blankblankWhen the Storms Strike

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On July 18, 1995 my husband was involved in a traumatic accident. He and our son Roger were putting machinery away when a cultivator they were parking collapsed. Bob’s head was caught between a tractor tire and the wing of a cultivator. That changed our life completely. As a result of his severe injury, my husband lost sight in both eyes.

Of course, my first reaction was one of utter shock. For a time I was just traveling on remote control. I look back now to my reaction and I think, God had to be with me because I did all the right things. At the time I was just simply doing what I had to do.

This new role was rather a frightening one for me because Bob was a person who did everything. He repaired everything around the house. He did all of our bookkeeping and with income tax coming on, I was very skeptical of how I was going to handle it all.

For a while I was still pretty much in shock and I’m sure that I went through depression. I cried a lot every day. That’s one of the things I thought of the other day. I haven’t had a big teary session for a while and evidently I’m healing. But it takes a long time, it’s been over a year now and I think after the depression, reality sets in and you do the best you can in positive ways because life has to go on.

Later, I stressed to the people in rehab that nobody ever warned me what the reaction of others would be to my disabled mate. I was really overwhelmed and distressed when I found that people were ignoring him. They would speak to me but they would ignore him. I wanted to yell at them, “He’s not dumb, his brain is great. Just because he can’t see doesn’t mean that he is not a whole person.”

Probably anyone who is disabled needs to know this. Whenever there is a disability, of any kind, to the body, you’re going to get some negative reactions from other people. We have friends that to this day don’t feel comfortable talking to Bob. And this hurts so badly.

It took me a little while to think of myself as a caregiver. And I’m sure that I’m giving care but I’m doing it as a partner, wife and friend. I try to act in a positive way instead of a negative way simply because it’s my personality. I’m a positive thinking person so I’ve tried to get Bob into new situations, to constantly keep him in a social atmosphere and not let him just sit at home, which sometimes is the easiest thing to do.

I think probably the most helpful thing from day one was having our faith. Through our faith we have a church family that has supported us every moment since Bob’s injury. Our family and our friends have surrounded us with their love and their care and they have been invaluable to us.

My motto every day at the hospital was, and it continues to be, take one day at a time. You can’t look too far ahead. You have to just take each day as it comes, do the best you can with that day. This is the way I got through that period of depression and change.

The commitment to our marriage has been strengthened enormously. Before the accident we were both so busy just trying to keep the farm going. We now have all this togetherness, and it has been a wonderful asset that I never thought of before. Verbal communication, of course, is basic, but the communication of love and hugs, and friendships is wonderful and most helpful.

~ Libby Miller, Decatur, Illinois

 

 
 

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