Running Your Finger through a Meat Grinder


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Today our dogs all tried to go out the dog door at once. It didn’t work so well and resulted in a fight. My mom, being the ultimate animal lover and not about to see her puppies get hurt, reached into the pile of flying teeth and claws and pulled them apart. Somewhere in the chaos, her leg was bitten and her finger almost torn in half. We took her to the hospital and, several stitches and shots later, she is resting up on the couch with a bag of frozen peas on her bandaged finger. Despite the pain, which she says is worse than it was after her breast surgery, she still has her sense of humor. “I ruined a perfectly good manicure,” she laughed through watery eyes.

I was staying with my dad this weekend when the lady that is staying in our guest house called and told us what had happened. Within ten minutes, we were back at my mom’s and Dad was bandaging her up- he was in the fire department for 30 years and has seen his fair share of wounds. He took Mom to the hospital and Mom’s friend and I took Chiquita (our littlest dog) to the vet to get her stitched up.

Every once in a while my family has meltdowns, like most families do. Ours are typically over the divorce and everything we’ve been through, why it happened, who was wrong, and how we could have prevented it. Mom and I had one of these meltdowns the other day. We talked and cried it out and everything turned out fine- it’s just part of growing up. Then, today’s chaos happened and everyone we needed dropped from the sky and came to the rescue. The lady in the guest house was with my mom within seconds and the first person Mom called was Dad.

My mother’s finger looks like it was run through a meat grinder but she will be ok. Despite that, what I saw today made me smile. I have no wish for my parents to get back together again- my family is happier this way- but to see them there for each other was nice. The two of them teach me things without even knowing it. Today, I saw two people who put their differences aside when one needed the other. I learned that, no matter how dark a past may be or how many meltdowns result from it, people from that past will be there when you need them.

My family is far from perfect. Like any family, we have our speed bumps. A lot of people that meet us think we are weird, and sometimes I have to agree. But to me, this is our “normal,” and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Occasionally, however, I do have to look back and wonder what it is exactly that God has planned for us.