“Then out of the storm the Lord spoke to Job. 2 Who are you to question my wisdom with your ignorant, empty words? Now stand up straight.” Job 38:1-3
Walking in class, my mind made up. I needed more time. It was day six of my mothers stay in ICU, and my professor had to understand. Well he didn’t understand at all.He told me the deadline was still midnight.
Looking him straight in the eye I said, “Wait let me start over. My mother is in the ICU and I don’t know if she will live or die.
I need more time on the assignment.
He looked at me and said,” No.”
I was shocked. I reminded myself not to cry. I wouldn’t give him the benefit of breaking down in front of him. A line of people were behind me. Nothing had gone the way planned, including what I said next.
“You are mean.”
He said,” I know.”
Immediately , I wished for a do over. I was a writer.. Where was my elegant rebuttal? My persuasive speech from my writers tool belt. I had nothing, but those pathetic three words. Didn’t he have a mother or a heart? I limped to the bathroom puzzled. Didn’t he know it took everything in me to just show up today? Didn’t he know I was in pain? Yep, he knew and didn’t care, either.
For the past six days I had stood up, kept a brave face, spoke words of life, prayed while encouraging my family members in the ICU.. But now, all I wanted to do was sit down. Hell, lay down, not forever-Just until my mom was better. Why couldn’t the world wait for me? Encourage me?
I went back to the hospital room and told mom all about my professor.
“The nerve of him.”
Mom was silent. She was on life support so words really weren’t in her vocabulary.As, I watched the monitors beep back and forth, I was left with a moment of clarity.
Although I had hoped for the best and prayed my heart out to God for healing, my life wouldn’t stop, it couldn’t stop just because my mom was in ICU. I had to move forward with work and commitments including my editing project for school.
I couldn’t leave my mom, so I reached for my notepad and started crafting a script. So I got quiet and listened to the beeps from the life support machine. It almost sounded like a metronome. It beeped and beeped and beeped, and then it hit me. All I needed was a 30 second sound bite.
And with my iPhone, I pointed towards the life support machine and press record.
The room was very dark, and the darkness actually worked to my advantage. Here goes nothing.
“It’s day 6 of living in ICU, and I have a deadline. Six days ago my life changed forever, and it’s still changing right now. My life doesn’t stop because I am here, nor does yours despite the storms invading right now. Don’t give up. Honor your commitments. Let the noise around you propel you forward, not push you back. I have a deadline. It’s 3 hours and twenty-two minutes away. I don’t have time to stop. The clock isn’t stopping for me, so I won’t stop for it.
I uploaded the video to my email and closed the computer. I had completed my assignment with dignity and grace. I honored my commitments. I knew my mom was proud. She finally saw me work live.
So here’s what I learned: Once I stopped crafting excuses, I could actually do what needed to be done. God was actually setting me up for success, and I just had to find the silver lining in the midst of the storm.
24-hours later, my mom died. Now I was faced with a new deadline: grieving while writing an obituary..