This past Monday started out like any regular day, but I don’t think I’ll forget it for the rest of my life. I woke up and began preparing for a full day when I received a text from my mother-in-law that she would be in town. We only see her 6 or 7 times a year, so we wanted to make her visit a priority. My husband had already made arrangements to take the day off work because we had more than the usual activities going on that day. My daughter’s fiance’s parents were coming to town for lunch, to look at the wedding venue, and to scout out a place for the rehearsal dinner, and we were joining them. In addition, my husband had a doctor appointment, a lawn care person coming to the house to help us rescue our lawn, and a late afternoon training run for his upcoming marathon. I had my usual Monday schedule of walking 3.75 miles with the moms from my Mornings for Moms group at 8:30am and meeting with two friends for Bible Study at 10:30am.
It was a beautiful day for a walk through Bidwell Park’s lush foliage. We had never seen so many butterflies in one morning. My three friends and I were engaged in conversation about the joys and trials of family life. I tried to stay in the moment, but I was a bit on edge with our late start to our walk and the full afternoon awaiting me. As we rounded the last corner before heading to our cars, I stumbled over a piece of bark, causing my ankle to give way and hurling me toward the sidewalk face first. I didn’t have time to react before hitting the ground with a sickening thud. I pushed myself up to a sitting position and noticed the scrape on my sunglasses, the concerned looks on my friends’ faces, and the blood dripping onto the cement from my mouth and chin. I ran my tongue along my upper jaw and felt two teeth dangling precariously. The pain throbbed throughout my body.
My friends sprung into motion as Carol called her dentist to see if we could rush me in, Tiffany gave me her baby wipes and prayed for me, and Lori bandaged my largest wounds. Within minutes, I was in Carol’s Suburban heading to the dentist, stunned by how my day had derailed. The next hour was spent in a dentist’s chair as the dentist and his assistant fought to save my teeth and stitched up a gaping hole inside my mouth. My mind raced with thoughts of the effect this would have on my week and life.
I did not join my daughter’s future in-laws on the afternoon outing, but I did visit with my mother-in-law and her best friend. I expressed my hope to be teaching again by Wednesday morning and have everything back to normal. I awoke Tuesday with a groan as my body shouted in protest from head to toe. My reflection frightened me with abrasions littering my face. I knew it would be a long week.
Two days later, muscle relaxants are my friends. I have not yet resumed my normal activities and am not sure when I will able to again. Sleep is uncomfortable. I have only left the house to go to Prompt Care and the chiropractor. I still don’t look like myself. Eating is difficult at best.
We never know what will occur in our lives from day to day. We can’t emotionally budget for the unexpected, but we have to accept it as it comes. When hard times come, we have to look for the lessons in them and how much worse it could be.
How was your life changed by unexpected circumstances this week?