“They have to amputate your Daddy’s leg.”
Silence. Heart sinks. Breath shortens.
The last phone call that elicited that reaction was one that informed me of my Mother’s death. The only word I could formulate in my head was ‘finally.’ Her physical death was one I had prepared for mentally and emotionally. The call was not a surprise. The call was not unexpected. It was almost a formality.
This phone call was different.
My stepfather is the love of my life. He taught me to ride a bike. He defended me against dangers in the neighborhood and sometimes at home. He listened to my teenage problems without judgment. He is hard-working and kindhearted. He is flawed but pushes through life with truth and integrity. He gave me aunts, uncles and cousins that I love and that love me too. He is a major reason I look forward to being a stepmother someday.
His leg is gone now and it still doesn’t seem real to me because I haven’t been able to go home yet. I communicate regularly with my family to stay informed of his condition. Things are progressing. He sounds pretty good when I talk to him. However, I wonder about the shock to his psyche when he looks down. Then I remember the importance of looking up.
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD , which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2
Looking down can be discouraging but it can also be dangerous. It is one of the first lessons we’re taught as toddlers learning to walk or teenagers learning to drive. You must look where you’re going. Otherwise, you fall. You crash. Staying focused on what’s ahead and where your help is coming, inches you closer to each destination.
I am confident that my stepfather will push through this as he has in past situations. It will be a long journey but with the help coming from up and all around, he will make it to his final destination.