Greetings from Bratislava.
This is not really meant to be a pastor’s letter, just an update on our most recent – and unexpected – family adventure, especially for those who haven’t seen Jeremy’s Facebook updates.
On 5 January, our family left for a week-long holiday in the Italian Dolomites. We were looking forward to a time of skiing and hiking in an unfamiliar mountain range, and to sharing space, meals, and conversation with two of Esme’s godparents (and our dear friends,) Jay and Josie.
On the Feast of Epiphany, we trekked up a mountain off-trail, and Ursula listened, entranced, to select bits of Josie’s novel-in-process. The next day, Jay and Josie were kind enough to watch the girls, and Jeremy and I left for what turned out to be one of the better days of skiing we have ever had: a circular route, called the Sellaronda, which we’d recommend to anyone.
The next day started in a relaxed way. Jeremy took the girls to check out cross-country skiing options, and ended up in a little playground in the Italian village a few kilometers away. Not more than an hour after they left, Jeremy managed to call me from the parko bambino: He had just broken his leg.
I have come to learn that my capacity to deal with trauma where my own family is concerned is less than commendable. Jay, Josie, and I started running up the hill toward the playground we knew was multiple kilometers away (and Jeremy had the car.) At the same time, I frantically tried to call Italian emergency services on my phone. In the midst of our attempt to reach them, Jeremy called again: He had managed to get the attention of some locals who would drive him and the girls back to the flat we were renting.
We turned around on the road, and reached the house a little after they arrived. There, I was thankful to find that the fracture was not compound, and the break was at least in his lower leg, not his femur.
Leaving two frightened girls with Jay and Josie, I drove Jeremy to the local hospital in Cavalese, Italy, only 5 minutes away — a hospital that is no stranger to broken legs, given the proximity of multiple ski areas. Less than three hours later, Jeremy had been x-rayed, and was on his way into surgery for what turned out to be two breaks in his lower left fibula, and significant ligament damage. He came out of the OR with a metal plate and 6 screws, and was able to leave the hospital the next day.
A few days later, I managed to drive him back to Slovakia, his casted leg stretched over the emergency break, Ursula and Esme entertaining him on either side.
Suffice it to say, life as we know it has been upended. Jeremy — our cook, our driver, our shopper, our child-care provider, our entertainer, our adventurer, otherwise known as Papa – must now spend 50 days putting no weight on his leg. So he is now logging hours on the couch, with his leg elevated, and occasional minutes hobbling around the flat on crutches.
We are hoping that in late February or early March, he will have one of the screws in his leg removed, and his hard cast will be replaced with a walking cast. But we can’t predict exactly how long the healing will take. We are trying (more or less successfully) to take one day at a time.
I am asking you — our friends, family, and sponsors — for your prayers for Jeremy’s swift and full healing, and for patience, peace, and strength for our whole family as we try to adjust our lives. We also ask for prayers for wisdom as we try to figure out how to manage the second half of February, when Lent begins and Jeremy will not yet be in a walking cast.
But I also want to list out the many reasons for which we are thankful:
- For the hilarious way that Jeremy’s leg got broken (playing on a slide with the girls!) that continues to make us laugh
- For the fact that the girls are safe and un-broken
- For Jay and Josie’s presence in Italy; their care of Ursula and Esme, and their willingness to change their schedules, and stay with us for extra days
- For accessible, affordable medical care in Italy and now in Austria (at the hospital where Esme was born); for a good prognosis for Jeremy’s healing
- For the almost immediate arrival when we returned to SK of Aunt Gretty, who has been so wonderfully helpful as we’ve tried to return to our lives in Bratislava; for Grandpa and Bibi’s frequent flier miles to make this happen
- For access to pain medication that has helped Jeremy rest and heal
- For Grandpa and Bibi’s arrival at the end of January, and the prospect of their presence
- For the concern voiced already by many of you; for your love across the miles
Thank you, as always, for your support of us in so many ways.
Grace and peace to you in this New Year.