Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tuna Salad

My mind was flooded with memories as I made tuna salad sandwiches for lunch yesterday. Good memories now, in a strange kind of way. Eight years ago I had the best tuna sandwich ever.

Many of you who read this blog have joined me here more recently, so the following won't have much context. In fact, even if you've been reading all along, I've only shared in a limited kind of way the events that took place. It's a big story in some way, mostly because there are so many crazy details. For me, truly, the most significant part of the story is what God did in my heart.

I don't have the time tonight to go back to all that transpired. Sitting here right now with images in my head and my heart beat increasing makes me wonder if I should really even try to sum it all up -- just because of yesterday's tuna sandwich. For some basic background, Jon and Andrew (age 4) were in a head-on collision, Jon was so smashed up that the paramedics weren't sure he'd survive to the hospital, and Andrew's neck was broken at the C2 vertebra and his spinal cord was in a bent position. The ordeal continued with a long day at one hospital ER moving from one bedside to the other, a surgery for Jon, a specialized transport to the children's hospital with Andrew, a sleepless night in the PICU seated upright next to Andrew's bed, another day just waiting and hoping for good news to please come... All intermingled with my mind trying to process immense thankfulness that my husband and son were ALIVE, but fully aware that the usefulness of Jon's limbs were unknown. Andrew's situation was horrible to watch and I was so very helpless in it all.

The next afternoon, a Sunday, Andrew was taken to the OR to have eight screws drilled into his skull and attached to a halo. The halo would be attached to four long rods that ran down the length of his torso and secured to a tightly fitted sheep skin-lined plastic vest. Once the OR doors were closed, my dear friend, Melissa, and I went back to the PICU. We were told that someone had dropped off some lunch, and that I had visitors waiting in the (tiny) waiting room. So relieved for food and so incredibly tired, there we sat with John and Patricia MacArthur, awkwardly trying not to rudely devour our food. It was a holiday tuna salad and crusty bread from Whole Foods.

The visit was so sweet with the MacArthur's. Jon worked closely with Pastor MacArthur at the time, and Pat had also survived a broken neck with months of recovery in a halo years prior. Their words of comfort and encouragement were so special to me (and remains so).

We were to experience a significant setback with Andrew in the days following, more surgery for Jon, long months of recovery for both, and difficult unknowns. But God was near. His presence, comfort, and work in my life were so evident to me. Joy came that was not my own, and confidence in an infinitely good God no matter what the outcome.

I like my tuna best with chopped celery, red onion, and dried cranberries on a nice piece of crusty bread now. The memories are connected to crushing days I hope never to experience again, but have become somewhat sweet because of the good that was produced.

{For a bit more on this, click HERE and HERE.}


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