Last year my husband was the Executive Assistant to a Brigadier-General in our Royal Canadian Air Force – the equivalent to a one-star General in your American Air Force – and we were excited to be attending the Annual Air Force Commander’s Gala with our two adult children who both have Down Syndrome.
They love to dance and spent the evening tearing up the dance floor with generous and kind people my husband worked with. We’d rented Nathan a tux and bought Milena a new dress for the occasion and they were high on life. That was September 30, 2017.
The next Monday was October 2, 2018, and the kids had left in their taxi at 8:00 a.m. for their day program like any other day. About forty minutes later I got a phone call from a staff person saying Nathan had fallen and said his ankle was hurting. Could I come and see if I wanted to take him home? I told the woman to let Nathan know “Mom’s on her way.”
I arrived to find Nathan going in to shock with an obviously broken ankle. He’d somehow fallen out of the back of the van that picks the kids up. I won’t go in to more details on that except to say we rushed him in to the ER and then entered the medical system for orthopedic trauma surgery. My beloved son who’d been showing off his dance moves 48 hours earlier now had his foot severed from his leg, just from a freak fall out of the back of a parked fan.
The surgeons were amazing. They gave us clear but guarded prognosis for Nathan’s future. We had friends praying for Nathan. Nathan might need a walker to move BUT he should be able to walk, and the best hope would be he’d walk with a cane. Well, it wasn’t a wheelchair, so we were thanking God for that!
Nathan’s recovery took four long months and many stages of physio. He needed a walker but decided he would not use it anymore. He decided that all on his own. All of his recovery took place over the winter – a Canadian winter on the Prairies with -35C to -40C temperatures often—but here’s where the music comes into my story…
Music is what got Nathan and I through that four months at home. Specifically, Christian YouTube videos. We had a routine of our own once I got Milena up and out for her day at the program. And once Nathan had his breakfast, and we did his exercises, then we had some “video time”. And the blessed music of The Gaither Vocal Band, Lauren Daigle, Mercy Me, Third Day, Cory Asbury and even Skillet (never underestimate the healing power of the song “Monster” to a boy who can’t walk but has a lot of pent-up energy!) filled our house at some ear-splitting levels some days. God’s servants so faithful to bring hope to people through their music and lyrics kept this mom and her son going during some dark winter days.
My husband and I had been fearful during the surgery. We couldn’t bear the thought Nathan might never dance again or walk properly without a limp. How could this happen to a wonderful young man who already had a few strikes against him? How could he now also be physically disabled? God taught us a few things last winter.
- He IS good ALL the time!
- He can use any circumstances to bring glory to Himself
- He never leaves us or forsakes us
- He loves our children even more than we do
I’d like to leave you with my favourite video from last winter. It’s “Chain Breaker” by The Gaither Vocal Band and the song covers so many situations in life I think it’s just an uplifting one for any day you need to “hear” from God.
Has music ever gotten you through a difficult trial?
You can find Laurie Wood on social media at:
Find more about Laurie Wood on previous Anaiah Press blog post:
Laurie’s book, Northern Deception, will be available soon
with Anaiah Press.