Even a Disaster Can Have a Silver Lining

My truck
My truck

Some Disasters Have a Silver Lining

Our family was already going through a tough time when my accident happened. My husband had lost his job of 17 years and we were all learning to cope with it. Barely a month later, on my way to work, I got into an accident that totaled our little truck and left me with a broken foot. I had only glanced to the side of the road for a second, but the traffic ahead of me suddenly slowed and I couldn't stop in time. Even though I jammed my foot into the brake pedal, I hit the vehicle in front of me. Little damage to him, but the damage to my 17 year-old truck was enough to total it. At first, I was panicked over the thought of telling my husband. I was so sure he would be furious at me. My foot was hurting a lot and I just knew I couldn't handle this on my own, so I called him and told him to come over.

At the hospital, we discovered that my foot had three broken metatarsals (the bones that bear your weight). One of them was considered "shattered" because it had extra pieces floating around. My husband was such a support and was surprisingly calm. He wasn't mad at me at all and did everything he could to make things easier and less painful. Needless to say, I needed all the support I could get now that I couldn't walk around. Even on crutches, I was so unsteady that he would often catch me as I stumbled.

Once back at home, his lack of a job became a blessing. He was there to take care of me at all times. He cooked, cleaned, and shadowed me as I tried to move around the house. I felt silly having him stay so close, but it came in handy when I would stumble or lose my balance. For the first couple of weeks, he would take me around the house in a wheelchair to make it easier. That was no small thing since our house is small and cluttered!

With the help of people in our church, we received dinners every other night for the first two weeks after my surgery. What a blessing! Although the hubby was willing to cook, it was nice to give him a break from it. It also gave us an opportunity to meet other people from church who we hadn't met yet. One of our neighbors mowed our lawn just before the snow hit and another kept our sidewalk shoveled each time it snowed. A dear friend of ours would refill our ice chest with pebbled ice from the school he worked at. That saved us many trips to the store to keep my foot iced and swelling down.

I won't lie to you. Things weren't completely rosy. I felt horrible about ruining our truck, becoming a burden, and not being available to help at home or work. It took some time, but I let my husband comfort me and soothe my feelings. My boss let me do some work from home as I was able to, but told me not to overdo it.

Six weeks after my accident, I returned to work on a limited basis. I have had some time to reflect on all that happened while I was out. My husband and I developed a much closer relationship. Our household used to be based on me, the mom, doing almost everything to help everyone else. Roles reversed during my recovery and the helpfulness around the house continues with my husband and my sons. I learned to let people help me and figured out that I'm not the only one who needs the blessings of helping others. Our family learned not to take anything for granted. Who knows what will happen next? Instead of being the total disaster this could have been (and I thought it was going to be), this was one of the greatest experiences our family has had.

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Comments 3 comments

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

Well written personal experience to encourage others to persevere through difficult circumstances!

karent profile image

karent 6 years ago Author

Thank you! It was such a tough thing to go through, but I knew it was important to find the silver lining in this rain cloud.

Janette 4 years ago

What a beautiful reflection on how a seeming disaster can be full of blessing. I went through a serious injury some years ago (now fully healed, yay!), and many of your experiences were similar to mine. Letting other people help me felt so hard at first - until someone pointed out to me that by providing them with an opportunity to show compassion and do good, I was helping THEM out! Aside from silencing me for a good minute while my brain scrambled to understand this new point of view, that radically changed how I saw my own (temporary) inadequacy as a blessing for others.

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