Tag Archives: healing

Upside-Down and Coming to an End

It’s been a while since I last wrote, but between working a part-time job, being a mother, trying to figure out a lot of things, and now, finally, student teaching, I’ve been a little sidetracked. This past fall and winter have been a tumultuous time for me.

I hope you didn’t miss my writing too much. I have to admit I have missed writing!

To begin to explain why I call it tumultuous, riotous, turbulent, or even stormy, I would need to begin when life began to become almost topsy-turvy… And it started in August. 

My plans for graduating in December with my special education degree was screeched to a halt when it was discovered my counselor did not prepare me or inform me to take the exams and apply for student teaching for the fall semester. I was supposed to have done that back in the spring. All they could do was, “Oops. You’ll have to take a semester off and do all of it now for the spring and begin student-teaching then.” Needless to say,  I was pretty upset. I had no choice but to take a semester off. At first, I thought it was going to be an uneventful time while I waited to begin back up again… Boy, was I wrong.

Two months later, I was heartbroken to find out I had lost a dear uncle to heart disease. 

Thankfully, I had the chance to fly out with my kids and be with my family to celebrate my uncle’s wonderful sense of humor, his love of God, and his amazing life. I am also thankful my kids had the wonderful opportunity to have met their great-uncle the summer before, and in how my son developed a really wonderful connection with him.

It shook his world to find out that his friend, his great-uncle, who loved to hear his ideas and stories, was gone. I told him, “He’s in heaven, and we’ll see him soon.” “Yeah.” he’d say somberly and then smile, “Then I can tell him all sorts of stories then, right?”

I told my kids of how fun he was when I was growing up, and how I recently discovered the pivotal role his family was in helping me get the diagnosis of my deafness. They encouraged my mother of how she could help me, taking me to the University of Arizona for testing,  which led to the beginning of how I became who I am today. Wow. God puts the right people in our lives at the right time, and now I am just finding out about it.

I had just been home two weeks from being with my family for my uncle’s memorial service when I heard the unexpected news that a wonderful childhood friend of mine had died. I had so many wonderful memories with him and had hopes of seeing him when I plan to go celebrate my graduation from my Master’s program. We had even talked once about having him do my hair, as that was his profession, when I was to meet up with him. It still feels surreal to know he’s gone. Yet, I am thankful we were able to reconnect when we did, even though it was virtually through Facebook.

Fortunately, Christmas was a blessed time with snow and my dad spending the special Holiday with us.  Yet, right about that time, I was beginning to feel another change was about to happen. It wasn’t in regards to student teaching in the spring… But it was  something related to what happened a little over 16 years ago.

A piece of glass, which a doctor, 15 years ago, couldn’t remove from my wrist, was left inside after an effort was made to remove it. The glass was from the windshield of the cars involved in the life changing accident a year before this moment. It was estimated there were five pieces of glass inside that part of my wrist, and he was able to remove most of them. I can remember him saying, “Glass is tricky. It hides in blood very easily!” He did try to get them all, but as he tried to find the last elusive piece, I could remember feeling the anesthesia wearing off. He decided that was better to let the body do what it does best. “Your body will work to get rid of it. We were able to get those other ones out because your body had pushed them up. It’ll do the same for that last one in time.”  I can remember thinking, “Oh, okay. Then I’ll probably see it come up in a couple of months and get it removed.”

In the beginning, I do admit I was nervous to have anyone rub that part of my wrist when I went for a manicure or when I wore anything tight around that wrist, but as time went by, I had begun to feel that it was always going to be a part of my body.

In the past several months, it had become something I couldn’t ignore. I’ll just say it’s not a very nice feeling, and it reminds me a bit of having a stone stuck in your shoe – But it’s one you can’t get out.

In the middle of all this happening, my husband recently moved into a job that works really well for him, but it had meant I would need to wait to be able to see a doctor, as a new job meant new benefits. He had been anxious for me, but I assured him I would be fine, since we saw that it wouldn’t take long to wait for benefits to kick in… But I’ll be honest and say it was hard to be patient!

