November 6th 1991 began like most ordinary days with me in bed trying to catch a few extra minutes of sleep. My oldest son, Shaun, had woken up before me, and I had coaxed him into coming into my bed to cuddle before getting up. We had both drifted back to sleep when Danny came into the room and gave a little nudge to wake me. He had stepped back into the hallway, and something in his expression made my heart begin to beat quickly.
He motioned to me to come into the hallway. I knew something was wrong. I got out of bed quickly, my heart racing. He looked nervous and spoke in a whisper so as not to wake Shaun.
“Your mom has been in a serious car accident.”
Those nine words changed my life. Despite the gentle delivery by my husband, who I’m sure wished that he could soften the effect of the words he had to speak, my life as I had known it was shattered in an instant.
The following hours of waiting for my mother to emerge from the coma turned into weeks and then months. Four months later as she began to regain consciousness it was painfully clear that her life and ours would never be the same. My beautiful mom was traumatically and seriously brain injured and would spend the next 21 years of her life confined to a nursing home bed.
Life never was the same, but life is still beautiful. There was and is pain, but there is also so much joy.
I can’t help my mind from wandering back on this anniversary to that fateful day and when it does, I remind myself of all I’ve learned.
I’ve learned that she is still with me. In the way I fiercely love my children and my grandchild. In the way I always try to see the bright side of life even in the face of adversity. She taught me that and countless other things. They have become her legacy.
I learned that you can withstand more pain than you ever thought you could endure.
I learned that God comforts and heals and trades ashes for beauty.
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:11
That verse I clung to then, is as powerful in my life now.
I believe. And I see His goodness here and now in the land of the living. Every day. Even on the bad ones.
If you are going through a difficult, trying time and your bones feel tired and weary and lifeless – take courage – you will come through and believe it or not you’ll be stronger and there will be joy and you will dance again. I would love to pray for you if you find yourself in that space so leave me a comment or send me a message. I’ve been there and through and would be honored to pray for strength for you.
Lots of love…