Recently my family was hit with a tragedy. My younger brother was involved in a bad car accident. Receiving a call from the police on the scene was terribly difficult. At that point, he was barely conscious and trapped in the car. Even more difficult was having to call his wife and tell her the news. It was a very bad night but thankfully he survived the crash. As I told his wife repeatedly as we drove to the hospital, “He’s one tough kid. He’ll be alright.” He is a tough kid. He’s been through a lot and he’s always pulled through. I wouldn’t dare wrestle him either. He’s probably 4x as strong as I am.
Although he escaped injury to most of his body, he sustained a serious brain injury. It’s been incredibly emotional and difficult for us to watch him struggle through the confusion and the fog. Thankfully, he remembers who everyone in my family is and who he is. He can complete basic motor movement tasks and eat and drink with a little help but getting himself back to the wickedly athletic, strong and hilarious self that he was before the crash is going to take a long time. He’ll be in in-patient or out-patient rehab for months. I’m confident that he’ll make it though, he’s one of the hardest workers I know–full of grit and determination. But, it’s going to be a long a difficult road.
Through this ordeal I’ve learned a few important lessons. I’ve learned a little about what strong and sacrificial love looks like. My brother’s wife has been an incredible servant through this ordeal. She hasn’t left the hospital yet. She is constantly present when he awakes to help him understand where he is and to relieve his anxiety. She has been a pillar of peace and strength for him. Her kindness and strength has been beautiful and inspiring to watch. Sometimes tragedy brings out the best and people and all I know is that she must be one of those people. I’ve rarely seen more selfless and sacrificial love.
Secondly, I’ve been reminded of the importance of family. Through this ordeal our family has pulled together. My sisters, parents and all our spouses are functioning like a team right now, caring for each other, watching each others’ kids and carrying each others’ loads. Family matters. Sometimes I wish extended families functioned like they did in ancient times or still do in some parts of the world–with extended families living and working together. All of our American individualism isn’t always a good thing. There’s no one like family to care for you and rescue you when life falls apart. This tragedy has reinforced this reality for me. Family is worth investing in.
Lastly, I’m learning that life is fragile. My brother was inches from death. I saw his car after the crash and the image struck fear into my heart. I don’t know how anyone could have survived, but thankfully, God spared him. I’m realizing that what James said about life is true:
“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog–it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” (James 4:14)
We can never foresee the plot twists that will unfold in our lives. Our lives are fragile. I want to learn to live life to the fullness, take advantage of opportunities, say the words that need to be said, invest in what is worth investing in, and to be with the people I care about the most.
So, this is where I have been lately and where I’ll be for a while. I may not get to my blog for a bit while my family and I care for my brother and help guide him back to health. If you find a spare moment, pray for my brother–that God would bring his mind and body fully back. Thanks.