Chapter Four A Wedding and Another Accident
As I adjusted to a new job, my son wasn’t doing thriving at college. The truth was, he had an undiagnosed concussion, he didn’t have a car, was struggling with the grief of the loss of his grandfather, and he wasn’t where he wanted to be. Getting to and from campus was difficult, and he was depressed and struggling with the will to do his classwork. He was also having some back pain from the accident. His living situation was hard. His roommate was a gamer that played video games constantly. My son had let some friends come stay in their apartment, and they wouldn’t leave. He wanted to come home, and we asked him to stick it out for the school year not realizing the full extent of his situation. He hadn’t told us about the guys in his apartment.
By Spring Break, my husband’s brother was getting married. Our son was traveling home from college with friends, he was in the back seat. The girl that was driving behind the wheel fell asleep, just like our son had done before. We found out about the accident right before the wedding when our son didn’t arrive on time. My husband and I had to sing and play Ave Maria as we waited for more news of the accident. We went into performance mode and kept the accident a secret to most, to not upset the wedding party and guests. I found myself bawling like a baby in a closet after the wedding during the pictures, thankfully we had some supportive family and friends to just hug on me and pray.
It was another major car accident- and the three young people in the car all miraculously walked out. Once more God’s hand was so mighty. This was another miracle we couldn’t explain that we were so grateful for. But sadly In the next year he would deal with memory loss, anxiety, body aches, and brain confusion. He still needed to finish the school year out so we sent him back to school again. At the end of the school year, we brought him home for his brothers graduation.
His younger brother was doing better healing from his concussion, but then he broke his ankle skateboarding. He had to have surgery, and was on crutches at his graduation. The boys said that they wanted to attend the local university (Boise State) together and live together. That sounded like a good plan. At this point we just were grateful to have them nearby. We were going with that. Meanwhile, we just kept on working and showing up for our students, and just did the best to keep a smile on our faces. But we were both battered like a flag that had been waving at the top of a ship through storm after storm. We knew what it meant to just hold on.
I wish I could say that after that things were easier, but the truth is it was just the beginning of the boys not being able to find housing and not wanting to commute an hour back and forth in traffic from our place to the Boise State. Their financial aid didn’t go through on time, because they kept asking us to amend it.
They ended up not being able to live together. We did have help from friends who hosted them downtown for a month, while we all figured out where they could live. That was a blessing. But, these living situations weren’t permanent. They both eventually found places to live, but it took two months.
Having to start a semester without adequate financing and housing, and really not adequate counseling, just made it all the harder. My older son was having major anxiety attacks and called the paramedics to get him up off the floor of his new place. Our younger son was in pain from the rods in his ankle and had to have surgery again mid-semester to have them taken out. By the end of the fall semester they were both done with college. We were disappointed, but we could hardly blame them. They were battered and exhausted from all that had happened to them. My younger son decided to go work at the ski resort. My older son went to work at a pizza joint.
During the Summer the boys gigged locally but weren’t flourishing at this stage of their life. We had to bring our older son home, and get him more serious help with the mental health issues he was now battling. We were emotionally exhausted, and felt like we had been run over by that truck pulling the tractor in the first accident again and again. I don’t know how my husband and I would have made it if we didn’t have Christ as our source of strength. If we didn’t know the promises in the Bible, and have our faith, our marriage wouldn’t have made it. If we didn’t believe in the power of prayer, and see God working in our lives day after day, I don’t know how we would have found the strength to go on. The amount of ongoing trauma and pressure was truly unsustainable.
Through it all, we just kept going. Then his job closed one of the labs that he worked in, and we lost half our income. But we just kept going – thank God we had the music studio. We would grow that. Day by day…little by little…step by step, our Savior stayed with us. He never left us.
Enveloped by love- we pressed forward. We took time for each other. With benefits from my dad’s travel club, we took vacations to Puerto Vallarta together and little weekend getaways. We worked hard on caring for each other as we just held on.
In spite of it all, those getaways paid off for investing in nourishing our marriage. Our relationship with our boys has stayed intact through a myriad of disappointments and setbacks. We keep praying and caring for each other. Love truly does conquer all. Our Lord never left us. We were not alone through these difficult storms. He brought us so much peace in the midst of crisis, and obviously sent his angels again and again.
Smothered in grace, I will regain my fitness, and get back to my proper weight. I know I can relearn the Habits of Health. I can stay on my program. I can do this. Week One of the program is done, and I am 5 pounds lighter and feeling a little detoxed already. I did take a very unflattering before picture (no smiling) that I will not share until I have a rocking after picture to shine beside it. Writing about all of this, has been a detox of its own. I have kept it all internalized. If you have read this far, wow. Thanks for listening. Go get yourself another mocha.
One thing I know for certain, we have a God that cares and sees, and who is always with us.
Oh, how I love Jesus. In the midst of the storm he says,”Peace be still.” We have trials in this world, but we have a Savior that cares. Isn’t it good to know that our story isn’t finished, and that we have a future and a hope?