As I sit in the cold waiting room for families of surgical patients my mind takes a fateful trip down memory lane when my child’s story became mine.
I can can easily feel the anxiety from six months ago rise in my throat like bile trying to find air.
The same stiff furniture supports me while I remember feeling numb during Jonah’s first surgery.
Quick recap: My six-year-old son was hit by a car on the very busy road right outside our home on Sunday, November 8th, 2015
The driver broke his left femur, fractured his pelvis, and broke a rib.
Good freakin’ grief.
We spent four days in the hospital, and then six weeks of recovery. We’re here today to remove the metal plate put in on November 9th.
Being here reminds me of when we took Jonah home from his initial surgery. It was excruciating for him and myself.
Jonah was terrified of sleeping alone, worried he would injure his leg. He wanted me with him 24/7, and often screamed out during the night.
I ended up sleeping on the couch so I could get up whenever he needed me.
This seemed to be every few minutes those first nights home.
Visiting this hospital again takes me back to all the questions people asked once Jonah was ready to leave the house:
What happened little buddy? Did you zig instead of zag?
How did you hurt your leg? Where you not being careful?
What happened? You got hit by a car?? Were you not looking??
Did it hurt??
Oh, how I wanted to slap some of those folks for asking such ridiculous questions. I was highly aware of Jonah’s sensitivity to all the attention so I did the best I could to give a very short answer and walk away.
Now as I wait for Jonah to return from recovery I smile remembering the day he could fully bend his leg at the knee. I cried tears of pure joy as my baby met the goal we set that first week home.
Watching my boy get wheeled into the room now, all groggy and pale, I recall the day he was “cleared”. This meant he did not need his walker or brace and could play freely.
Seeing my child run (cautiously) that day will always be one of my favorite memories.
As this day comes to a close I experience relief and peace that a successful surgery brings.
These feelings can only be felt by those who have walked through this process.
Those who have gone under anesthesia, those who sit in the waiting rooms, those who pray at home, waiting for the social media update, phone call, or text.
I am reminded of all the people who rallied around Jonah and our family when he was hit. Hundreds of people were praying. They hurt and rejoiced when we hurt and rejoiced.
I am thankful for my God who created community and love and hope. For my Lord who thought loving our neighbors more than ourselves was the way to live life.
And while I would never wish for any of my children to experience such pain and agony, I know Jonah will have one heck of a testimony to share how Jesus held his hand as the car hit him and they soared through the air.
Talk about a witness.