It is interesting how we hear about different things (illnesses, medical issues, etc) but don’t really TRULY understand them – until they happen to us, until they affect our lives personally. THEN, and only then, do we TRULY understand. I’m not sure exactly why that is…I guess our minds really cannot handle too much negative so the Lord protects us…until we are where He wants us to be. Then WHAM! watch out…in a moment an ENTIRE life (and the lives of many others) can be changed COMPLETELY.
I don’t think I have ever shared about this particular moment in my life so I’m going to do the best I can…
As I was driving home from our little town’s library this afternoon, I saw a man walking. He appeared to be in his early 60’s maybe (I’m REALLY bad with ages) and he was walking with a tall wooden walking stick. He was holding the stick with one hand – his other hand very apparently unusable. It appeared he had suffered a stroke at some point. How do I know? Because I have been personally affected by what a stroke can do to a person. In a matter of hours a person’s ENTIRE life can change. It is rather overwhelming to think about actually.
About nine years ago my step-father suffered a stroke. But first, let me tell you about him before his stroke. He was in his early sixties. He owned his own construction company. He was known for his wood-working…”a true carpenter” they called him. Precise, amazing, beautiful work. People were willing to wait for him to get to their project. He was also a race horse trainer. He had his own horses and farm. He rode daily. I often helped. Rarely did he sit down. And he was ALWAYS willing to help anyone he could with whatever he could.
Then it happened. We weren’t sure what was going on actually. I took him to the ER the first time and eventually they sent us home. He walked in and out that time. But by that afternoon he could no longer walk. We took him back to the ER.
The next day we were told he had suffered a stroke but they weren’t sure what exactly that meant yet. (I am going to skip all the different things that happened with the hospital, doctors and nurses and stay on the topic of life changing moments.) He had to be helped to go to the bathroom in his bed, he couldn’t walk. He couldn’t use his left arm nor hand. His left side had been completely affected. We weren’t sure at this time exactly what that meant. But now, years later, I can tell you – his life, and the lives of his family, were changed FOREVER in that moment.
He could no longer walk. He could no longer put his own clothes on. He could no longer put on his own shoes on. He could no longer use his left hand / arm. He could no longer work. He could no longer ride his horses. LIFE CHANGED COMPLETELY IN AN INSTANT. For all of us.
It is still hard to think about and comprehend even this many years later – what one moment, one moment no one even knows to expect, can do to a life.
My heart went out to that man I saw walking today – the way he was walking looked exactly like my step-father eventually learned to walk. Life is precious. Be kind to others. Help them when you can. Love them even when you don’t feel like you can or like you want to.
I pray none of you will ever personally be affected by such a horrific moment in time. But even when we are, we can cling to the Lord. He is the only One who can truly help us.
[If you do not know the signs of a stroke, click HERE to find out. They do have a shot they can give within a certain amount of time that can stop / reverse the effects of a stroke so knowing the signs CAN be life saving.]
This is only a VERY SMALL PORTION of this part of my life and all the changes that came about from this one event – maybe I will share more – maybe. I guess we’ll see what the Lord has in mind…
Have a wonderfully blessed day!