Once up on a time, there was a young girl who was a high school track star and cheerleader.
Adorable and vivacious, she was always surrounded by friends, and always the life of the party.
But that was before she took a tumble from a moving vehicle and slammed her head against the interstate.
The details of how exactly that happened haven’t yet been fully determined.
But what we do know is that this girl is not the same person she once was. And won’t ever be.
The records from the ER stated that she had a high likelihood of expiring. There was NO. QUESTION: She was as good as dead.
And yet…. she lived. And gets better and stronger with each day that passes.
She can’t walk without assistance. But she does work so very hard at it… laboring through rehab, every step a struggle. She didn’t just remain there in the highway.
She’s getting there, and in the past year has made enormous strides: now she can talk, and eat, on her own. That’s progress.
But she’s not making this progress by herself…. a whole team of doctors, nurses, and therapists of many disciplines are part of her new world, and it takes the input and effort of all of them, meeting her exactly where she is right at this moment, to restore this girl to her highest possible level of functioning.
No matter how badly she wants to be whole and normal and return to her old, happy life…. she can’t will it to happen. It will likely take years to overcome the worst of the trauma, and even then… she’s permanently altered.
And nobody gets mad at her because she can’t compete at a track meet or didn’t show up to cheer at a football game. And she’s not embarrassed that she can’t get better without extensive rehab.
Most of us won’t ever have an interstate hit us upside our heads.
But we do experience events in life that may feel a lot like we MIGHT JUST EXPIRE, too… as good as dead. It happens… to all of us. And if it hasn’t yet, it will… of that we can be sure.
And no matter how badly we wish to be whole and normal, sometimes we can’t just will it to happen. Healing from the worst injuries takes time. And laborious effort. And sometimes, a whole team of caring people surrounding and supporting us. Meeting us right where we are. Being patient with us because abilities and attitudes that once came so easy to us are now an enormous struggle.
But healing does happen.
…but only if we choose not to languish there in the highway. We have to get up, and get on with the rehab…