A Deeper Kind of Love
by Rebecca Harrison
I have always
been independent and stubborn. I did everything for myself and rarely accepted
help. I've always been an organizer - who had so much on her plate that she
needed to go on a calendar diet. I'd trust myself more than others to get a job
done. I'd take care of everyone else, except myself. Until last September.
I woke up laying on the table in the hospital, four hours after saying one
last prayer. I now had to use a dry-erase board to communicate and a
syringe to feed myself. I had worn braces for two years, and my jaw surgery was
part of the journey to fix my teeth. I knew it would correct my crooked bite,
but I did not realize the impact the surgery would have on my overscheduled but
Before my surgery, I prepared a seven page “to-do” list for my mom who became
my clone for a few weeks during recovery. I didn't realize just how much I do as
a mom until I had to write it down for someone else to take my place. I had
my whole life prepared before my surgery. Then something happened after surgery
that I didn't prepare for.
I had an unexpected reaction to the blood loss from the surgery and I
couldn't ask for help fast enough on my dry-erase board. I needed someone to get
into my head and tell the nurse what I wanted to say. My mom panicked and
called for help, and I realized I needed her to stay. I wanted her to help me. I
was tired of being independent. I sank into my hospital bed and allowed my life
to simply happen.
After that extended hospital stay, I came home without expectations,
and my kids surprised me. My son told me to use the force and call for help
with his electronic light saber. When I pulled the trigger I heard echoes of,
“Hurry, Mom needs our help!” My daughter drew pictures of her and I holding
hands with her name, my name, and hearts around the dry-erase board. She knew I
couldn't sing to her, so she sang to me in her sweet voice. My youngest stared
at my stitches and swollen head like I was Frankenstein's monster. But when
her fear of what I looked like was overcome by her love, she would
cautiously and gently place her hand in mine and say, “I love you, Mom.”
That surgery was my wake-up call to let my guard down, let others take care
of me, and trust people. With my new smile, I've entered the next phase of
life with less independence and more appreciation for help and love from people
God has placed in my life.
Rebecca Harrison, M.A., is a freelance writer and community college
teacher. She lives with her husband and three children, ages 10, 4, and 3 in
North Alabama. She is a member of Capshaw Baptist MOPS.