Morning After The Twisters

by Bill Brenner on June 2, 2011

This is one of those mornings where I wake up uneasy. Several tornadoes tore through our state yesterday, but that’s not it.

Mood music:

I used to panic at the sight of a yellow-green sky, because that’s usually a sign of imminent tornadoes and hurricanes. But as I looked out the window, all I could muster was a “meh.” I guess that’s progress.

But then I had other things on my mind.

Yesterday I visited my father in the hospital, where he’s been since Sunday night. He suffered a stroke, and looked like it. His mind was clear, but one eye was covered with gauze and the other was drifting off to the side.

I left the hospital to go back to work and drove right into an hour-long traffic jam. It turns out the Red Sox were playing. When that happens, the area around Fenway Park becomes a sea of humanity and a graveyard for drivers trying to get from points A to B.

On the plus side, I didn’t erupt into a white-hot temper tantrum like I used to when getting stuck in traffic. I wasn’t happy. The F-word escaped my mouth a half dozen times, but I didn’t beat on the steering wheel and scream like I used to. More progress.

Still, it left me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. My mood sunk even further when I learned that Dad has some breathing difficulties AFTER I left.

I’m still in a bad mood, but at the same time I have hope. This stuff always works itself out, because God sends us helpers.

I mentioned this in a recent post about Mister Rogers:

Mr. Rogers learned a powerful lesson from his mother. I wish I had it in my head to focus on the helpers growing up. In hindsight, they were always there:

–The doctors and nurses who saved me from brutal bouts of Crohn’s Disease.

–The therapists who guided me through a diagnosis of OCD and showed me how to manage it.

–My family, especially my wife, and also my father and even my mother. My relations with the latter are in mothballs right now, but I think she tried to do her best for me. The help Erin has been to me is way too big to be measured here.

–My friends, who have always helped me make sense of things, made me laugh and done all the other things a person needs to get through the day.

–Many of the people in my faith community, who showed me how to accept God’s Grace, even if I still suck at returning the favor.

Fast-forward to the present. I’m uneasy, but I know that in the end, somehow, things will be alright.

My prayers are with those in the state that lost property and people in the tornadoes.

My prayers are obviously with my father.

The helpers are always around us, and they will help us through it all.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon Shapiro June 2, 2011 at 10:48 am

Bill, our thoughts are with you and your family. So sorry to hear about your dad’s stroke. Love Sharon & Martha

Ellen June 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm

hope your Dad will be better…

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