Then on July 9th My mom, sister, and I were walking out of Target during one of those random summer rainstorms. Tara slipped on the paint marking the end of the sidewalk and beginning of the pavement. She immediately started screaming while my mom and I went into adrenaline rush mode trying to help her. When she slipped her legs practically did the splits, her right leg was twisted behind her and I bent down to swing it around so both legs were in front of her. The second I slipped her ankle into my hand I knew we were in trouble. I could literally feel it swelling up in my hand and I knew it was broken. Needless to say we ended up calling 911 and a while later the doctors confirmed I was right. They told us she had a spiral fracture in her ankle and put her in a boot with instructions to follow-up with an orthopedic.
We didn't get home from the hospital until pretty late, so I stayed at my mom's that night and got up early to head home and get ready for church. After church I packed up the majority of my house and moved back home to help take care of Tara. I have been here ever since. Tara is doing better and this week started to actually walk without the use of her walker. However, she is still in a fair amount of pain and needs a lot of help. I estimate I will probably be here until the middle or end of August.
Life for me has changed dramatically since the beginning of the month and it all happened in one split second. There are many days I sit and watch Tara crying in pain, or listen to her talk about how badly she just wants to walk and dance, and I wish I could rewind life and warn her not to step on the paint or hold on to her tighter so she didn't fall; I just want to change that one second in time. However, God did not design life this way. Life comes at us in full speed and there is no looking back.
I know we are often told not to ask the "why" questions. Why did this happen? Why Tara of all people? Yet, I've never been very good at following that counsel. I have a curious mind and so I wonder why, but as I've thought through the "why" questions I've learned a few things. These lessons are not necessarily the answers to my questions, but they are things I needed to see.
Yes, I wish I could take away all the pain and sadness my sister is experiencing. Yes, I wish I could be home sleeping in my own bed. Yes, I wish I had more time on my hands to write, hang out with friends, and do my own thing...BUT I love the time I have now to spend with Tara. I love having "arts and crafts" day with her. I love that we eat lunch and watch a movie together every single day. I love having coloring contests and telling jokes all afternoon. My favorite time of the day is lying next to her at night reading her bedtime stories.
So, what are the lessons here? God has a purpose and a plan for everything. Life is fragile; don't take one second for granted. Don't look at change as a bad thing, just a new thing. Take time to open your eyes to what's really important in life, before it's too late. Smile, no matter what you're going through. There really is a silver lining to every dark cloud. Stop looking back wishing you could change the past and move forward full speed ahead.