Wearing a brace had helped decrease the pain, and I had to decide to hold off on doing any crocheting until it did get taken care of. That’s hard for an artist to do!

I had a really rough day, a week ago, with being so irritated with everything going on in my life, and the annoying pain in my wrist was beginning to feel like the one that would break the camel’s back. I had so badly wanted to vent and be irritated, yet I knew it wasn’t going to solve anything. Instead, I began to pray and ask God,

“What is it, exactly, that I need?”

I realized it was Strength and Patience.

“Yeah, you think?”I thought sarcastically.

I knew now I need the strength to stand as the turbulant winds blew around me, and patience to wait out the storm. The storm will end. Winter doesn’t always last. There is almost always the bitter hard storm before the first of spring comes, and I knew I had to learn to wait..

Today, I was finally able to go see a doctor about my wrist. I was afraid, after 16 years of living with this invisible “hitchhiker” in my body, that it really wasn’t there and it was all in my head. But, after the x-ray, I was able to see this piece of glass I have been waiting for years to be free of! A little 2 mm rectangular piece of glass sat on top of one of my wrist bones just under the very layer of my skin. “It looks like some nerves are sitting right above it, keeping it right there, and it’s causing you all that pain and numbness. We can easily get that out.” He decides, “We could even do it this coming Monday. How about that?”  I ecstatically signed, “YES!” My interpreter resounded my excitement as she interpreted for me.

My son, who was with me, said a really wonderful thing as we left the office. “Mom, on Monday, you can finally be done with that car accident.”

What an amazing thought. When Monday comes, I will no longer have to wonder when it would come out and, in a sense, release me to heal completely. It is an overwhelming peace in knowing it I can begin to heal COMPLETELY.  I know I will always have scars, but I will be thankful when I see them – It is through them I will remember of God’s grace, strength, and protection.

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Learning to Let Go

I dug out the earrings from the box I had hid them in. With a sigh, I knew it was time. I had held on to them for eleven years, and the reasons behind it ranged from not wanting to let go of a piece of that night to hoping that maybe it would spark a long lost memory. At this point, I doubt it will now.

My husband asked what I was going to do with them.

“I’m going to throw them away.”

At first, he felt I should keep them and let them be used for good. I countered with the fact that the earrings bore no real value, despite possible sentimental value. I had bought them from Claire’s on a college budget, and I would rather replace them with earrings that carried more value. We talked about the tragedy of September 11th, and I could see the parallel of what I was going through with rebuilding of the towers. The old towers pieces weren’t kept, but instead changed into other things and swept away to make room for the new towers. The devastation of that day is definitely greater than what I have experienced, and even they made room for a new pair of towers to celebrate life continuing on. On top of that, the new towers are to be better than the old ones. That was exactly what I needed to do; it was time to replace them with something better.

Ironically, my pastor spoke on a message about moving on to better things today, and how the better technology is viewed as better than what it was before. We don’t have outhouses anymore, as we’ve now upgraded to indoor plumbing. We have gone from land line phones to mobile cell phones, and now it’s considered better as we can be contacted anywhere at pretty much anytime. ( I don’t consider it better at times as there are moments when people call me at very inconvenient times. Thank goodness for voicemail!)

 

 

The Eleven Year old earrings

Time to let them go... On to better things.

 

After a few moments, I unceremoniously dropped the small studs into the garbage can. There was no choir, angels singing, or some miraculous sign, but I do know that it was just one less step to be done in my journey to recovery and a new BETTER life. Will things be wonderful from now on? I don’t think so. If I know life as it is, it’s bound to get some rough patches here and there. I am sure I might go through moments when I am weak. I’ll just remember that God has placed many things in the world around us to remind us that there are things in life that require a struggle to come out stronger/better.

The caterpillar has to push itself out of it’s cocoon when it has changed into a butterfly. It doesn’t happen quickly, but instead it takes a long time for it to work its way out of the hard shell it lived in while changing; but it’s through that, it becomes strong enough to fly.

My favorite analogy these days is about the formation of the pearl, as I have shared in my last blog.

