At 6:00 a.m. one year ago, the telephone rang waking me from deep sleep. For many years now I have been used to the drill: Rob wakes up at 5:30 or earlier, gets dressed to run or ride his bike and leaves the house. I sleep soundly through it all. On August 12, 2008, I was sleeping just as soundly until that call. Robbie and our friend Stuart had been hit while riding their bikes. Thankfully, Stuart was not seriously injured and was well enough to call 911 and me – Rob wasn’t.
At first in the ER it didn’t look so bad – broken rib, maybe, bruised and sore for a few weeks. Maybe a few days off work. Gradually, though, the news worsened. Broken hip. Possible broken pelvis. Broken vertebrae. Major blood loss. Might not live.
I cannot describe the feeling of being told that they are desperately trying to find a helicopter to get your spouse to a place that can hopefully save his life. Hopefully.
After the loss of our infant daughter 11 years ago, I was sure I had “paid my dues” and that God wouldn’t let me go through such deep pain again. But here I was, begging Him not to ask this of me. Not to make me live the rest of my life without my best friend, lover, father of my children, the sweet boy I met when I was 15 and he was 17. I hardly have a memory that doesn’t include him.
Yet, in the middle of the chaos and confusion of that morning, I knew deep in my heart that God had not abandoned me. I had no idea what the future would hold at that moment and – I won’t lie – I was afraid. But, I knew that I was loved. That He still knew our names and He was hearing my cries, though they were coming from deep inside me.
Those who have kept up with our story know the journey of those days, and they are still archived here. God was merciful and gracious to allow Robbie to live. He has no paralysis or neurological injuries. The recovery was long and slow – not walking for 3 months was hard. But to see him now you would never know that one year ago I was told that he might not even live.
Over the last year we have had our ups and downs during recovery. Rob’s recovery has been physical. Mine has been emotional. It’s still hard for me that he’s back on his bike, but I love him too much to ask him to give up what he loves so much. We are still working on some of the ways it continues to impact us. Maybe we always will. Things like this brand you forever. The sting and pain may lessen over time, but the mark is always there.
As we put this year behind us, I am not the same. Once again, I realize how fragile this life is and how quickly it can change. I am reminded that striving for what this world promises is futile. The things that really matter are those that last – faith, family, finding joy in simple things. Laughter, sunsets, cooking, reading, coffee.
Most of all, I have once again seen God’s goodness. Not just because my husband survived or our medical bills are paid, even though those things are wonderful graces. I have been on the other side before. Our daughter did not survive. God is still good because He cannot be anything other than good. His love for me is deep; He tells me throughout His word. Even though I may not always feel it, I choose to believe the truth and that is what sustains me.
SDG- Soli Deo Gloria.