More Autobio

More Autobio


After Barbara fell down the stairs and I picked her up and ran out  to the real estate agent’s car. He drove us to the nearest medical place, a private hospital in the cellar of a mosque in our neighborhood. He was so nervous that he almost had an accident on the way.   I lifted Barbara out of the car and carried her up the ramp. The guard at the door, seeing her blood-covered clothes, immediately brought a wheelchair for her and led me to the emergency room.

Within less than a minute of arrival, Barbara was on the table with a doctor and two nurses examining her. They worked quickly and compassionately.  Within an hour she had x-rays taken, a cat scan done, was tested by the eye doctor for her double vision and examined by the orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon gently held her right wrist, “You are fortunate not to have broken your neck in such a fall. And amazingly, you don’t seem to have any serious head injuries, considering that you fell about three meters vertically and landed on your face, then hit the wall with your head.

“But, you do have broken a bone here in your wrist and I need to operate on it. Have you had anything to drink since your fall?”

“Yes,” said Barbara, “I drank some water right after we got to the hospital.”

“Well, then you must wait four hours before I can give you anesthesia,” he said. “Be back here at 11 pm.”

I called a taxi and took Barbara home. We worked together to get her out of her bloody clothes. Even in her battered state, Barbara noticed how blood stained they were and expressed sadness that one of her favorite outfits was now ruined. We threw all her clothes into the water in the bathtub and carefully got her washed up.  It was too difficult for her to do it alone, not being able to use her broken right hand.

We were back at the hospital by 10:30 pm. A nurse took her away in a wheelchair while another took her information from me.

“Would you like a room here for the night?” she asked. “Your wife will have to stay overnight after her operation.”

“How much will it cost?” I asked.

“Twenty Liras,” she replied, “and that includes breakfast.” That was about $10, so without hesitation I agreed.

The operation didn’t take long. The surgeon put the bone back where it belonged, shot in three “nails” in to hold it in place and then put a temporary cast on it. She was in and out in an hour.

We both slept poorly because of all the noise in the hospital, plus we had visitors at about 2 am! Our friends, Freedom and Falcon, had heard about Barbara’s accident and walked all the way from downtown—about four miles—to give their condolences. Very nice, very local, very late!

The next morning after breakfast the surgeon checked Barbara once more and then sent her home. Her face was now nicely multi-colored with bruises from the fall, including a blue “moustache” bruise where her face had hit the floor!   When we got home, I took her clothes out of the bathtub, and we were surprised and pleased to see that all the blood stains were gone. A nice Jesus sighting, a touch of God’s love.

Barbara’s front teeth were loose from the impact, so I decided to call a dentist we knew. She gave us an immediate appointment, and then sent us for a special x-ray.   After looking at the results, she shook her head. “You will have to have root canals on all your front lower teeth because the trauma will kill the nerves,” she announced. In addition, the impact of her fall had pushed Barbara’s front teeth in quite a way, she couldn’t bite properly, so the dentist, without telling us what she was doing, filed off the inside edges of the teeth to make them fit better! We decided not to go back to her. Thankfully, in the end, none of Barbara’s teeth needed a root canal. She did need braces to bring the teeth back into place, but because they were injured in an accident, our insurance paid for it. Another nice provision from the Lord.

As we returned home, from the dentist, we found that our way of life had to be altered considerably as Barbara was now greatly hampered with her broken wrist. I became her valet, helping her get dressed, buttoning buttons and brushing her hair. The hard part for me was putting in bobby pins—there is a certain skill needed for that, and for some reason I had never developed it!

This kind of “serving” was very far from the masculinity my father had emphasized.  I often could hear his voice in my head, “That’s women’s work!” I chose, however, to reject his evaluation and to think instead of Jesus’ words in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve….”

It was clear that one of the many things God did in me through this accident was to free me further from fear of man. But for Barbara the question still remained: “Why did God allow this accident to happen?” We both knew intellectually that what He allows He does so for good reasons; but these are often hidden for a while and some we will never know about in this life. It would be two years before we found out about one very important reason God had for allowing this accident.