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Monday, February 21, 2011

Serious Questions

This is not the blog I planned to write this morning but life intrudes.

Friday evening, around 6:00, the daughter (actually, stepdaughter) of a very close friend was struck by a car while biking.  She suffered massive head trauma, even wearing a helmet, and has undergone extensive brain surgery.  She's hour to hour now.   Her doctors have told the family it's in God's hands.

Why would I start everyone's Monday morning with such depressing news?  Well, crisis always brings questions, questions we tend not to think about until we have to.  This young woman was in the peak of health and fitness.  She was biking that day as part of her triathlon training.  Illness wasn't on her radar anywhere.  Neither was this.  She is single, no kids.  So it's not surprising she had none of those things that we start to think about as we get older - a living will, designated power of attorney, designated power of medical authorization, etc.  I'm not sure she even has a will.  Her parents are with her but neither has the legal right to speak for her, to make major decisions, even to access her records and pay her bills.  What would she want done?  Who would she want to speak for her if she's unable to speak for herself?  Who will take care of her?  There will be lawyers and court rulings and lots of unnecessary stress on top of the incredible pain of what is happening to their child.

She is the same age as my oldest.  I love my sons and make it a point to end all phone conversations with a quick 'love you'.  And they do the same.  But it's just a sound byte:  'love you, bye', said without thought or feeling.  How long has it been since I've really told them what they mean to me, how incredibly proud I am of the young men they've become?

If this happened today in your family, to you, to one of yours...what questions would need to be asked?  How would they be answered?


My current word count: 18,308

I'm currently enjoying: Just finished Absolutely, Positively by Heather Webber.  Another absolutely, positively, delightful Lucy Valentine.

Groaner of the day: Adding my usual groaner doesn't feel quite right today so I'm offering these.  The poem came to me in an e-mail, I don't know the author.  The quote is from the incomparable Erma Bombeck.

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
He sends you flowers every spring.
He sends you a sunrise every morning.
Whenever you want to talk, He listens.
He can live anywhere in the universe, but He chose your heart.
Face it, friend, He is crazy about you!
God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

For me, heaven on earth is using up every bit of life before I leave it.  ~ Erma Bombeck, February 14, 1988

18 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

None of us are ever prepared to lose a loved one. All you can do is love them and pray that they know it and are comforted by it deep in their soul.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Maria - Very true. But all those legal matters can be taken care of ahead of time. It could save your loved ones a lot of heartache if the one lost is you.

MaryC said...

Linda, I will hold your friend and her family in my prayers. I'm so sorry.


Thank you for sharing the Erma Bombeck poem. A few weeks ago our priest was talking about how people sometimes struggle to believe God really loves them with all their faults. This poem seems to capture that reminder in a way we identify with love.

Dru said...

Several years ago, a friend died unexpectedly and her family had the same questions. Since then a copy of my will is in my executrix's hand.

I continue to pray for her and her family.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Mary - just to be accurate, only the quote at the end was Erma's. The poem I received in an e-mail without an author credit. But I love the image of God's refrigerator with all our pictures on it.

Thank you for your prayers and good wishes.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Dru, thank you.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Just as a follow up - as of 3:00pm Monday, Stephanie is still holding on, still in a drug induced coma. Her doctors are taking it one hour at a time.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I do hope she recovers. Your post is a tough but necessary reminder that we need to take care of things before something happens, because life is simply too unpredictable.

Jemi Fraser said...

What a horrific thing to happen. My thoughts and hopes are with you and your friend & her family. I hope things work out. Take care.

Erma Bombeck has some of the best quotes ever - a remarkable woman.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Praying!

MengleOh67 said...

Linda,

These are the same kinds of issues that my family was forced to deal with last fall when my 10 week old granddaughter died from SIDS. My son and daughter-in-law, at 22 & 20 years of age, were forced to try and make rational decisions about organ and tissue donation, memorial services, burial or cremation, etc within a matter of hours after finding their baby dead.

Never could I have imagined myself to be so proud of my children as I was as they made their decisions together with respect for each other and their differing beliefs and wishes. Aryiana's death brought out in all of us those conversations about what we each would want for ourselves.

I have encouraged each of my children to put their wishes in writing and to talk to their dad & I, and their significant others about what they would want.

Your friends will be in my prayers!

Liz Fichera said...

Oh, that poor girl. I hope she gets better. And, you're right. It's always difficult to see the need to plan for the unexpected when you're young.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Jane - Thank you. Unfortunately, life likes to get in a sucker punch every once in a while.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Jemi - Thank you. And, yes, Erma was remarkable. There will never be another like her.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Thanks, Kristen. I appreciate it.

Linda Leszczuk said...

MB - I'm so sorry about your granddaughter. What a terrible tragedy to lose one so young. You have my deepest sympathies.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Liz - Thank you. Yes, the young are always invincible in their own minds. Until they find out they're not.

Linda Leszczuk said...

All - And update on Stephanie, as of late Tuesday.

Doctors performed a second surgery yesterday to relieve the pressure in her brain. They are keeping her in a drug-induced coma but there has been some reflexive response which is good. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.