I am grateful to Brenda for posting her interview with Lee Woodruff: A Woman of Strength. Grateful because of the wisdom Lee shares with Brenda. And grateful because it’s just what I needed to hear this week when life – “in an instant” – presented me with an “opportunity.”
Like Lee Woodruff, my approach to life is to enlist my General-like characteristics of organization, resourcefulness, determination, and courage. I shun emotions. I pack them into an icy abyss where they can get lost and confused. But this week, I had my own instantaneous “life-altering moment” to quote Brenda, and was catapulted from General status to that of needing care.
I was downhill skiing with my husband in the beautiful mountains of northwestern Montana when I went airborne, somersaulting onto hard packed snow. The ski patrol hauled me out of a basin, loaded me in a sled, onto a chairlift, and carried me from the summit to the base lodge clinic in a toboggan.
Xrays showed I fractured and displaced my lateral tibial plateau, a bone in my knee. Surgery was scheduled six days later, and I began a six-week regime of navigating life on crutches with strict orders to avoid any weight-bearing on my left leg. Showering, making coffee, changing clothes, and getting in and out of bed – simple routines became arduous tasks.
This accident pales in comparison to the critical injuries Bob Woodruff sustained. But it immediately transformed me from the “General” to someone relying on the help of caretakers. A humbling shift.
I’m discovering I’m not comfortable in this new role. I pride myself on self-reliance and independence.
I have to confess to a streak of “I can do it myself, and my way is the best way” stubbornness.
My new status of dependence is teaching me important lessons. Lessons about myself. About life. About spirituality.
- People are smart. My challenge is to throw my pigheadedness aside and listen to the problem-solving advice of people who are capable, ingenious, and learned.
- People love you. My challenge is to be gracious when friends offer to bring a meal. Why is it so much harder to accept than to give?
- Prayer is powerful. My challenge is to surrender my heart and let those prayers uplift me, protect me, guard me, guide me, comfort me.
- The Sacred is a mystery. My wise friend and author Penny Gill explains we have to “learn to witness our inner emotional landscape, and the profound gifts it offers to us, in experiencing our own wholeness and our ability to recognize our intimate relationship to the Sacred. My challenge is to listen and learn.
- I am grateful. Grateful for the honor to be dependent, to rely on caretakers, to receive prayers, to surrender, and to be loved.
I pray I will always have the fortitude to embrace the challenges of life’s altering moments.
May you all be well.
Oh, Lee, God bless you. (And I don’t mean that in a Southern,’Bless your heart’ way but sincerely ask Him to bless you!) God always chooses the most gracious way to get us where we need to be, so I pray He continues in gentleness and mercy to help you learn whatever He’s saying through this difficulty. Already He is giving you humility to see and understand, and He will honor your humility and teachableness. (Is that a word?!) Praying for you as you progress in healing and recovery, knowing you’ll come through with more understanding and a fresh appreciation for those He’s put around you. Sending gentle virtual hugs and praying with understanding and love.
Good morning, Beckye. Thank you for this dear message. Yes, I must have been in need of some teachableness! I laughed when you made the distinction between God bless you and Bless your heart. That later phrase is packed with sicky-sweet sentiment mixed with feisty, spiteful cynicism. I was particularly struck by what you said about God always choosing the most gracious way to get us where we need to be. I never thought it about it that way. You made my day, my week. And certainly helped my healing. I’m going to listen to that gracious God. Perhaps there are more lessons I’m supposed to be learning. Beckye, you obviousy have a strong faith and a beautiful understanding of God. I am blessed you reached out to me. I do feel wrapped in your prayers. I hope something special happens to you today – a little nudge from God that He is there for you and loves you.
Oh my goodness, it sounds to me that you were fortunate that there was nothing else on your body that got hurt.
You are in my thoughts and wishing you complete healing over time.
Katherine, you’re absolutely right! I was fortunate. And, after all, this was self-inflicted accident. A skiing accident. I can hardly complain. It’s a mild inconvenience. Maybe this is the Universe screaming at me to stay physically active every day. The ol’ Use It or Lose It mantra. For me as a writer, I can blow through hours and hours a day without noticing to come up for air. Anyway, I know I’ll be dancing soon – or at least walking. What a joy! Thanks for your kindness. Lee
I truly hope that you come out on the better side of this experience…the accident, the pain, your revelations, your grace. Life has odd ways of making us stronger. I, too, admire Lee Woodruff. But I think you know how and why. We need heroes like Lee to lead the way to our own strengths that haven’t been tested but will rely on again and again.
Good wishes for a successful recovery! ❤️
Jane – You are so kind! I want to make you proud of me by coming out on the better side of this hiccup in life. If I don’t, you are invited to send me a terse message and wag a judgmental finger. I’m already seeing this event as a blessing. New lessons, new perspectives – and a growing sense of joy. Joy over the little things. A bird sitting on a railing. Late afternoon sun on snow. And colors! Everything seems brighter. A streak of aqua blue in a throw blanket on my bed. You refer to Lee as a hero. YOU sound like a hero, Jane. I betting you have some astonishing gifts. Be well, Lee
YES< WHY IS THAT ALWAYS HARDER TO RECEIVE THAN GIVE??WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT?
HAPPY TO HEAR YOU WILL SURVIVE AND YOU CAN STILL WRITE!
LOOKS TO ME UNDER THOSE HELMETS YOU HAVE A LOVING FAMILY!
IF YOU NEED A PHONE CALL FROM ME JUST EMAIL ME with YOUR NUMBER!!!
HAPPY TO PASS SOME TIME WITH YOU ON THE PHONE!
YOU TAKE CARE NOW…………TRY AND ENJOY THIS DOWN TIME!
Dear La Contessa, You’re funny….peeking under ski helmets. That’s a photograph of me with my husband and two sons (both former ski racers), now 24 and 29. I would love to connect with you. Will be in touch. Would love to know more about the extraordinary woman from Modesto. Enjoy your weekend!!! Lee