Saturday of the Fifth Week – day before Palm Sunday

It’s said that if you want to make God laugh, make a plan.

It’s also said (possibly by me) that the Lenten discipline we choose to keep takes daily practice.

Well, I succeeded at the first, failed at the second. It’s been a week since my last “daily” post which was my discipline. I chose a daily post because I needed the time in a busy life to just stop and reflect and be. And I did a pretty thorough job, even through a week of vacation.

But here’s the rest of the story:

We came home last Saturday night, tired but happy, and learned that youngest son was moving to Tampa. The move comes with a promotion and that’s very good for him and I was happy about that; not so happy about him leaving.

On Sunday, after church, he said he was driving up to our family farm to get his trailer which is stored in the barn. I decided to go with him, against his and my husbands injunction not to go because I was tired. But I wanted to spend some alone time with him and so both relented. We successfully made the three-hours up and three hours back trip.

Monday I was working out when my husband came home. He left me to go work on the computer. My memory stops there.

He said I came into the office, sat down, and said I was confused. And while he’s used to me being confused, he kindly asked, “About what?” Seems I said I was confused about everything: the day, what I was doing, what was on my calendar.

And the next several hours, I’m told, I spent in a bed in the emergency room, not remembering (except for my medical history which I’m told I said over and over). As well as asking how I got there over and over. And replying “Really!” with an accent on the first syllable each time. Then asking again.

I began remembering about seven hours later with the neurologist sitting by my bed, holding my hand and telling me I was okay. I didn’t remember all the tests I had nor how I came to have the IV taped to my arm. I do, however remember the next day, or at least most of it, and going through more tests. All clear. They sent me home Tuesday evening some twenty eight hours after I’d arrived.

The outcome of all this was the diagnosis of Transient Global Amnesia or TGA. Seems nothing is known about why it happens. It just does. I’ve since pieced together some of what may have caused it – a headache, a geomagnetic storm, an emotional storm because my son was leaving – but basically, it’s a Who Knows?

And God laughed, patted me on the head, and said I was probably a good girl anyway. Disciplined or no. Along with that, the outpouring of love and prayers from family and friends as well as friends visiting and bringing a bouquet of fresh spring flowers warmed my heart with gratitude.

I wasn’t really scared through any of it until my husband, who had been with me the whole time, went to work Wednesday morning. Still feeling unsettled, I had too many windows open on the computer, trying to catch up with the classes I teach, and broke into tears again. Lost. I wasn’t feeling safe at all! My son shook his finger at me: “Multi-tasking again?”

I’ve been practicing slowing down, doing one thing at a time, and today my mind is beginning to feel like mine.

All of which is to say, if you’ve fallen down in your Lenten resolve, I’m sending out a blanket absolution. The forgiveness we receive from the Holy One is larger and wider and more encompassing than we can imagine; and we don’t even have to ask. It just is. We are forgiven.

The real discipline is forgiving ourselves for our stumbles and learning from the stumble.

And God laughs.

Maybe slowing down was the Lenten discipline I needed to practice. I’m a little late at it this year, but it’s a valuable lesson. One I need to practice every day of the year and not just at Lent.

I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going.


5 thoughts on “Saturday of the Fifth Week – day before Palm Sunday

  1. Sheila Brashear says:

    Once again your post has hit home. I’m working on forgiveness, especially forgiving myself. Your message helped so much. Thank you! (I’m glad you are feeling better.)

    1. Janet Sunderland says:

      Thanks Sheila. I’m so glad it was useful. I’m sort of stumbling lopsided through this Lent. Forgiving myself is about all I can do! And if I can, you can too.
      I’m glad I’m feeling better too. Having my sense of humor back is a valuable gift. A blessing, if you will.

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