When You Hit a Bump in the Road

Bump in the Road


Everything was going along according to plan. The summer was over. School had started. I had developed a schedule that would allow me to work on my various writing projects on the two days I worked from home still leaving time for domestic duties, Bible study and an occasional coffee date with a friend.

But then…the bump in the road.

It was the expected unexpected. The reminder that my plans are not always His plans.

Why am I always so surprised–mystified even–when something like this happens?

This time the bump in the road was my 77-year old mother’s broken wrist and impending surgery. She was suddenly completely dependent on others (i.e., me). You never realize how much you need two working hands until you only have one.

We had much to be thankful for however. She broke her wrist not her hip. She fell in a public place and many people came to help her. The ER doctor was able to get her wrist back in position relatively easily (though not without a great deal of pain). We were able to get to her very quickly. Although surgery was still needed, it was scheduled in only a few days and went very well. She started becoming stronger and more independent within a few days of the surgery.

My mother has lived with us for ten years so we were able to help her with very little change to our normal daily routine (one of the reasons we made this change all of those years ago). While I do work part-time outside of our home, my job is in my husband’s medical practice, so I was able to take off the time I needed easily. I have the flexibility to drive my mother to her many doctor’s appointments, run errands for her and help her with whatever physical difficulties she was experiencing.

The biggest challenge for me was putting aside my new carefully planned schedule at home. I would have to put off the writing goals I had set. Fortunately this affected no one but me. I have to admit that I was feeling a little grumpy about my sacrifice.

And then it hit me. This was a major bump in her road as well. And a very painful one.

Once again I was reminded that our relationships on this earth are meant to be ones of interdependence. At different times and in different ways, the balance changes. There is a continuum of dependence-independence in every relationship but perhaps particularly within families. It is humbling when I remind myself that this balance has been different and will shift again.

As the days of her healing progress, I am learning to be more flexible with my own schedule and goals. I am trying to be more patient with myself and with those around me. I am discovering yet again what is important to me.

And I am trying to remind my self that so many of the best parts of life are in the bumps and detours and delays.