Well, I’ve never heard it put quite like that before but there is truth in it. At the beginning of February, I traveled to St Louis University Hospital with my mother-in-law, Carolyn. We were a little unsure about what to expect but knew that it wasn’t going to be easy for her, as she underwent an eight hour brain surgery to remove a mass from the area behind her eye. She was in the hands of a greatly skilled team of neurosurgeons and the surgery went as well as the doctors hoped.
In the following weeks, I had the opportunity to be a caregiver, a patient advocate, a listener, a liaison between multiple teams of doctors, but most importantly the opportunity to be family. After some time for reflection, I’ve been able to realize a few of the silver linings of this cloudy situation including:
-the most difficult time was definitely the week immediately following the surgery and Carolyn does not remember that week
-I discovered that I can stay strong when needed but I think Carolyn and I also realized maybe we are not as strong as we thought (and both of these are character building realizations)
-anytime that you think things are difficult, if you take the opportunity to look, you’ll find someone worse off and sometimes it’s necessary to be humbled
-lessons in empathy are a daily occurrence in hospital waiting rooms
-Carolyn provided many moments of comic relief and although she doesn’t remember all of those times-each and every one of them came just when most needed and I’m confident they were God arranged encouragements
-when in difficult situations an encouragement that may only take a matter of moments can change some one’s day including smiles, hugs, a phone call, being an empathetic listener, or just being completely present
However, from my viewpoint the biggest blessing in all of this was the chance I had to get to know Carolyn better. I honestly can not think of any other event that would of allowed us to spend so much time together, to be so humble and transparent with each other, and to experience family to the fullest extent of the word. With all that being said, I wish there could of been some other way for Carolyn to have skipped the surgery completely but she is making a strong recovery and hopefully soon it will all be distant memories.
Although it has been more challenging than I thought to return to life and business in full swing, I hope to update the blog more frequently now and look forward to hearing from all of you. Before I move on to some recent family celebrations, a special thank you to everyone of the Parsons family, our church family and friends, and my own family for all the encouragement. Thanks for being a silver lining!