Two weeks ago my phone rang at 10:40 on a Saturday night.
Dread was my first response as I reached for it, because kin of clergy know that calling late on a Saturday night is a possibly dangerous thing.
It was my sister, telling me that our mom had been rear-ended on the freeway and was in the emergency room in Cloquet. She was on her way to the ER, was my sister, and she would let me know what was going on when she knew more.
The pacing and praying commenced. An hour later, it was reported that mom was stable. Assessments were being done, and later it became clear that her being alive was astounding. Her car had rolled, the cocoon around her tiny body the only space not flattened, and her pelvis broken in three places.
By all accounts her recovery would mean weeks on her back and months learning to walk.
Well, the prognosticators didn’t know the grit of Barbara Fawcett Macaulay Forrest. Four days after her accident she was using a walker and celebrating a shower. Today, fourteen days after she found herself hanging upside down in the ditch, she is home.
What to say? Prayer, Holy and human love, an athlete’s body and a strength of being conspired to knit my mother back together again. The work is far from over, the pain very real, the necessity of support and holding constant.
And she is alive.
Her brush with mortality was a foundation quake for me and for my kin. My mother reigns rightly at the center of the heart that is our kinship being and for all the rolled eyeballs and teasing about her ways (she would be the first to point them out) she has loved us every day of our lives and taught us beauty, humility, generosity and dig-in-ability.
And all of those lessons hold us in our days. I pray they hold her well with gentle grace as she re inhabits the life that is hers to unfold.
The foundation holds us yet.