I had wanted to use the pearl party as a way to throw the earrings with a bang, but the party fell through, so instead we, the whole family, joined with another family for a church picnic. They are good friends of ours, so it made the day even sweeter. We had so much fun, and it was so refreshing for a change. Laughter and fellowship is truly a great way to celebrate life.

God knew, and it was good. I will continue to work on letting go and being thankful that I, and four others of us survived that fateful night. I should also be thankful that the drunk driver also survived as well. He, at least, has time to consider God’s redemption if the opportunity should ever arise for him. I do want him to experience God’s forgiveness and grace as much as I do.

 



Haunted by the Past

“Oh what earrings am I going to wear?” I thought to myself this morning as I quickly got ready to head out for church. I rarely changed my earrings, as I always liked wearing the simple little hoops in all 5 of my ear piercings, but this morning, I felt like changing the routine a little bit. I begin rummaging through my small collection of jewelry, and my fingers came across a pair of stud earrings, a costume square cut dark blue gem ones.

I felt the air around me just become still and my head became heavy with the few haunting memories I had from the days my life was changed dramatically.

They were the only thing left I had from the first time I ever attended a homecoming dance… And that night changed me in more ways than one. Its been eleven years now since drunk driver almost took my life,but it had been a huge “God thing” that I made it through. Doctors were stunned I walked out of the hospital a week after the fact I had been sitting in the point of impact of the car, causing a severe head concussion, lacerations, and a fractured skull. The fractured skull, I was told, miraculously healed while I was in the hospital; another God Thing.  I have very vague memories of being in the hospital, and many say it is a blessing I don’t remember. Yet, I feel as if a week of my life had been robbed from me… I’m still learning to accept it, even after all this time.

Back to the earrings… As I touched them, I could remember the feelings of disorientation in the weeks after coming out of the hospital. The feeling of loss and helplessness was also there. I put them back in my jewelry case and chose a pair of larger hoops to wear. “Why do I keep those things?’ I thought to myself. I gave away the beautiful shoes two years ago. The dress was cut off me when I was in the hospital (which happened to be my favorite evening gown ever) I know one day soon I will need to let them go… I have scars enough to remind me anyways.

I went to church heavy hearted… Angry that it still haunted me after all this time. “I should have been over it years ago! Come on! It’s over!” But it was obvious I still have a bit of healing left to do.

Coming home and talking to my mom, who witnessed my injuries and saw me through that whole week, and talking to my husband about it helped me to see that instead of dwelling on it negatively, I began to look at it the other way around.

I am alive. Broken, but alive. Yet, aren’t we all?

October 15th marks the day of the anniversary of the accident, and ironically, that same day, I have a pearl party scheduled.  It felt like a bit of an affirmation for me, as I know how a pearl is created. It takes a grain of sand, which irritates the poor oyster to no end, but it has a way of dealing with it. It takes years, but as time goes on, the little grain of sand is coated with a special secretion the Oyster has in its mouth until it’s perfectly round and smooth. It grows and grows, and the bigger it gets, the more valuable it becomes.

I could take this as a reminder… I am an Oyster, and that accident is a very nasty irritating piece of sand. It’s been over ten years, but slowly, its going to turn into a pearl. I don’t know what kind of pearl it is, as I haven’t been “opened” yet.  Perhaps I’ll get the one I really want – a black pearl! 😉

I am at peace now, though I still feel the sorrow and the grief of having had to deal with after-effects of the ordeal: scars all over my right shoulder and hand, a piece of glass still remains inside in my wrist and probably will be until God takes me home, and the occasional, though gradually becoming less frequent, headaches. I just remind myself that it could have been worse.  I have a tattoo on my right shoulder as a memorial to God’s intervention to that moment  – a celtic cross I drew up a year after the accident. I still debate on if I should keep the cross or cover it with something more along the lines of resurrection and hope. An eagle comes to mine in reference to my favorite, and very well known Bible verse, in Isaiah.

“but those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint. “

Yeah… It’s a popular verse. I know…. But it is a good one. There are many more in that fantastic book, the Bible. I know I will find more as I journey towards healing and to hopefully be able to end the hauntings… Or at least defuse the impact they have on me as they still do today.