As we sat in the waiting room at Williamson County Medical Center, I looked back on the years that had lead us there. While playing football during Alex’s sophomore year, he tore his labrum. We also learned that he suffered from hip impingement. We always planned to have this surgery after he graduated high school so that he could continue to play sports. We just didn’t know at that point in time that he would end up having a wreck his senior year that would require multiple surgeries and alter the course of his life forever. There would never be any more sports for Alex.
And here we were, fixing to undertake another surgery that would take at least 6 months to heal. I couldn’t help but think that Alex had just now finally healed from all the other surgeries and hadn’t had any time to just be a normal teenage kid. I didn’t feel good about it, but he is 19-years-old. It is his body and his decision. I was ready to do whatever I needed to do to help him heal from this surgery.
All the way to the hospital Alex was extremely anxious. I knew that something was wrong, but like any other teenager, he would share it only when he was ready. This wasn’t his first time having surgery, but any other surgery he was absolutely ready. This time was different.
As we sat in the waiting room to go back to pre-op, patient after patient was taken back. Still, we waited. Alex grew more and more anxious. Finally, he looked at me and said, “What do you think about just leaving?” I had spent weeks trying to convince him to hold off on surgery and here he was suggesting leaving? I thought he was joking at first. When I realized he was serious, my heart jumped with hope. He explained that he didn’t feel going through with surgery was a good decision. God was telling him not to do it. That was all I needed to hear! We told the nursing staff that Alex had changed his mind and we bailed! We both left feeling like we had lost 100 pounds of weight off our shoulders.
I knew in my heart that this surgery wasn’t a good idea. Everything that had led up to this day had pointed towards not doing it. Scheduling it had been difficult to begin with. We had left message after message for the scheduler and it took weeks before she returned the message. The day before surgery, the surgeon’s office realized they didn’t have the referral from the correct doctor and we spent hours trying to fix it. We finally received the referral only 30 minutes before it was too late. Then, we had to wait while watching patient after patient being taking back for surgery, each time leaving us alone in the waiting area. These hurdles were God giving Alex more time to listen to Him.
I am so proud that I have a son who listens to his heart and what God is telling him. I don’t know what would have happened if Alex had the surgery. But, I know in my heart it was something that God didn’t want us to do, and I am so thankful that Alex listened. I am praying that Alex has the best summer he has ever had this year!
Love & blessings,
Lately, I have been thinking about the measure of my life. Perhaps it was losing so many of my family members in such a short period of time. Or it could have been almost losing the boys in the accident and Alex twice more after that. It could be because my 20 year high school reunion is this year. More than likely, it is because I am going to be, ummm, 40 next year.
What have I really accomplished in those 40 years? What about all of the dreams I had for my life? How will I check off these bucket list items, and who in the world thought it was a good idea to pressure people to create bucket lists in the first place?!?!
My life simply didn’t turn out like I intended it to and most likely, my life is already half way over. For all I know, it could be over tomorrow. Three generations from now, no one will remember me, other than by name. I will be a person that family members tell stories about. My image only captured by photographs. Sounds quite melodramatic, but it is simply the truth. The earth is billions of years old. My short time here means nothing against those numbers.
I’ve come to terms that my life is not going to have this monumental change on the world that can be measured. I won’t be famous for a medical breakthrough. Obviously, and if you know me, I most definitely will not be a Grammy award winning singer. I will never be the President of the United States. Thankfully, I believe that God does have purpose for me here, even if it cannot be measured by those standards.
After the accident, we started using the saying, “You only get one life, so live it.” I’m trying to determine now what it means to actually live. What is happiness? At the end of my life, can I say that it was worth it all?
I don’t have the answers to these questions. What I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that I have raised strong and loving boys, and they may actually change the world. I have a feeling that it will be all of those small moments in my life that add up in the end to have created a life worth living for. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for…
Love and blessings,
I have spent the past couple of days planning for Jackson’s surgery and Alex’s graduation. How can one do both emotionally and not be a basket case? The answer is simple: by the grace of God.
9 months ago our boys were life flighted to Vanderbilt. We didn’t have time to clean the house, make sure the laundry was done, the pets were taken care of. Pack bags. In fact, for several days we only had the clothes on our backs. After multiple surgeries and several months later, we were all finally home together. This time, Jackson’s surgery is planned. We know how long the recovery should take. We are not naive to be oblivious to the possibility of complications. Of course we are not happy that he has to be put to sleep and cut open again. But we don’t have a choice. We knew from the beginning that the surgeons were creating surgical hernia’s that would someday need to be repaired. We didn’t care. We wanted him to live. As much as we worry for him, we also know that God is the one in control. I say it all the time I know, but it is so very true. Since that day on the side of the road I have learned that He is always in control, not I. It isn’t ideal for my husband and I to miss a week or two more of work, but God provided for us before, and I have to believe He will do so again.
While planning to be in the hospital with Jackson, I have also been planning for Alex’s graduation. I still can’t believe he is old enough to graduate. He is my baby. He has had to overcome so many obstacles this year to make this happen. More than most adults ever experience in a lifetime. I am so very proud of who he has become. I was amazed at the strength he had during and after the accident. His love for his brothers and people in general. His heart is so very pure and true. Last week he met with Pastor Randy and I could see God working and putting everything together. He has a purpose and I know that he will do mighty things for the kingdom of God. And so does he. I can’t wait to see it.
I am not a basket case because I am blessed. I am blessed that my son, despite every opportunity to throw up his hands and give up, will be graduating high school. I am blessed because our boys are alive, and even though Jackson has to have surgery, we know that he will be okay. No matter how bad my day is, I can always look back on what I experienced on August 16, 2015 and find hope and gratitude in God for what He did then and continues to do. He really is an awesome God.
Love and blessings,