When a memory comes to mind, emotions come to the surface. When the memories are rough, the emotions that surface can take you down a really rough road. But when those memories cover two-and-a-half years of your life, it’s pretty intense. The good thing is that God redeems memories if we allow Him to do so.
One day, many years ago, I received a call from my husband. I was at a MOPs meeting, but it was odd he was calling. So, I answered it. It wasn’t my husband. It was a woman telling me he had been in an accident. She went on to tell me it was REALLY bad.
It turned out that she was a nurse calling me from the side of the road on I-70. When he told me the story later, he said he had gotten out of his car because he had a tire problem. When he started walking around his car, he said the step of a semi hit him and then threw him under the semi. Before the semi passed over him, it ran over both of his legs.
At the time, though, I didn’t know this story. I was able to speak to him as he was lying on the side of the road. I figured if he could speak to me, it must not be as bad as the nurse said. It was the beginning of a VERY long recovery time for him.
It was also the beginning of a very difficult time for me. There was a LOT of work involved. I was fortunate in that my mom came to live with us one week on and one week off through the first year. This was especially important because of all the surgeries and our boys were still really young. I became like a single parent in many ways because there was so much that he couldn’t do, including driving. I remember saying at the time that I was a single mom of three boys.
We were so fortunate because the award-winning hospital, OrthoIndy, located here in Indianapolis, provided his care. We spent many hours in this facility and working with their staff. In the end, the one I loved had a full recovery. He was able to walk on his own without the aid of a cane or anything. He was left with a different stride and some massive scars, but he had his life fully given back to him.
And he chose to use this gift of his life to resume his alternative choices. I felt so used. I felt like I had given my all to help him recover so he could walk farther away from us. When I had a perforated appendix after his recovery, he stayed with me in the hospital a lot of the time, but he clearly didn’t want to be there. When I begged the hospital to send me home because of all the complications they were having in my care, when I walked through the garage door, I immediately walked over to the couch. He watched me and asked if I was going to lie around the rest of the day in a tone that made it clear it was not what he wanted.
I was so, so hurt. I should not have come home early. But to have him then be upset that I wasn’t jumping right back into life after leaving the hospital before the doctor wanted me to leave. That’s the way life was with him those last few years of his life. He wasn’t happy and he definitely wasn’t happy with me.
I wish he had chosen to take a different path with his life after he had clearly been given a second chance. But he didn’t. I think he went deeper into his other life. Because of this, the time after his accident became a very painful memory with so many rough feelings associated with it. And, because we live on the same side of town as OrthoIndy, we drive past it more often than I would like. The feelings assault me even when I get close to the place. It’s pretty rough.
God Redeems Memories
Fast forward to the here and now and my youngest has just fractured the growth plate in his right thumb when he was playing soccer with some friends. The immediate care center we had gone to had forgotten to call me to tell me he didn’t just have a strain but a fracture. So, imagine my surprise when I get a call from OrthoIndy stating that they had received a referral for his thumb.
I made the appointment and we made our way into the building. The flashbacks weren’t as terrible as I thought they would. However, when we learned he needed to have a cast, we made our way into the casting room. That’s where it got bad. The one I loved was in that room SO many times from the different procedures he had done. He had casts, mobilizing aids, splints, different wrappings and so on.
It was horrible. As I sat there, I became light-headed and my stomach was upset. The feelings were not good. These were not memories I wanted to relive. Fortunately, the woman who put his cast on was really good with him. She also spoke my language – sarcasm – and we teamed up on my boy. It was fun.
As I drove away, I realized that I now had a positive memory of OrthoIndy. I’m pretty sure it won’t take away the other memories, but I see how it wasn’t the only memories I had of the place anymore. God is a Redeemer. He redeemed us back to Him through the death of Jesus Christ. I am seeing this year that God also redeems memories. I have seen it in other incidents from my life. Yes, God allowed the horrible things that happened in my life, but He never left me through it all and He isn’t leaving me now as I heal.
He will do the same for you, too.
~ Joanna Lynn