Richard and I had our first argument five days after the accident. We had already agreed on so much in those first few days: whether we would turn machines off when the time came; whether to sign a do-not-resuscitate order; how to tell our children it was time to say goodbye.
But we disagreed for the first time with something one of us posted online.
I will always remember the moment with gentle fondness. What a sight we must have made! That night we lay in each other’s arms, weakened by our broken hearts; tenderly reproving, explaining, repenting and forgiving. We were both terrified of causing irreparable damage by mishandling each other’s raw souls. We were exposed at the deepest level, and we could only handle one another with kindness.
Since then we have had one or two disagreements about how various situations should be handled. To be honest, the media attention has been something new, and knowing how to handle sharing news has taken some getting used to.
When it comes to Kiara’s recovery, we have different ideas of how it should go. I have a tendency to want to rush towards the finish line. Richard is focused on long term recovery, wanting to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’. We are so different in many ways, and yet perfectly balanced in God-genius compatibility.
Today we had a big decision to make. We were going to check out the neuro rehab and we had different opinions going in.
But somehow, learning how to handle the indecent exposure of each other’s souls that first week has taught us how to walk together. We may each want to go down different paths, but we both want the best for our daughter. So we ask our surgeon and our current therapists and we listen to both sides of their replies. We go together to the rehab center, open-minded and trusting for heavenly wisdom. We want to know the mind of God, both willing to lay down our own opinions.
And though the rehab staff are so welcoming and show us their amazing facility, we both instantly know it’s not for her. We are settled. We agree. We drive home reassured that we have explored the options and we’re ready to decide. The doctor has indicated he’d be willing to release Kiara from his daily care early next week. We now know we want her home.
Mental images of family dinners and tucking her in to her own bed, leave me feeling tired and happy and like we might get a chance to regroup. Two weeks at home before the next operation - what a gift that would be! Of course, we’ll have to be crazy-careful that nobody bumps her unprotected brain. We’ll have to train our little tigers to be tender, to be gentle while she is exposed.
Living life in proximity with others isn’t always easy, we’re most often hurt by those closest to us. But we’re all learning that you can’t go wrong with kindness. Kiara will wear a helmet, to remind us that although she’s looks pretty normal, underneath her skin her soft brain is exposed and extremely sensitive. Similarly, we need to remember that under each other’s visible composure and strength lies a soul that we have seen exposed. We must handle each other with kindness, we must be tender, we must take care.
Kiara has a roastie in the back of her head that the doctor is concerned may be through all the layers of skin and require a skin graft. Please pray for healthy skin and natural hair growth.
For protection from infection and injury in these weeks before the cranioplasty operation.
For healing of all scars in time.
For strength of body and sharpness of mind.