Monday, October 24, 2011

Not the Post I Had Intended

During the days we were on vacation I wrote all kinds of blog posts in my head. Some were intended to be funny (starring the kid in the University of Texas t-shirt from the next campsite whose belching reverberated off the hills), some talked about what a joy (and relief) it is to still truly enjoy spending time with Husband after 27 years of marriage, one was a discourse about motorcyclists who practice their downshifting in camping areas and my fervent desire that these motorcyclists should get hives. I even considered words about this sign we saw on a hike, a caution that only heightened my fear of edges.

But then, just as we were pulling into the driveway yesterday after this wonderful vacation, my cell phone rang. First one friend, then another, calling me to ask--had I heard? S. had been shot.

We worry about so much in life. Car accidents. Cancer. Slipping in the bathtub. What we don't worry is that a bullet from a target shooter's gun will come through the passenger window of a family on the way home from church. That un-worried-about bullet hit my friend in the face, and she was being air-lifted to a major hospital.

By the time we had dropped the trailer and raced to the hospital, doctors already knew S.'s life was not in danger. Miraculously, the bullet had passed through her lower jaw and exited her neck, missing her brain, spinal cord, carotid artery--everything, really, that could have killed her. Today they will operate to put the jaw back together, and in a few days she'll be home.

I hope the doctors know who this woman is. She isn't simply the victim of the most random of accidents. She's the wife of Good Buddy Jim, who spent so many hours fixing our trailer so we could go on vacation. She's the mother of kids who grew up with the Boys (Boy#4 and her youngest were so close in age that their due dates were the same week). She's the person I always list when forms ask for "Closest friend who is not a relative."

She's also an artist, and a teacher, and a person who actually writes the encouraging notes we all know we should write. She's a woman of God whose witness is as steadfast and strong as her faith. She's so much better, so much worthier, than she thinks she is, and I hope the doctors and nurses who operate this afternoon know whose beautiful face they are fixing.

We all are near the edge and the footing, indeed, is dangerous.


  1. A beautiful tribute by a beautiful writer about her beautiful friend.

  2. you sum up so well much of what I have been thinking surrounding the news. It is obvious that He has much more in store for S. What a blessing each day is.

  3. Ditto what Anonymous said.
    Saying a prayer for your friend.