Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Reason number eleven to get your ass to church

A followup of sorts.

As emails about my twitter feed keep coming in and I keep responding, an increasing number of you know that my husband was in a bike accident on Sunday night and has been in the hospital ever since.

He was wearing a helmet, thank goodness, because the significant injuries are to his face and head. He's alive, mentally OK and unparalyzed, but not entirely undamaged.
We're talking to plastic surgeons and researching exactly what a small subdural hemmorhage means. (What a big subdural hemmhorage means is well-known and extremely scary, and that subdural hemmhorages can be so tiny as to be insignificant is also true. We're in the middle, leaning toward the tiny but not completely there.)

We know he's off his bike for the season. What else it means is something we're still working on. The hours between midnight and noon today will represent the first twelve-hour period that I haven't spent hours by his side, but a girl has to bill a few hours occaisionally.

Suffice to say, our lives have been significantly upended.

And just about everyone who has heard has reached out. I have friends in a lot of different areas of my life that group easily by where I met them. I have work friends, law school friends, college friends and ex-coworker friends. I have blog friends, too, of course, but their scattered nature has meant that offers of prayers and someone to talk to have been about all they can do. Which is totally fine and to be expected, it's not like I could fly to Utah or Massachusetts or Georgia to make them cupcakes either and besides, theCSO has really enjoyed it when I've read him emails from people.

But my church friends have been like no other group in their speed, commitment and teamwork. I don't know what it is about church friends, maybe it's just that we're used to finding out that something needs to be done and working together to do it, but invitations to dinner, visits and roasted chickens have been marching my way with an organized precision that I would not necessarily have thought our somewhat disorganized faith was capable of.

I got the call from a minister, of course, and as theCSO doesn't know either of the ministers at my church well, we begged off on the visit. I'm sure the pastoral care committee assigned to do this stuff would be happy to join in with the chicken-cooking and the cheerleading. But has really amazed and impressed me as how smoothly and quickly my regular church friends have jumped up to help, the people I gossip with on Sundays and maybe eat dinner with a few times a year. My impression is that many facebook messages have been exchanged about what I might need and who might do what. We really haven't even needed the official resources of the church because the regular congregants have been so awesome.

One could assume that a whole bunch of people who happen to be especially useful in a crisis all happen to go to church with me and happen to be the people at church I've gotten to know well, but I think that's a few too many assumptions. And I don't discount the importance of committee work when it comes to building relationships where people work together to get things done. But then, other groups of my friends have worked together to achieve goals, too.

I think a big part of it is that my friends who have done the really superior job stepping up and working together are the ones who come together with me every week to focus on that which is greater than themselves, and that the spiritual aspect of our coming together makes it a natural thing for them to anticipate my needs and meet them while I'm still focused on theCSO.

At the same time, I probably am a project in some sense, but I don't feel like one. My family was an occiasional project for the Presby church I went to when I was a kid, and thinking of those times always brings to mind snarky C.S. Lewis quotes like ""She's the sort of woman who lives for others—you can always tell the others by their hunted expression."

That could have been a personality-of-the-congregation thing, but I have my doubts.

So anyway, I need to get back to work as I head back toward theCSO at 1:00. I'm always happy to be a UU and I'm always happy to be a member of my church. But I'm feeling both of those doubly today.

And I'm doubly committed to being there for the next friend who has a crisis.



The night of the accident, I updated my twitter feed repeatedly with tweets expressing my fear and frustration. Twitter, as it always does, put those tweets in the box at the top right of my blog. The morning after, I pulled most of the scared-sounding tweets down as they felt like I was oversharing, though I kept them up on Facebook where people I've friended could see them.

In the twelve hours or so that they were up, lots of Chalicesseurs saw those tweets and emailed me, which was very welcome. Due to the fact that they were up from late Sunday night to sometime Monday morning, lots of Chalicesseurs also didn't see those tweets, which is also fine. I know they would have reached out had they seen them.

It might well have been that I wanted to be able to look at my blog without seeing them myself.


Anonymous said...

i wish your husband a speedy recovery. he's lucky he's got you keeping an eye on him.

Transient and Permanent said...

I'm very sorry to hear about the accident. I hope he recovers fully and quickly, and you get through all this OK. It's great to know your church is there for you, many other folks out here in cyberspace are concerned and wish they could do more. Take care.

ejgejg said...

yikes, i only read via rss feed so i have not seen twitter updates. my heavens, CC, I am so glad he was wearing a helmet and that he seems mostly more okay than not okay. so glad your church has rallied around you. know that blog friends are doing the same in the generally less useful way of sending prayers and good wishes and good hopes.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. Prayers of healing headed your way.

goodwolve said...

I love to hear when our congregations step up. I am sure you will, in time, repay that favor and that makes the magic of community happen. Care to you and your husband - life is sure messy.

Lizard Eater said...

Oh, MAN ... I'm sorry, CC.

Chalicechick said...

Ye Gods, that sentiment coming from you puts things in perspective, LE. With all you've dealt with I feel like you're the expert and over the past few days I have frequently thought of you and what you must go through.

Thank you all so much. We're really doing fine and we're quite certain things will be fine in the long run. It just kind of sucks in the short run.


Stephanie said...

So sorry to hear this! And very glad you found the support. :)

ogre said...

Egads, I missed all that going on!


As one of those too far away to be of any assistance... you're both in my thoughts. Virtual hugs, virtual soup...

Joel Monka said...

I don't yet twitter, so I just found out. I thought of lighting a candle for him, but then decided he's getting lots of help,so I lit one for you instead.

Anonymous said...


I haven’t got the hang of this Twitter thing either. Given my usual technological learning curve, I’ll be getting into it just about the time it’s obsolete. Hey, I still don’t have an I-Pod and can’t download a tune or a sermon. But now that I’m finally in the loop, consider this my tuna noodle casserole. Long distance healing vibe to both of you on an alternate channel.

WellSoul said...

Whoa, just found the email and had missed the twitter/facebook updates. So glad that he was wearing a helmet and that you have a supportive church community. As the wife of a cyclist, you are in the position I fear. Neil was out of town the one time he ended up in the hospital, so I dealt with scary phone calls and then luckily he came home with the best case scenario. Sending healing wishes for your husband.

Anonymous said...

On Sunday night I gave you a list of 3 things we knew.

Your post inspires a much happier list of three things you have.

Faith... in the goodness of people, and faith that you will have all the support you need to get through this.

Comfort.. in knowing that life's adventure is not a lonely one. As well as comfort food, nice familiar things like roasted chickens. Though Ian told me on Friday he has never had matzo ball soup and I may take the opportunity to remedy that.

Knowledge... I talked to my parents both the Dr. and the physical therapist figure he will need reminded to stay off of ladders soon.

Chalicechick said...


FortiesGirl, you and Dr. Yes have been so wonderful. We're so lucky to have friends like you.

And Matso ball soup sounds wonderful.


Lizard Eater said...

Some folks will tell you that he was really lucky. Could have been much worse. And that's true.

But what's also true is that to have not gotten in an accident at all would have been the lucky thing.

So -- let yourself think/feel whichever, is all I'm saying. I don't think there's one "right" way to look at it. And it might change day by day.

(Done giving unsolicited advice.)

Anonymous said...

Wow. I hope he's ok and recovers completely. Sounds awful. You must have been so scared!
I'm glad to hear your church members came through for you so well.