So, the point of all of this was reflection and analysis. How did I really do?
First of all, Suzie did great. She kept a terrific attitude throughout, even while facing her worst teenage nightmare from the other side.
Billy, also, was aces. Even with no sleep for about 48 college hours, he never complained and was there when he had to be, then left to write a fourteen page paper, give a Shakespearean monologue and take two tests.
My daughters, my son-in-law, my Mom and my friends were great.
So . . . I can’t think of a way to put this off any longer. What about me?
First the bad news
My communication skills flatlined. Yes, I was trapped in No Cell Zone for most of the day but I still managed to forget to update one of my daughters when we got Suzie home safe and sound.
She called me instead, a credit to her determination, love for her mother and knowledge of her father. It was embarrassing.
I also started writing this blog, got bleary-eyed tired and left everyone hanging about Suzie’s condition while I collapsed. That was not my intention. I woke up to a lot of peeved emails from friends not knowing whether they should be praying for Suzie or smacking my head. Both are usually a good idea.
I also rushed when getting back to the hospital and lost my bank card. A needless distraction. I know that my brain doesn’t function well on adrenaline, stress and lack of sleep but I got in a rush anyway. It’s cancelled, no harm, no foul but no fun.
I was caught by surprise when the doctor showed up. I wasn’t expecting such a quick conclusion and left some unasked questions on the table. In the past, I’ve prepared a list of questions but this one caught me by surprise. Tricky doctor.
The good news
I didn’t blow up. I didn’t get in the way or cause too much trouble to those helping my wife. I didn’t drink, curse, fight, run, yell, get arrested, smash any obnoxious drivers or throw things.
Of course, I haven’t gotten the bill yet.
I did show up. I put my behind in the waiting room chair. I listened, held hands and encouraged. I was a warm body nearby.
I did delegate calling family to my Mom, a more responsible party, so maybe I get a little communication credit back – I’ll tell myself.
The firemen thought I pointed well.
I prayed and called other praying people. I knew who to call.
That’s about it.
You’ll notice, none of this stuff is really difficult. None of it fixed the problem. From a medical standpoint, I contributed exactly one phone call.
Encouragement isn’t that hard. But I say it matters.
So do a lot of studies. They say you don’t need a soulmate, a therapist or a team of cheerleaders. You just need one more person.
To be there. To share the pain. To ease the loneliness. To calm the fear. To listen.
The results range from improved attitude and quicker healing to survival against the odds.
I’m a person. Maybe I’ll do.
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Matthew 18:20 (NIV)
Photo By wht_wolf9653 via Flickr