20 Days- A new journey.

ImageMatt has been in the hospital twenty days. It feels as though I have forgotten what a regular day feels like. Activities such as grocery shopping, going to the bank, and swinging by a coffee shop to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee are foreign concepts. Even breathing the fresh air of the outdoors is a bit of a shock. I no longer notice the smells of rubbing alcohol and bleach.

June 27 seemed like any other day. I woke up that morning, swung by Urban Bean and enjoyed a cappuccino made by my red bearded giant before heading off to work. That evening I met him again there. I had no inkling of what was coming. We were headed to a specialty olive oil shop to taste olive oils and choose one for a dinner party that we had been invited to. I stood on the other side of the car waiting for him to unlock it so we could be on our way. The next few moments were a blur. Black vehicle made contact; Matt’s cries filled the air. These are noises I will never forget. Matt was my singular focus. Time slowed as I watched the events unfolding in front of me. His shirt ripped in two on impact. His head flew back and hit the vehicle as it pushed his pelvis and legs into his driver’s side door. The side view mirror went with him as he flew thirty feet through the air and landed on his stomach. Throwing my car keys and wallet, I ran. Yelling his name. Chucking my phone at a stranger I told them to call 911. Matt, who was in shock, was trying to use his arms to move around. I stopped his movements by stabilizing his head against my leg. He stilled instantly. I sobbed as the blood from his head ran onto my hand. He spat blood. People began asking him questions. What day is it? What’s your name? What intersection are we at? Matt answered. A small bit of relief filled me knowing that he was coherent enough in those moments to answer mundane questions. “Missy my legs hurt so much, my thighs… my legs…”   Police. Ambulance. A flurry of activity swirling around me. Bodies moving around in space, while I stood immobilized by the firm grip of an officer. As Matt was loaded onto the gurney, he called for me. I jerked my arm away and ran to him. “I love you.”   Twenty days. A new town. A new home. Every day since then has held something new. Words I had never used are now a part of my vocabulary. The names of various drugs come out of my mouth with the same ease as reading an item off of a dinner menu. Through all of this one word has entered my thoughts over and over. Travail. Suffering, affliction, tribulation. A work especially of painful or laborious nature. A physical or mental exertion. It is a word that is also associated with triumph. Overcoming a circumstance wherein the midst of, joy is hard to find. At the end of travail comes something beautiful. Pain is not wasted. Growth takes place. It is a metamorphosis into a newly refined individual. Though there is sorrow and days where we cry together, days where frustration threatens to take over, we know this is temporary. We serve a God who is bigger than this. We daily choose to forgive. We choose to not allow bitterness to take root. We will not be overcome.

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