The holidays are over and we are all going to try to get back into the routine of life after having some fabulous vacation time. Yes, it is difficult to come back home to incredibly cold temperatures but today I am reminded of how blessed we are and how “normal” our lives are. A visit with friends on Saturday made that crystal clear to me.
Our best man in our wedding 31 1/2 years ago was in a horrible car versus deer accident the day after Thanksgiving. George and his wife, Gordon, were coming home from spending time with her failing parents when their lives were forever changed by a scared deer who ran into their car as they were driving on an interstate in North Carolina. To say that their lives will ever be “normal” again would be a lie. Now they have a new normal to deal with.
After weeks in ICU with traumatic brain injury and broken vertabrae George was recently transferred to a rehabilitation facility a little closer to home about a week ago. Gordon continues to heal from her injuries and weeks later still has double vision as well as other problems which plague any further progress with the vision issue. Double vision = no driving so their son, a recent college graduate, is the sole caregiver at this point. The stress on him has to be unimaginable.
George has always been in really good physical shape and in this case that means that his body is healing and that predicates a release from the facility most likely this week —-it is scary because Gordon does not know how they will manage.
Chris and I were able to visit with them for a short time this past Saturday and I am so very glad that we did. George, the consummate gentleman, asked Gordon to get us Cokes when we arrived and offered us chairs to sit in. This man who has a plastic protector on his chest and back and a helmet on his head is offering US comfort. Typical George behavior. While it was so very difficult for us to see the physical and mental distress that they both are in it was good to be able to be with friends who have been very important parts of our lives. The question remains how much progress he will be able to make in recovery of the traumatic brain injury. He is walking and can read and write and has use of his hands so to me that is amazing after the injuries he sustained. Some conversations made sense but most did not as he tired. Deep philosophical issues are spinning around in his now mixed up brain and the question of the hour was the difference in an “s” in England or America or other countries. Yea—we couldn’t’ answer that for him. 🙂
Add to this fact that Gordon’s dad passed away on December 10th and she was unable to go to the funeral, her mom was moved into assisted living and she could not help and their beloved dog died a couple of weeks ago. It is almost too much to bear. Added worries about their business and financial matters are weighing heavily on Gordon while George is basically unaware of what is going on.
What do I take comfort in? The fact that they are strong people of true and deep faith who know that there is a God that loves them without any reservations or conditions.
Life is not fair.
Deer run into cars and lives are thrown into tailspins and are never the same. Friends come forward to share the pain and offer gentle hugs and compassion. Tangible aid comes from unexpected places. Therapy sessions are carried out to improve functioning in all areas. Prayers are offered up by many who do not even know this family.
God is real. God was in that hospital room with us as Gordon recounted a prayer that George had said for them earlier that day—one that was clear and concise and in Gordon’s words on their CaringBridge website :
In the early afternoon, we asked him to give a prayer, and it was a five-minute delight as he made no missteps, and prayed for our healing, his brain healing, and Tal’s back healing (yes, Tal’s back was out yesterday). It was such a life-affirming hope filled prayer, delivered with ease and on another level. The power of prayer is real for our family these days…..
Yes, God IS real and present and always there. Even in times of extreme difficulty when the answers seem to be so unclear. If you are the praying type I would ask that you please cover this family with your prayers. I am still trying to figure out how we can help them out in a concrete way . But for now I know that I can pray. And pray I will.