As I sit in the dark in the dining room, waiting for the storm to roll in, I am thinking about this very busy day in the life of the Mackall family. I woke up this morning to watch the news - a little unusual, but I had been prompted by my Jill the night before to watch Fox 9 news. There was a story about an officers wife who had remarried. I thought I knew who would be there, and I was very interested in watching the story. As the kids were getting ready this morning, I cued up the program and spent a few minutes watching the news, the story of the accident that I cannot read, and the life that this individual now leads.
What touched me about this wonderful renewal of life were the following statements.
"Life does not play out in a straight line - life is full of second chances."
"There is always another chance for another story - when one story is destroyed, another story can be recreated."
Life does not have to be about the moment of devastation, the moment of death, an ending, or a brutal heart breaking change. It can be remade into something new, something different, and we can survive in the new. You never forget what was before - but the new story can be as fulfilling and hopeful as the old one.
On a day when Frank and I were lucky enough to get to spend time with high school student interested in pursuing careers in law enforcement, this message of renewal and forwardness followed me throughout the day. It particularly hit me when asked by one student "Will you go back to your career after Frank goes back to work?" I did not have an immediate answer to that - I do not know what my future holds, but I do trust in the future, so I had to answer "I don't know, I am not sure that is where my path leads." Because I truly do not know anymore.
Another comment that I am still thinking about was one regarding our marriage. In an age where marriages do not last, we will have been married 12 years this September. I thought this was interesting because we are so solid, more than we ever were in the past, and I am not sure I realized that until recently. Prior to the accident, I think Frank and I were on that path of separate - separate careers, separate time schedules, almost separate lives. Not that we were unhappy, but not that we were together or focused either. We were drifting along the sea of children, activities and work, and I believe we could have fallen into that trap of malcontent that so many we know have entered.
This accident, a horrible, life altering event, brought Frank and I to a new place together. This place is very new for both of us, and at times, scary in that it is not the same marriage that it was. At times, I like it better than the old marriage, and what does that say? That I am happier with my husband now that he has a brain injury? I am happy he was hurt?
Of course not - if there was a way to turn back time, I would do it in an instant. But, the new people we BOTH are, the path that we BOTH are on, is together. As one. And we were not there before. And I feel that that is what I respond to when I think of the new happiness. His easy smile at jokes and teasing, his relaxed nature, and the togetherness that we share - all of that is based on the relationship that started fourteen years ago.
We just took a hard right that we did not expect. But we did it together - and we are now recreating our story.
Thank you Jennifer Silvera Lindemer - for continuing to show me and others what strength looks like, what love looks like, and what true living looks like.
Attached is the news story from last night. Sorry cut and paste you must (in my best Yoda impression)