Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Falling


We’ve had a couple of scary falls recently.

The second one occurred at my mother’s house. Katherine has been thrilled to develop more independence. She is doing a great job of getting around on her own, albeit slowly, using a three-footed cane. But sometimes a foot turned a millimeter in the wrong direction can cause the world to turn upside down. As she started going down, Katherine grabbed the back of the couch. Thanks to the intense physical therapy she received at Casa Colina, and continues to receive here from her fabulous personal trainer (her husband), she has developed amazing strength. The heavy couch started to topple over on top of her. Luckily, she let go on the way down, and it righted itself. She said, “Mom, I thought I was going to die!”

We’ve come a long way since the days in Acute Rehab when Katherine tried to run away to Cabo…before she could even stand ("RollercoasterRide," http://katherineawolf.blogspot.com/2008/06/roller-coaster-ride.html) But it seems likely that falls will be an inevitable part of her journey for years to come. Over half of her cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for balance, has been surgically removed.

We recently had a chance to talk to a wonderful lady who has experienced the most unimaginable kind of loss there is. But she turned the focus to Katherine. She shared that her mother had had an AVM rupture. Katherine asked her about residual deficits. Our new friend said, “There really weren’t any, other than some balance issues. If you were walking next to her, she would always gradually drift into you.” Paths would cross.

There are worse things.

***************

I’m getting just a wee bit tired of Tiger Woods. Why is everyone so shocked? Our culture thrives on elevating people into Idols, and then rejoicing when they fall off the pedestals we’ve erected for them. It seems an inescapable truism that all idols will fall. Humans cannot tolerate the burden of worship indefinitely. We were not built for it. It will inevitably corrupt and destroy those for whom it was not originally intended.

Celebrities are not the only ones who fall. I’ve heard a lot of gossip lately about the ‘falls’ of people I know, or know of. Human nature being what it is, I think we feel a little better about ourselves when we hear of the failures of others. Maybe we’re not so bad after all, in comparison. But it doesn’t work that way.

I’m a slow learner. It has taken me decades to discover this spiritual principle, but you can take it to the bank: However you judge others, you will be tested in that exact area. The absolute dumbest thing you can ever say, or feel in your heart, is “I would never…” Or even dumber, “My child would never…”

We are all capable of absolutely anything under the right (wrong) circumstances.

I’ve had more than my share of missteps and stumbles, scraped knees and soul bruises. Sometimes I feel that the part of my brain responsible for mental and spiritual balance has gone missing. I’ve teetered and tottered and toppled into a heap on the floor. But that is the best place to ask for help. Down your knees is a good place to start learning to stand.

We all fall down. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”(I John I:8)

But, as I’ve said before, a fall is not the end of the world.

It has many negative connotations…

Fallen women and fallen arches…

The Fall of Man, The Fall of Rome…

Fallen heroes, fallen idols…falling from grace…


But also…

Falling snowflakes…

Falling into an inheritance…

Falling in love…into someone’s path…

Falling into someone’s arms…


There are arms that are strong, but tender.

Those arms will always pick us up again, and welcome us back home.


“Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy…” (Jude 1:24)


.

...falling in love over and over again...

9 comments:

Laurel said...

This was a great, great post. Awesome picture!

Martha Souther said...

Years ago a friend's elderly mother had to go to live at an assisted living facility. One afternoon when an aide went to check on her she found that she had fallen. The aide asked, "Mrs. Sheffield, what are you doing on the floor?" Whenever I feel like I'm "on the floor" in my life the Lord reminds me of Granny's answer. She answered simply, "I'M PRAYING."

Desiree Hall said...

That's a good looking little boy!

Great post. I feel the same way about Tiger Woods. I'm tired of hearing about it!!

Happy Holidays--I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Years celebration!

xx, Desiree

Callie said...

Love this post (and every other one, for that matter). I had the pleasure of running into Katherine at 2 Story coffeehouse yesterday. I was debating whether or not I should go to work on physics homework, but finally I decided I would go. I walked in and saw beautiful Katherine standing at the counter! I definitely cried (later) after seeing her...it was exactly what I needed on a dreary Monday studying for my physics final exam! I was so impressed that she recognized my name from Caring Bridge and remembered I had been in an accident and immediately connected me with Laura Merriem. She was so beautiful and so happy. It was wonderful.
Just thought I'd share that with you. :)
Merry Christmas!

Carine said...

Hi Kim -
Absolutely beautiful post.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights.
ALWAYS such a pleasure to read them.

Seeing your photo - the kindness and warmth - brings back many memories. Thank you for those days.

Much love,
Carine
(from UCLA)

eSa said...

You have no idea what your posts mean to me! You are a spectacular writer. Thanks for your time and dedication!

Just another FBC family praying for y'all always!

BellaLinda said...

You have a way with words that touches my heart. I have been following your daughter's progress for some time now. She is blessed to have the family support and love of many. You are truly a special mother and grandmother.

Brenda See said...

An amazing Sunday morning--Katherine walking up to the podium at church and speaking to the congregation. A miracle before our eyes. Thank you, God, for letting us behold her. She seemed strong and her voice was great!

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