other for 20 years? I didn’t think so, but my heart grieved –
And yet, in that emergency room, all our differences faded – and we realized what really mattered…each other. Bonded by fear and uncertainty, we put aside what didn’t matter, and held on to what did.
I was so reminded of Joseph – whose brothers sold him into slavery. I’m sure that he was stunned by this "interruption" in his life.
But God had other plans.
And when all was said and done, Joseph was able to say to his brothers, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good."
God took my family’s terrible moment, an unforeseeable accident – a harmful thing – and worked it for His purpose.
God brought forgiveness out of pain.
Just like He did on the cross of Jesus – forgiveness out of pain. Good out of suffering. Reconciliation out of tragedy. Redemption out of death.
Life interruption – or Divine intervention?
But I know what God did in that emergency room – and it was for good.
I’m going to trust Him.
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"