Twenty-eight Years Later… April 24, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2212)

jon with lightningIn my calendar of life, 1986 was a year that arrived, determined to leave its mark and remembrance.

I was in my sixth year of being a paternal care-giver to my twelve-year-old son, who had been struck by a car in the summer of 1980, leaving him in a persistent vegetative state.

  • State–no change.
  • Vegetative–present but uncertain response.
  • Persistent–no end in sight.

I also discovered that my wife was pregnant with our fourth child. It dawned on me that in short months I would be traveling on the road around the country speaking and sharing my heart with an entourage of a sixteen-year-old, a ten-year-old, a disabled child, a recuperating wife and new-born baby.

Honestly, I just chose not to deal with it.

It was in the month of June that Joshua, my “special” child, suddenly contracted pneumonia and died.

My new baby was born two months earlier than expected, in a hospital in Peoria, Illinois, and shortly after that, a promise given to us to use a house for the holiday season was removed one hour before we arrived to occupy and be a celebrating family.

We were stunned by it all.

We ended up in Lexington, Missouri, in motel rooms, feverishly attempting to generate yuletide cheer.

But 1986 was not yet satisfied with all its provided turmoil. On Christmas Day, my wife slipped and broke her ankle, side-lining her for two months, while I took the two older fellows back on the good ole’ gospel trail.

Tonight I return to Lexington, Missouri, for the first time in twenty-eight years.

I have good news for these delightful human travelers: I can tell them of a certainty that we, as people, can not only survive, but prosper in our trials.

It’s not that there’s a silver lining to every cloud or a new dawning after the blackest night.

It’s just that sometimes, each one of us needs to know what we have inside of us–or we assume we are empty.

The trial of your faith worketh patience. And patience intends on doing a perfect work–showing us that struggle is the only thing we all share in common.

I am of a belief that this realization should be a valuable contribution … to my Missouri friends.

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