Nine years ago, due to a fall down basement stairs, I had enough of a brain injury that I was no longer able to go back to work.
I was in the hospital and rehab for six weeks, to figure out how to walk again, to swallow food safely, to work on communicating again.
The injury led to a number of consequences—balance problems, memory loss, hearing impairment, difficulty finding the right word when I speak.
Although I still have a little trouble with balance, that is probably the difficulty that has recovered most. I’ve been blind most of my life, and I felt like I could deal with that reasonably. But now, with the new disabilities of memory issues, hearing loss and difficulty with finding words, I struggled.
For a long time after my accident, I felt useless. My kids were mostly grown and didn’t need the kind of help they’d once needed from me. I couldn’t work to help support our family. Both these areas had been a huge help for me, to prove I was still a capable person, even though I was blind.
Recently, as my accident’s ninth anniversary approached, I realized what a good life God has given me since that scary, sad time.
I’ve been able to go back to my dream of writing, and through that, my relationship with God has grown. My acceptance of my own forgiveness from God and my ability to offer this grace to others.
I learned how much I enjoy editing for other writers.
I’ve had more time with my husband than I did when I was working.
Certainly, I still struggle. But, after the accident, I wouldn’t have believed how much good God could bring from this. Now, I see what a wonderful life he was able, is still able, to give me.
Before this, I had become blasé about Romans 8:28:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Now I see how true that promise is for me.
Something just happened which brought this more to mind, and made me laugh.
After the accident, I had slight paralysis on the left side of my face. My eye wouldn’t close and no longer produced tears. There was a tiny bit of numbness on the left side of my tongue and jaw. It’s hard for me to lift the left side of my lips in a smile, and I might dribble out of that side of my mouth when I drink.
I think that mouth difficulty has improved some over the years, but I was just reminded it’s still here.
I may not have tried to blow up balloons in nine years. The kids are grown, so I haven’t really had a need. But on Ping-Hwei’s birthday last week, I decided to blow up balloons for his celebration dinner.
And I couldn’t.
I blew and blew, and air spat out of the left side of my lips, and the balloon wouldn’t fill.
“I want to blow up these balloons!”
So, I tried pinching that side of my lips between my fingers as I puffed and—
I filled a nice trash bag full of balloons!
And I laughed. God is continuing to give me the skills and wisdom to deal with these new difficulties, as well as a sense of humor.