What do you do when you live through the same nightmare twice?
Many of you know that this happened last fall.
On Easter evening two days ago, I was carrying a heavy laundry basket and turned a corner on a rug. My weak ankle gave out, and I heard a “pop” from my foot.
Yesterday’s appointment (with the same doctor I initially saw for my ankle) confirmed my worst fear. I broke my foot. She said my bone density looked fine on the X-ray, but the tendons and ligaments surrounding my foot bones were still weak from my ankle injury. They couldn’t fully support my foot bones with the weight of the ankle giving out.
I had to pull out my boot from a shelf in the garage. The friend who lent me her crutches brought them back over (still adjusted to my size).
I just sobbed.
After five months of recovery from my ankle, I’d just finished physical therapy. I’d returned to my running regimen. We got a double stroller for the kids and me to enjoy the coming spring. I’d just said to my husband last weekend, “I am so happy.”
I told family yesterday I didn’t know what was more broken….my heart or my foot. It is truly devastating. And I thought about my prayer from last Friday and how that is exactly what I am leaning into today.
I’m paged this morning through my journal for recent quotes I’d copied. About a week ago, I’d read this from Elizabeth Lesser in Oprah’s new book, The Wisdom of Sundays….
You can either break down and stay broken down and eventually shut down, or you can break open…I’m not going to waste this precious experience, this opportunity to become the best me.
To be honest friends, all I wanted to do yesterday was break down. And through the night, I lay awake, picturing what lay ahead of me. The dependence. The helplessness. The pain.
Jeff turned on “pray-as-you-go” this morning where the music was a rendition of Psalm 118 –
“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
I remembered how my dad, who endured a cycle of continual relapse and remission with his cancer, said this in the morning for 11 years.
I thought about the immediate influx of of support I received from community yesterday – God’s presence made tangible in my midst.
And though I write with tears in my eyes, I am loosening my grip on my soul’s shards and letting them fall into the open hands of this beautiful community. This beautiful God. How good you are. How good God is.
I once heard of an ancient rabbinic tradition where Jewish rabbis would pray the “Aleph-Bet” (or the Hebrew alphabet). The belief was that the Spirit would form from the recited alphabet the words needed when we feel unable to pray ourselves. A, B, C, D, E……
So many of you have faced and are facing terrible things and gone on to blossom. Your lives are witness to me.
So here’s to breaking open today.
And saying yes to all things.
And letting the Spirit form the prayers I need today.