I still had on my pajamas when I took our puppy out one last time before I hopped in the shower and dashed off to my hair appointment. Oh how I love being in my stylist’s chair, feeling pampered and pretty after she works her magic. My roots were showing and I was eager for fresh color and cut.
Whoops! What just happened? I slipped on a gentle slope covered with leaves and landed with all my body weight on my left foot. I heard the crack! Thankfully my husband heard me calling for him. With my ankle misshapen and in serious pain, I crawled on my hands and knees into our house.
Again, thankfully, I was able to schedule an appointment for early afternoon with the orthopedic practice I had previously used, bypassing the ER. After a round of x-rays, surgery was set for five days later. My roots would have to wait.
Here I sit, post-surgery with hardware, pondering the past few days. My freak accident that completely altered my daily life could have happened anytime, anywhere to anyone. My natural response to such an event is to feel a little sorry for myself, but in good conscience with so many hurting around the world due to the pandemic, how silly is that? So what if I can’t put any weight on my left foot for six weeks! What is so important that I need to walk, or drive? Absolutely nothing.
As I reflect on my predicament, I recall another time when I was rendered disabled. It was about this same time of year, at the age of 24, when I suffered a severe case of the seasonal flu. Healthy and active, I was ready to resume my carefree lifestyle and perhaps bounced back from the flu too quickly, resulting in a relapse. I fainted when exerting myself and ended up in the hospital for four days with a concussion complete with memory loss. My parents took great care of me during the healing process, but I experienced something during my down time that brought lasting change.
I received a postcard with a poem on the front from someone I did not even know. The sender was a dear friend and neighbor of my great aunt, who had heard about my hospitalization and sent me the card along with a personal note of encouragement and get well wishes. Her thoughtful gesture pricked my sometimes self-centered heart.
But the poem brought me full circle spiritually. Growing up in a strong Christian home, I was a believer, but had become a complacent Christian. My current walk with God was not consistent. Out of church at the time and just starting another new job, my spiritual life was definitely lacking. The poem reminded me of God’s unconditional love and amazing grace, which I knew well and had experienced fully in the past. He had blessed me tremendously throughout my sheltered life with an exceptional family, friends, work and educational opportunities. The accident and hospitalization were a catalyst of change for me. I purposed during my down time to fully apply myself to my new job and begin working on a more personal relationship with God.
My boyfriend and I were married later that year. I stayed with my employer for seven years, a year-and-a-half after giving birth to our first son. We later moved out of the city to the country, had our second son, changed churches and enjoyed a rich and fulfilling spiritual family life.
We recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. I give God all the glory for our longtime marriage, our sons and daughters-in-law and our six precious grandchildren.
God knew I “needed the quiet” in 1981, as he knew it on Feb. 2, 2022. As I seek Him at this stage of life, my heart is open to new purpose and meaningful change. I will cherish the simple pleasures in life like having my hair done and caring for my grandchildren; and consider frequent doctors’ appointments blessings rather than burdens. I have kept the poem all these years, and am grateful for the caring soul who took time to send it to me. As I draw inspiration from the author’s words again, I’m reminded the written word can minister, encourage, inform and affirm over and over again.
Vicki Davis has been a part-time Port St. Joe resident since 2008.
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