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August just feels "heavy"

August is one of those months that just kind of feels “heavy” for me. It is the anniversary of Nash’s accident and also the anniversary of losing my Dad…both are just tough days on my heart as I watched the suffering of two people that mean the world to me and those dates are etched in my brain forever. My Dad was my “person” and I have missed him since he passed away in 2015 but the past two years have made my heart miss him in an indescribable way. He was always the first person to drop everything to come help me whenever I asked for help or he sensed I needed help. I remember him calling one day when the twins were babies and I started crying on the phone as I told him that I was positive I was failing at my new role – I was tired, the twins both struggled with colic, the house was a mess, I had no idea what I was doing – the typical stresses of a new mom. As always, Dad calmly talked me back to reality and then two hours after hanging up, there was a knock on my front door. He and mom loaded up immediately when he heard my despair and came to help rock babies and get my world back in check. He always knew what to say when my world got tough, when to just sit and listen and when to give me the most amazing hug that made me feel like everything would be fine. Oh, how I have wished I could have one of those hugs over the past two years as we navigated Nash’s injury and rehabilitation.

Dad used to visit me in my dreams…I always loved those dreams and I would soak it in the next morning (although it usually made me an emotional mess)…but over the course of the last 7 years, his visits slowed and eventually he stopped visiting me in my dreams. Until the anniversary of Nash’s accident this year. This year’s anniversary was so much tougher for me than last years – maybe it was the realization that this isn’t just a dream we are living, maybe it was the toll of the endless appointments that Nash and I attend as we battle forward, maybe it was just “one of those days”, regardless, I went to bed the night before the accident anniversary fighting back tears and struggling with all that we have faced.

That night I had the most insane dream that I think I have ever had. I found myself all alone in the middle of this HUGE room and on the ground were massive puzzle pieces scattered about. I had been tasked with the mission of putting these puzzle pieces in the correct place to complete the picture. Do you know what the reward was if I were to succeed? Nash would walk freely again. So, there I stood, all alone, facing a task so much bigger than I thought I could handle and my biggest dream in the world was dependent on my success. I began to cry and beg for help – asking my dad to show up and help me. Low and behold, a red cardinal flew into the large room and started staring at me. Knowing that he couldn’t talk, I again begged for my dad to show up in the human form and PLEASE help me. And he did – my Dad came back in my dream – I immediately began asking him to please help me and explaining that it was all on me whether Nash would walk again. He stood there with the normal ornery, comforting grin that my dad always carried and instead of moving a single puzzle piece, he calmly started talking, “Karen, you already know how to make them fit together. You have all of the tools that you need to complete this and you know what to do, just believe in yourself. Just keep trying until you figure it out, but DON’T GIVE UP! No matter how frustrated you get, you cannot give up! You know what to do, so go get it done, baby girl! I will be right here the whole time.” And so I began putting the pieces together, one by one.

I woke up before the puzzle was finished but I am pretty sure I know how it ends. We have come too far for it end any other way than with complete success, but that dream has stuck with me. I don’t think you would have to be a highly trained psychologist to know that there was a lot of layers to that dream – I am clearly still working through a mountain of “things” in this journey, but the message remains the same, no matter what your situation. Look for help from those around that you can depend on and then take every single tool you have in your bag and get to work – even when the task you are facing seems impossible. DON’T GIVE UP! Believe in yourself and know that you are already armed with everything you need to make your next move, as an army stands beside you giving you strength and encouraging you! Go finish whatever puzzle you may be facing – I believe in you!

- Karen Lindberg


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