If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans. ~ Unknown
Storm clouds rolling in on a day planned for the beach.
My favorite number has always been seventeen. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I was born on that date, or maybe because when I was a kid, my dad liked to play the Sinatra song, “When I was Seventeen.”
When my husband and I talked about starting a family, I had wanted our baby to be born on April 17th. Spring is the time for new beginnings, so, that’s what we tried to do.
I had it all figured out. At age 30, I’d have my first child in the month of April, the second when I was age 33 in the month of June. One boy, one girl, didn’t matter which order.
Shh, listen, can you hear God laughing?
Not only did I miss having a child in April, but had trouble conceiving altogether. I came to realize that any date would suffice.
I did get pregnant once. I miscarried on April 17th.
Twenty years later, April 17th, 2014, my husband had a serious accident while at work.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m not one of these people who can remain calm in an emergency. I need a plan, and if I have one laid out in the event of an emergency, I’m okay, otherwise, I panic. I can’t think quick enough to organize my thoughts and figure out what to do. My mind spins into a whipping funnel of wind with a mass of debris whirling around it. Even if the wind dies down, the debris is scattered everywhere. I don’t know where to begin to put it back together, or if it’s even possible to do so.
It’s true what they say, at least for me, that what you fear the most will come to pass. It’s the Universe’s way of getting me to face my fears. In doing so, I’ve learned that despite the hurricane, despite the panic that sets in, I can handle a crisis.
My husband has lessons to learn from the accident as well, but if he wanted to share them, he’d start his own blog. However, I can tell you that I’ve witnessed him learning to slow down. What other choice does he have?
Through this struggle, the bad days, the tears, the stress, the pain, we still feel lucky. His injury will take months to recover from, but it could’ve been something that he would never recover from.
We were in a comfortable routine and a happy marriage. We laughed a lot together, and joked like a comedy team anticipating the next punch line to bounce off the other. We often said how grateful we were to have made it through some tough marital issues when we were younger. Of course, there is no reason why any of this has to change because of the accident. We simply have some added daily challenges.
Here are the things I’m learning, and would like to share them with anyone else willing to listen. 1) Make time in between any challenges to be grateful for even the littlest of things. 2) Set at least five minutes a day aside (longer if possible) to silence thoughts and connect to the stillness within. 3) Trust in your own inner strength. 4) Laugh at least once a day.
Oh, and by the way, I still love the number 17, just not so much when it comes with the number 4 in front of it.
Have you ever faced an adversity that caused you to face your fears?
(P.S. On an unrelated note, today I must mention the five year anniversary of the loss of our first fur son, my very heart and soul, Piezon aka Bubba)
21 thoughts on “Seventeen”
What odd coincidences! It is a lovely post. One I can also resonate with after being told that my son, who is now almost 52, would not live when he was 2. I learned early on about death, being strong and living each day to the fullest. Most people did not know how strong I was; neither did I until this happened. Then, and only then, did I know I could face any challenge; manage my fears and live as if there were no tomorrow.’
Hope you and your husband continue to have a happy and blessed marriage.
Your furry sons were and are lovely.
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Thank you for sharing your experience, Linda, and also for acknowledging my fur sons. Hope you are having a nice weekend. Hugs.
Great lessons to take away from such a horrible time. Thanks for sharing them Lori! 🙂
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Thank you, Kourtney, for coming and reading my introspection. Hope you are having a nice Father’s Day weekend.
Lori, this tugged at my heartstrings. Yep, know what you mean about God laughing at our plans. At age 12 I prayed for God to get me out of this “god-forsaken Upper Peninsula”. He’s still shrieking with laughter, I’m sure. Your story of marriage and illness also resonated. The two years of Barry’s knee problems and knee replacement surgeries actually brought us closer together. We often talk about that. Thanks for this lovely post.
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Thank you, for sharing a bit of your ‘best laid plans’ too, Miss Kathy. Blessings to you.
I like the things you’re learning, the way they are in four do-able parts. As for me, I just figured out, the hard way of course!, no matter what happens, to look after myself and know that I will be ok. Then I can look after others. Sounds tough but it isn’t, it becomes seamless. If I don’t feel ok, I become unraveled and am useless to everyone… including myself.
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That is a good lesson to learn Miss Dale, but I’m sorry you had to learn the hard way. It seems sometimes that’s the only way we get it. Now, if only my husband will use this hard lesson to learn from so he doesn’t have to have anymore. Thank you for reading, my friend.
I’m not sure any of us know how we’ll respond in an unforeseen emergency or event. Sometimes the people we think would handle adversity best are the very ones who crumble under the pressure. And it’s the unexpected ones who rise to the challenge and persevere. It sounds like you’ve faced a number of challenges and come out a stronger person.
Hoping your husband’s recovery is going well and that your memories of your fur sons have brought some smiles to you.
Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Miss JM. It’s always comforting to hear supportive words. Blessings to you.
Sending you best wishes Lori, thank you for sharing these difficult moments and your message about staying strong despite this.
Thank you much for this kind and supportive comment, Andrea. Blessings to you.
You covered several matters of deep interest in this post, Lori. I wish you and yours all the best.
The 4 lessons you suggested learning – I practise this daily – have been doing so for many years. Strange, how people living so far apart and having (what we think are) unique experiences, end up sharing and doing the same things.
It’s the same road, I reckon, that leads back to Home.
Peace and blessings,
Hey Eric, I had already been doing numbers 2 and 4. Numbers 1 & 3 I’ve had a harder time with, especially number 3. That one I need a lot more work on. Out here in the west, it seems to take a little more work to find a faith that does inner soul work and connectedness. So, it IS really cool that being on the opposite sides of the planet, we have similar ways. It’s what drew me to your novel that you shared with us on your blog. Thank you for your insightful comment. 🙂
Great advice, Lori. “Trusting in your own inner strength”…love that and it’s so true. We never really know how strong we are until faced with adversity.
I hope your husband continues to progress with his recovery.
I truly didn’t know I had the kind of strength I’ve needed for this journey. But, it showed up for me. Thank you for the hopeful wishes for my husband, Jill. So far his recovery is on schedule. Blessings to you.
You’re right about the markings on your dog! Very nice. Isn’t it great that we have more photos (now with digital) to remember our dogs by? I know how it feels to lose a special pet. Still remember the spaniel before Ruby. She was very special to me like yours was. Life goes on, but they’ve made our lives richer for having been a part of it.
Thanks for recognizing my boys today, Anneli. I always like to honor him on his anniversary. He made such a huge difference in my life.
Life truly does teach in it’s own way, it may not always be how we’d like to learn but the lessons come nevertheless, then with faith we get through them all, I hope your husband is recovering steadily and kudos for keeping the marriage strong still 🙂
What a beautifully kind comment, Mr. Andy. Thank you so much. Hugs.
Hugs Lori! 🙂
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