I came across this beautiful story on Facebook this past Thursday. It was written by a member of a band called The Lone Bellow. To me, it expresses so much of what life is about. How do we respond when our future unfolds so differently than anything we had hoped or planned it would be? How can we remain hopeful, open, and loving, when the obstacles we are faced with are so large? How can we become more compassionate to one another? And how do we access our inner strength and resiliency to not only meet and rise above the challenges we are faced with, but to create something beautiful and meaningful out of some very dark places.
“Zach here.. Today I celebrate a very special moment that happened in my life.
Ten years ago, my wife fell from one of my family’s horses and tragically broke her neck.
I remember running out into a deathly quiet field after the horse silently came back with no rider. I remember running with my best friend by my side looking for her. We found her and time stood still. The following month was spent in hospitals, preparing for a very different kind of life than what we had pictured. An amazing place in Atlanta GA called “The Shepherd Center” took us in. We had been told that my wife would no longer be able to move anything below her neck.
Living in this reality, I had the great privilege of meeting other spouses who had been taking care of their loved ones for years. The bravery in their words were powerful enough to alter any definitions I had in my mind of the human condition. They we’re filled with hope, passion, beauty, fear, and wisdom. A few days a week, the hospital would bring in dogs who had been trained to comfort people who grieved beyond words. The nurses had a supernatural ability to speak hope and truth into the most hopeless situations. I remember the sounds of these conversations shooting through the walls of the hall my wife called home. We had come to the conclusion that it would take nothing short of a miracle to heal my wife’s spinal cord.
She was incredible. Her zeal to be alive shook me to the core. There were moments when I had given up. I went through the different phases of grief over and over again. I would get angry, sad, delusional, then hopeless. This is where I started writing music. This where I had some good friends say to me “If she gets better, let’s sell whatever we have and move to New York City.” Shortly thereafter my wife started getting the feeling back in her hands. Soon after that she was able to stand up. This was beyond the understanding of the doctors, but I do not see this as the miracle.
The miracle I was able to witness was watching the loved ones, nurses, and patients love one another and see a beauty that only they have the honor of truly understanding. Today I pause to say thank you to our friends, family, and the amazing souls at The Shepherd Center. You are a light in a dark place. I am grateful.
I had the opportunity tonight to tell our three little girls the bedtime story of their brave mother and all of the beautiful and strong people we met at The Shepherd Center—tonight we celebrate the power and grace of the human being.”