Alternate title: God works in really weird ways.
My worry about coming home was that I or my family or everything in my life would be different, and that we’d all rub each other at the edges. I had a long flight home that oughtn’t have been long except I had a fairly sizable layover, and then for some reason my second flight took ages to board. I came home and saw my family; my mom cried.
We went to dinner. Everything was normal. The only thing that really seemed different was that my brother’s sense of humor had taken a slight turn for the inappropriate.
We finished dinner.
And then my brother broke his jaw.
He felt odd, dizzy and nauseous, so he got up to go out and get some fresh air. He started booking it towards the door, when he passed out cold and fell. He caught the floor straight on his chin. I didn’t realize what was happening for a few minutes, but when I did I jumped up and saw him, on his back on the floor, bleeding out of his ear. Too scared to function, I cried noisily in the middle of the restaurant.
Spending the next few days in the hospital, I realized that as awful as this all was, I didn’t have a spare minute to feel out of place or function badly as a member of my family—all of us were immediately thrown together to try to cope with the sudden change of events.
My brother is out of the hospital now; his jaw is fixed and he doesn’t hurt anymore. He’ll heal soon, though he can’t have solid food until 2015.
I’m glad I was home for all of this, even if it was a little jarring to have my brother rushed to the ER two hours after I got home. It’s forced us all to focus on what’s important and work together to make sure everything works out okay. Everyone who cares about me, my family, and my brother poured out support; it was wonderful to see all the friends my brother had made since I’ve left come to see him, and to see my new friends from college pray their hearts out and text me regularly to check in and make sure we were all okay. That’s Christmas—that’s Christmas with a broken jaw.
At the very least, I know exactly why coming home from college for the first time was weird. And it didn’t have anything to do with me.
Hug your families and be thankful for what you have; this Christmas I’m thankful for my brother’s life and his wellbeing. Having him safe after such a scare puts everything else into perspective.