There are times in life when unexplained things happen. There’s no rhyme or reason why these things take place, but the impact they leave is often unbearable. Today has been a day where the tears streaming down my face resemble an uncontrollable faucet that someone forgot to turn off. The pain in my heart is more than I can take because it stems from feelings of helplessness and sorrow. The focus I have is diminished because all I can think about is her and the frustration and fear she must be feeling right now. I am fortunate that three of my four grandparents are still living, but this week has taken a terrible turn by thrusting me into a whole new state of adulthood – emotionally processing a family member’s stroke.
My Oma is one of the greatest role models in my life. Her strength and passion for life are two things that I aspire to encompass. She shines like a radiant star when it comes to the joy and love she gives to those around her. In regards to family, she places us at the top of her priority list. She is always there to give us more than she could ever want in return – her selflessness is what love truly is. When I heard about her stroke, the shock factor took hold of me first. It wasn’t until Thursday night that the reality of the situation set in. The reality that she won’t be at my college graduation, and that these complications could have lasting effects that change her involvement in our lives forever.
My family has been doing their best to keep me in the loop, but I still feel completely lost and helpless. I’m not there, and I don’t have the ability to do anything to help her recover. I’ve been asked if I’m going to see her and urging me to do so, but the thing is… I can’t. Because if I see her, the reality of this entire situation is confirmed – she is a stroke victim who can’t speak and can’t swallow. She is the ghost of a woman who always wore lipstick and had her hair done perfectly; who spoke in a soft, calming voice and who gave the most comforting hugs. If I went and saw her now my heart would break even more than it already has. Seeing her, lying there grunting the words she so wishes she could speak would only worsen my heartache.
I know that I have to be strong for her because that’s what my parents keep telling me. The problem is, I’m an extremely empathetic person, and so when someone in my life is dealing with something difficult I absorb all their suffering. Most of the time this quality is a curse because it causes me to take on more burden than I believe I’m capable of handling, but also allows me to have the biggest heart for those I care about. The one thing I have to believe is that she will continue fighting through this horrible circumstance, and I know she would want me to be strong for her. So in respect of her, I offer up this prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, please shine your merciful love on my Oma. Show her the gift of strength and courage by allowing her to continue to fight through the complications left by this stroke. Let her know how much I love her, and that my love grows every second I think about her. And please, help me Lord. Help me to place all my burden into your hands and relieve all my sadness, fear and grief. Allow me to see the positive in that she will be alright. In your name I pray – Amen.