Chapter Four A Wedding and Another Accident

As I adjusted to the demands of a new  teaching job, my son wasn’t thriving at college. The truth was, he had an undiagnosed concussion. He didn’t have a car. He was struggling with the grief of the sudden loss of his grandfather. He wasn’t where he wanted to be.

Getting to and from campus was difficult. 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. We asked him to stick it out for the school year. We didn’t realize the full extent of his situation. He hadn’t told us about the extra guys in his apartment. We didn’t realize how bad the concussion was because it was undiagnosed. College was a real struggle.

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  on that fateful drive to college.)

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 put our game face on. We kept the accident a secret except for a few close family. We didn’t want to upset the wedding party and guests.

I found myself bawling like a baby in a broom 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, but we were so grateful for.

Sadly In the next year, this son  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 high school 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. Honestly, 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. However, the truth is it was just the beginning of the boys not being able to find adequate housing. Their financial aid didn’t go through on time,  so they had no money for housing. The financial aid department kept asking us to amend their papers.  This can be attributed to me making an error in the paperwork.  (Which is easy to do when you own your own business.) To this day, I’m still not sure what I did wrong. The financial aid situation is a mess.

They ended up not being able to live together. We did have help from friends who hosted them in their homes downtown  closer  to campus for a month. 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.  He was not better from all he had gone through. As parents we were trying to understand how to support him better.

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. We both had to keep working throughout all of this, and try to be there for his mother as much as possible.

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 believing. God was sustaining us through every moment. We were not forsaken or forgotten. He would provide for us financially. We still had the music studio. We would grow that business. God would bring us the students we needed. 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. We also took little weekend getaways. We worked hard on caring for each other as we just held on.

These getaways paid off for investing in nourishing our marriage. Our relationship with our boys  has stayed intact through a myriad of disappointments and setbacks. The studio did grow, and eventually Terre’s work returned to 3/4 time.

We keep praying and caring for each other daily.  We choose to love each other no matter how messy. Love truly does conquer all.

In our most difficult days our Lord has  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. He takes us as we are. He accepts us in our weaknesses.

Smothered in grace, I will regain my  fitness, and get back to my proper weight.  I know I can get back on track with my fitness. We are all going to be ok.

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? If you are going through a series of trials that feel like they just won’t stop… You can rest assured that you don’t have to weather it all alone. Hang on to the Lord. He’s right there waiting for you. Go to a Bible believing church. Get a support group of praying warriors around you. Be honest in your struggles. You are going to make it. Love conquers all.

Then he arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39