IT IS so easy to be paralyzed by fear. As I have mentioned before, my husband was hit by a 10-wheeler dump truck fully loaded with stones while on his motorcycle. He was on full stop at the emergency lane when the truck rammed into him. He defied statistics on fatality, but he had to spend a long time in the hospital.
Over the weekend, merely four months after the accident, he got back up and rode his bike (the pedal kind). And once again, I feel the familiar taste of bile, my heart has climbed onto my throat, and I am afraid. What if...
My husband has definitely come full circle. It took multiple surgeries to fix up his mangled body parts and injured brain, but his fighting spirit was never broken. From being bed bound, to relearning how to sit, stand, and walk again, and now to this - back on two wheels. I feel ambivalent about this because if it were up to me, I want all the bikes gone.
He is now officially half cyborg with four titanium plates and 13 screws in his right skull and three titanium plates and eight screws in his right cheek. When I saw his state in the ER, I thought it was his end. But here he is with us, standing strong, without my feared cognitive and sensory deficits. A walking miracle patched up by God, 11 doctors (and team of nurses), and prayer warriors.
Was it plain bad luck that made him suffer through this and made our family feel its devastating aftermath? We never plan for chaos and detours into our lives, but God likes to suprise us and operates this way when guiding us, leading us where we are meant to be, and shaping our character.
God has taught me over the past months how to wait with grace, how to persevere with Him in storms, how to trust Him when I have no answers, and how to rest in His arms when I am in pain. It’s not easy most of the time, but when I do, there is so much peace because, after all, He said: “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
Fortuitously, this was also the message of our priest friend, Father Joey Paras, SDB (Salesian of Don Bosco), who flew in to check on us a week ago. He has been a friend for more than 20years. He was the officiant for our wedding, which also happens to be his birthday. He came with Peachy and Van, the friend who introduced us (my hubby and I) and the groomsman, respectively.
Father wanted to hold a healing mass for us but had difficulty with the schedule in the chapels near our house. By the power of faith, we were able to use the private chapel in the Archbishop’s residence of our town. No mean feat! We also got to meet Archbishop Antonio Ledesma. His homily imparted that for believers in Christ, luck, fortune, malas do not exist. Instead, we believe in the power of His providence because He is always in control.
Accidents and unpalatable things can happen, but these events are part of His divine plan for us. Only He has the capacity to make things great. And even though we succumb to human frailty, in spite of our mistakes, He can restore us and make things beautiful again. This may seem like a fatalistic concept to non-believers. But to me, it is so much better than the pitiful alternative.
God always hears our prayers, but sometimes the reply is not the way we want it to answered. He truly works in mysterious ways. Though sometimes difficult, we have to trust in His timing and His love because He knows what we need. So I am letting go and letting God. Praise Him for my husband’s very fast progress and the chance to spend more time with us. I have to choose faith over fear!
I am especially grateful that Father Joey was able to perform the sacrament of annointing of the sick. It was for both the physically sick and those of us who needed emotional and spiritual healing. I was particularly mesmerized when when Fr Joey brought out his Padre Pio gloves. It was a relic that touched this saint’s uncorrupted heart. When my husband was in the ICU and we thought all was hopeless, two friends brought him Padre Pio’s relics on separate occasions.
It is indeed only His grace to have things fall into place like this after the accident. Everyday is a blessing to be treasured and enjoyed. Each day may not be perfect, but we learn to roll with life’s punches. And the point here is, we live. Every single day we wake up alive and breathing is the greatest gift.