I clenched my teeth and kept my head high, my chest out like the roosters my Italian neighbor kept in his yard. I grabbed the handle of the my daughter’s stretcher and helped the medics walk it to my neighbors cornfield where the yellow medevac chopper sat idling.  It was winter,  which hit the Dolomites early that season, and the corn had long been harvested, the stalks crushed down as ground cover.  She looked like she was asleep, uncomplicated.  She was walking to the bus stop with my wife, and she bolted into the street, eager to tell her classmates about the trip we had taken the day before, about Martin Luther King whom we celebrated in observance, and to talk to the bus monitor about horses.  A car happened to intersect her path.  The driver was not drunk or speeding, it was just raw physics.

I spent a lot of time the next few weeks in silence, as we alternated between spending hours at the hospital, eating vending machine food, drinking vending machine coffee (which was actually VERY good), arguing with doctors through a language barrier, caring for the 6 month old who was not in the hospital, sleeping 3-4 hours on Hostel mattresses, and being strong.

Being physically there.

Being spiritually and mentally present.

Being unshakeable.

Being dad.

Being resilient.

Lindsay has always been an intentional homemaker, pursuing the profession of Motherhood, but it was time for me to nurture and make decisions, so she could melt.  It wasn’t easy for me, but it was right, so I kept on, I stayed positive, and I tried to make the very best of the shitty hand of cards I’d been dealt.

I believe many supernatural things occurred during the aftermath of our accident, and my ability to keep it together came from a spiritual source.  I know this because, prior to this incident, I wasn’t made of that kind of cloth.

I didn’t have grit. I wasn’t tough. My ego was fragile and I didn’t fight for what I wanted.  I let life, and the jerks that put themselves in my way, push me around.

My mom died 6 years ago yesterday.  I was called out of a deployment to Baghdad by the Red Cross to go help my family.  As she passed, I assumed a leadership role in my family.  I was an adult now.  I penned mom’s obituary and signed the DNR.  I went to all the mortuary appointments and helped with floral arrangements and food.  It was my turn to be strong.

It’s been almost 5 years since all that happened, and Selah is doing very well. However, we’re a few months in to our 3rd child’s manifestation of epilepsy, and it’s tough. Again, we’ve been spending too much time in hospitals,  and we have more questions than answers.  We’re in over our heads.  I must say, though, that weathering the storm with Selah has given me a lot of tools I’ve employed in this current journey.

I’ve been living too much in my head lately, and that’s not always good.  I’ve been missing sleep, work, workouts, church, jiu itsu,I haven’t blogged, I haven’t done anything social or fun simply for the sake of it, and sometimes I feel downright selfish for taking a shower.

But the weird thing is, I’m okay with it.  It sucks, and I do have moments of despair, but it’s not going to break me. My child having epilepsy doesn’t make her stop being my child, and thus, my responsibility.  I will do anything it takes for my baby.  In fact, it pains me that I can’t go on a quest, and slay a beast and just be done with all this.

But I accept that having challenges doesn’t make me weak, but gives me an opportunity to develop and exhibit stength.  Awful things are going to happen, and when you are tested, what comes out is what is inside.

“A glass can only spill what it contains”.

Have you had to be resilient?


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