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Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Family's Hope

  • inspired by the song "The Impossible" by Joe Nichols

“Watch out!” Steve yelled.  “It’s about to fall.”

Monty looked up, but it was too late.  The rafter that had been suspended by the crane fell from twenty feet up and trapped Monty.  Hanging precariously fifty feet above, was a steel beam in danger of plummeting to the ground.

Pinned underneath the rafter, Monty was unable to move.  He was not seriously injured, just trapped.

The steel beam was suspended above in danger of plunging to the ground and hitting Monty.  Monty could not carry himself from harm’s way.  The much larger beam would surely crush the life out of him.

From across the yard, Steve leaped into a Bobcat.  He would be able to lift Monty, who was pinned between a wedge of wood and the rafter, and bring him to safety.  He elevated Monty, along with his entrenchment, from the site of the accident as the steel beam suspended above was falling.  The beam fell on top of the Bobcat, breaking through the roof and landing on Steve’s legs.  Monty walked away with little more than a scare, but both of Steve’s legs were badly broken.   One had a clean break just below the hip.  Blood gushed from the wound and the broken bone protruded from his flesh. 

The other workers ran to Steve’s aid.

“I can’t feel my legs!” Steve cried out in anguish.  They immediately brought him to a hospital, but it was believed that it might be too late to return function to his legs.  It was thought that he may even loose them entirely.

Over a month had passed since the horrible incident.  With his youngest daughter’s wedding five months away, he would not be able to lead her down the aisle.  Bound by a wheelchair at this time, he would be forced to watch from those among the church.

“Therapy will get you nowhere” the doctor assured him.  “It is possible that you may be able to walk with crutches.”

Steve and his wife, Lara, were both very religious.  Their faith in God was unwavering.  They believed that, with fortitude and persistence, that Steve would walk again.  The precious dream of walking his daughter down the aisle was unshakable. 

The doctor recommended therapy that, but he pledged to Steve and Lara that it was hopeless.  Yet, they believed that God helps those who help themselves and with unflinching determination he engaged in the therapy.

Daily, he underwent his regiment of therapy.  Steadfastly, although painfully, he forced the tortuous exercise that would liberate him from his crippled condition.  He visited the therapeutic wing of the hospital and held himself up by his shoulders as he slowly staggered down the short passageway.  Three months into the therapy and he was able to place some of the burden of his weight on his legs, but he carried the vastness of it with his arms.        

“You don’t have to try so hard,” his wife pleaded as she wept from the suffering the rehabilitation was causing.  “Your daughter knows that you love her.  Being at the wedding will be enough for her.  You don’t have to put yourself through all of this.”

His determination was steadfast.  With each day he grew stronger.  One day, waking up in the morning, rising to sit in his wheelchair and make his way to breakfast; a pivotal advancement in his recovery occurred.  He felt a strange sensation in his legs where, for months, he had felt nothing.  Tingling, as if oxygen was being infused into his muscles, alerted him that a recovery might be possible.  He immediately informed his wife of the news.

After months of rehabilitation tears filled her eyes as she shared the same realization that their persistence and prayers might finally be answered.  

The wedding was upon them, only a couple of weeks away.  By this time, Steve was mostly carrying himself around on crutches.  The bulk of his weight was carried by his arms and the crutches, but complete feeling had now returned to his legs.

His daughter, Jessica, about to marry her longtime fiancé, Alex, had shared her mother’s sentiment during her father’s entire recovery.  The pain the injury had inflicted also struck her emotions brutally.  “You don’t have to do it,” she pleaded to her father.  “All that matters to me is that you are there.”

On the day of her wedding, his father assured her he would not only be there, but he would provide his daughter with the right of passage owed to her.  “I will give you the wedding you deserve,” he said.  “I don’t know if you know this, but this day is as important to me as it is to you.”

Her wedding day arrived and their family and friends gathered.  She was dressed in a white gown and her groom in his tuxedo waited at the front of the church for her.  Her father who had been walking with only a cane, at times, for the past week insisted that would not be enough.  The wedding procession began.  However painful, he put aside his cane and walked his daughter down the aisle to meet her groom and begin her new life.

The emotions overtook his wife and she cried not only for her daughter, but also for herself and for her husband.  With steadfast determination, Steve was able to give his daughter the wedding of which they all dreamed.

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