I wish…

2020 has been a year, hasn’t it? I’ve mostly kept my head down and just moved forward, but recently I was hit with an event that felt like the collapse of a brick wall.

My sister died.

The week it happened, I don’t think I felt much after the initial blow. We had family to house and board, a funeral to plan and attend (no mean feat in the days of covid), and constant sound and movement to keep my mind occupied. Then, the next week I had to catch up at work for the week I’d missed. No time to grieve for this gal.

A previously planned dive vacation was rudely interrupted by dueling hurricanes, so a week I had hoped would bring healing didn’t materialize, just more busyness and putting my grief in the corner.

Then, time slowed down. The grief hit with the force of that hurricane. Every day has brought fresh waves of pain, but thankfully they’re mitigated by sweet, sweet memories.

What do you do with grief? I’ve lost loved ones before. Both my parents have passed away, but their lives were full and long. I’ve lost friends before, and grieved for them over the years with a poignant melancholy. But, I’ve never lost a beloved sibling before. Blood ties run deep. It’s an entirely new type of grief that I’m not sure where to put or how to deal with.

And there are regrets. I wish… I wish I had more time. We always think there’s time, don’t we? I lost a beloved uncle a few years ago, one who was in his 70’s, but that’s young these days. I remember thinking, “I thought I had more time.” More time to connect. More time to reach out. More time to share lives. But, I didn’t. Suddenly, he was gone and I couldn’t ask him anything else or talk to him anymore.

That’s the way this grief is hitting me. I wish I had asked the photographer to make a picture of the three of us sisters at my daughter’s wedding. I wish I had called her more often. I wish I had driven to see her the Sunday before she died instead of just having a phone conversation. I wish… I wish I had more time.

My prayer is that I stop wishing and start acting. That I spend more time with my loved ones while they’re here. That I remember to reach out to them on their birthdays, even in the busyness of my life. Nothing is promised.

Family is important. Friends are important. Relationships are important. Make the phone call. Have the hard conversation. Mend fences. Reach out. Get in your car and make the trip.

Don’t wish for more time. Make it.

Hospital updates

Yesterday was a long day. Thank God, His mercies are new every morning.

Gary is doing okay today. His pain is being managed and he is moving around some. We had a really long night last night, they had a time getting his pain under control, and of course, x-rays at 3 am don’t induce a good night’s rest. I’ve had lots of caffeine today and am holding up very well, although I do feel a crash in the not too distant future.

Specifics on Gary so far: He has a schatzker 6 left tibeal plateau fracture, which apparently is not too common. Of course. The fasciotomy done to alleviate the compartment syndrome has been successful so far, he’ll have surgery again on Thursday to repair the wounds, then we’ll be making some decisions about the fracture repair. The doctor showed us the x-rays & CT scans, and the phrase she used to describe the damage was “kibbles and bits”. So. Not much else to add there, we’re playing the waiting game and trying to take each hit as it rolls our way.

On a lighter note, I was happy to discover that driving “Dexter” (the creepy white van) was much easier than I thought it would be. Even in 5 o’clock traffic. I felt a little like an ant with a biscuit, but like that intrepid little critter, I carried the load & got the job done. I couldn’t leave Gary last night, so I took a spit bath after midnight, the kind nurses found me some clean clothes to put on, and we made the best of it. I waited for the doctors to all roll through today before I headed back down to Festus to get our things, but I’m back at the hospital now & settled in for the duration.

I’m quite sure I’ll have to find someplace nearby to run soon. A really nice surprise for me was to discover that Gary’s lead orthopedic doctor, as well as at least three of her residents are runners, so I’m sure they’ll be able to tell me where some safe running routes are nearby. I think it’s kind of rare for bone doctors to be runners. At least in my experience. So, I was excited by more than the fact that we share a hobby. I know that they will understand the importance of getting Gary back to doing the things he loves as quickly as possible.

I’ll leave you with a couple of images of the old man in his temporary prison.

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And this would have been a good thing for him to be wearing yesterday as a reminder (his words, not mine).

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My last thoughts today are these, shared by one of my fellow bloggers, “Overcome by Joy” (sorry I couldn’t reblog it – I’m too tired to jump through the hoops my Ipad was requiring. I’ll try to link to your blog tomorrow!) She’s going through so much more than we are, and the verse she shared filled my soul with peace today. As I told my sister earlier, I’m not worried. I’m supernaturally calm. Praise Jesus.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Ephesians 8: 26-27