“Offenses will come”. There are life circumstances so difficult that your practice, marriage and even very existence will be at risk. Life throws curve balls just when you’re hitting fastballs out of the park.
(Related: Aon: 900 of 1,100 WTC Workers Accounted For)
How do you survive when your world is collapsing? How does your profession, any profession, overcome the impossible? Is it worth it?
Six and a half years ago an avalanche of pain and despair invaded my wonderful life. I couldn’t fix it and even today, it is gone unrepaired. My wife, Carol, received a call from a frantic teenager. She was using our daughter’s cell phone to tell us that Kristin, our 19-year-old daughter, was on her way to an emergency room. She was unconscious and unresponsive. Kristin was driving, with her friend from a dinner party when she mentioned that her face was numb. She started driving erratically and her friend implored her to pull over. Kristen managed to stop the truck, grabbing the door latch and falling out of the truck into the highway. A passerby helped Kristin’s friend get her off the road then called 911.
The paramedics were transporting Kristin when her friend made the call to Carol. Family arrived, almost simultaneously, at the emergency room to discover that Kristin had a brain hemorrhage. An arterio-venous malformation in her brain had caused an aneurysm and the artery wall couldn’t hold the pressure.
After surgery, and three days of agonizing despair, the neurosurgeon informed our family that there was no hope of recovery. She died that night. With her death came emotions that I am not able to describe. I’ve attempted, many times, to describe the difficult life experience associated with losing a child. I have failed miserably to accurately communicate how it affects a parent.
During and after the funeral, the shock of the event allowed Carol and I to remain calm, and collected. We had things to be done. The passage of time brought reality. She wasn’t coming back. Our other children were willing to help. In looking back, we did a poor job of actually helping them as they were helping us. Only days, perhaps weeks had passed and we realized that we were actually quite dysfunctional. Achievement requires motivation. Our motivation was sabotaged. When your day begins with a decision on getting out of bed, the rest of the day doesn’t go so well.
It would take much more room than I have here to describe what has happened over the last six years that have been serious roadblocks to recovering function and ultimately, real achievement in my work. Carol and I now walk with an emotional and even spiritual limp, but we walk and even run at times. It’s not smooth or even pretty at times, but we’re quite functional. We had to function in short bursts.