Friday, August 31, 2012

The Strong Woman Does Have a Breaking Point...

Once upon a time, in a land not so very far from here, but many years back, a young mother stood in the bright moonlight crying. You see her four year old son had thrown up in the back of the car on the way home from an extended family dinner out. As she was driving home on the freeway, she heard the unmistakable sound of vomiting. Her six year old daughter was grossed out but laughed at her sibling, because that's what siblings do.

The woman's husband was working swing shift, and thus was not with them. She continued to drive on home, even though home was about a half an hour away. She didn't know what else to do. She stopped at her sister's house, thankfully just a block or so from her own home. You see, this woman had no running water at her house because it was the middle of winter and her pipes had frozen then burst. She had no means to clean up her child, or her car. But once she got to her sister's house, she was able to pass her son over to his aunt and she stood outside with a hose, spraying icy water over vomit-covered clothing and little four year old's tennis shoes. There was a full moon that night---much like there is tonight. She stopped for a moment in her messy work, to stare up at the dark sky and the bright moon. With tears running down her face, she asked what else could go wrong.

The next day her husband lost his job.

She learned then and there to never ever under-pain-of-whatever-horrible-affliction-the-universe-can-think-up to say either out loud or simply to herself, "What else could go wrong?"

There were other things along the way for this mother during the next ten years or so. Another job loss, another baby born that came with extended hospital stays and that seemed the worst that could happen until the next baby came and this one had a stroke and landed on earth with cerebral palsy.

What else could go wrong?

It seemed that each new trial was more difficult than the one before. "Oh", her friends said to her, "Heavenly Father must love you very much to give you so many trials in life---He knows you can handle them". Sometimes late at night as she soaked her pillow with tears, she silently wished that she wasn't so beloved or thought to be so strong. But she was strong---and the hits kept coming. Heart-wrenching hits, multiple-hospital-stays-with-kids kind of hits. Life altering hits. Finally she defiantly shook her fist at the sky and asked, "is that the best you've got?"

Tonight in the bright light of a blue moon, she sat outside on the porch in the cool of the night and with tears streaming down her face, tried not to ask, "What else could go wrong?" It was a silly thing that put her over the edge tonight. Trivial in the grand scheme of things really. The washing machine, after filling halfway with water, simply stopped. Done. Fini. Dead.

The woman had spent the better part of two days at the best trauma hospital in the state by her husband's bedside. Seeing him in such pain, she didn't cry. She was strong. She gave him sips of water. She rubbed his neck. She tried to get him to eat. But she never cried. She was strong. Even though she knew that he would never be the same again and they would have to find a way to somehow survive on the paltry disability payments they were going to receive---she didn't cry.

She was strong. She would be strong for him.

But she could breakdown for the washing machine. She went outside and sat on the porch to cry---so her daughters wouldn't see her tears and worry.

She's so very weary now. No, she's not giving up. She would never do that. Much like a dam that needs to release the immense pressure building up behind it, this woman allowed some of the pressure built up in her to stream down her cheeks.

Then she got up, wiped her tears away and went inside to take care of her girls.


  1. Anonymous9:42 AM

    As I read this woman's (I think I know her) story, my heart began to swell and my eyes flood, making it nearly impossible to read. How in the world, nooooo, are you kidding, poor girl, whyyyyy, and other phrases traveled through my mind as I read about her experiences. My most recent, heart felt, urgent plea is "Lord God, I beseech you to ease up on this precious servant, this daughter of yours. Please Lord, p l e a s e, bring and administer her the comfort of your Holy Spirit. May it be your will to grant her your miracles, strength and wisdom to continue through each day so that YOU Lord God will be exalted, as many witness, listen and make the decision to believe in and through you. His Jesus Name, AMEN.

  2. I love you Pam! You are amazing, and fragile, but not breakable. Thanks for your example through it all!


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