Should’ve, Would’ve, Could’ve

It is just after 7:30 in the morning when I glance down at my phone and notice I have a missed call. I examine the number, but can’t place it. Must have been the wrong number, I think to myself. Seconds later, I receive a text from Chad:

Please have Summer call me as soon as possible, the forwarded text from my doctor read.

My heart sinks and I immediately know the news will not be great.

The day before I was lying in an MRI machine for the second time in a couple of weeks and was already scheduled to go in to review the results the following day. I try to convince myself that they only want to share the good news.

My inability to walk tells me different.

I immediately dial my doctors office and speak with my doctor.

He gets right to the point, “Are you putting any weight on your leg?” he asks.
No, I respond. I can’t put any weight on it.
Okay, he says. Make sure you stay on crutches. I can see you this morning if you have time.

My doctor proceeds to explain that I have a stress fracture in the upper part of my femur and a torn labrum in my hip. (I had to look up labrum–it’s the soft tissue surrounding the hip joint.)

If you read my previous post, you know that I ran the Boston Marathon and had a little massive hiccup around mile 10. That pop, pop, popping I heard in my hip? I now believe that was the tear in my labrum. And the pain? Well, a fracture in your leg will do that.

So I sit here again, nearly four weeks post marathon, with a pair of crutches resting next to me. These skinny sticks that fit snugly under my arms have been my best friend and my worst enemy. I love them. I hate them. Without them, I can’t get from Point A to Point B. With them, I am the kid who thought it was crazy hair day at school, only to learn that crazy hair is next week–I stick out like a sore thumb.

*******

After meeting with my doctor and learning that I will be unable to bear weight on my leg for a couple of months, feelings of guilt wash over me like angry waves during a raging storm. Crutches are not conducive to motherhood. The burden I have placed on my family because of all that I can’t do leaves me asking endless questions.

Should I have paid more attention to the pain?
Should I have trusted my gut that the pain I was having was more than tendonitis?
Would I be in this position now if I had heeded the pain and pulled out of the race at mile 10?
Would my family be saved from the inconvenience if I would have thought more about them, less about me?
Could I have seen this coming?
Could I have prevented it?

Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve.

*******

It’s a bump in the road, I know. Chad reminds me, you couldn’t have known.

I continue to ask myself, if I would have known. . . should I have known. . .?

*******

I want to race to the finish line. Learn the lessons now. What is the point? How am I to grow?

I want to lace up my shoes again. Hit the roads. Pound the pavement. For me, the lessons usually come on the road–seemingly delivered in the sweat the pours on a hard run.

There is no forcing this, though. The prescription in infuriatingly simple–wait.

Pause.
Sit.
Rest.

This is unnatural for me. My preference?

Go.
Run.
Do.

*******

I’m not going to lie. It’s been easy to focus on all the things I can not do right now. How I’ve limited myself. Our family. I have not exactly embraced this forced slowing.

I’m stumbling through this bump in the road among of world of people who are stumbling through their own bumps in the road.

None of us is immune from the bumps. This I know for sure.

******* .

Last night the skies were dark with oncoming rain and the winds blew though our open windows with a fierceness typically saved for winter. Meadow spoke over the wind, let’s go outside!

She laced up her shoes and I slowly made my way to the door. She stood in the wind asked me to play a song. I pulled out my phone scrolled through Spotify and pushed play on Pharell’s Happy.

I stood in the middle of the lawn while my tiny dancer laughed and bounced and danced like there was nothing else in the world but this moment.



I stood in the middle of it, balanced by two skinny sticks on either side. The wind, Happy, Pharrell, tiny dancer, swaying trees and blooming flowers.

I smiled at the joy. At the gift.

Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve gets me nowhere.

Being here, now? That’s where healing happens.

*******

To all of you who responded to my last post. Who have blessed me and us with words of kindness and support after our Boston adventure. . . from the bottom of my heart I thank you. Thank you for caring about a spoken dream and the journey toward it–and all the support through the bump in the road.





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