Why Two Days Changed My Fussbudgetness.

Lucy, from the comic strip Peanuts, was often referred to as a fussbudget. Over the past few years I have become a fussbudget, my heart traipsing around the landscape of complaint, unbelief, and fear. Recently I described it to someone as brooding. I can’t seem to nail down a solid description of my state of mind. Needless to say, my silent grump grump aint helpful to those in my proximity.

Then two days, one right after the other, a couple of weeks ago, shook me out of my inward sourpuss self. May 17th two of my children decided to take a giant leap…out of an airplane. Be honest, what do you think of first when skydiving come to mind? Exactly. What if the chute doesn’t open? I don’t see this thought as pessimistic, but realistic. Planes have wings to keep humans up there in the wild blue yonder, unless some zealot or deranged person uses one as a missile of mass human destruction. My son and daughter fell to earth with hardly a thud, safe, exhilarated, and the determination to do it all over again. (They’re adults, what can I do? I know what I can do… Give them an Applebee’s gift card for their birthday next year. Yes, they jumped on our dime right into their bucket list.)

The next day my longboarding (i.e. big skateboard for riding hills, not do stunts) daughter took two of her brothers to surf a local neighborhood. She was merely 3 to 4 inches off the ground and fell to earth with a thud. She dropped and rolled, but in the dropping she sustained quite a blow to the basil part of her skull. 911 was dialed, and an hour or so later she was in a medically induced coma for a closed head injury. She had a basil fracture, broken cheek bone, but no other broken bones. There was hardly a scratch on her otherwise. Barbara and I were beside ourselves with concern as the first twenty four to thirty six hours were a roller coaster of emotions and worry as the doctors came and left with assessments.

I said short prayers to God.

Not today. No funeral today God. Help!

            Other people said the longer prayers. Lots of people said the longer prayers. Our entire family is grateful for the longer prayers, and all sorts of other support through this reality. Today our daughter is in a state of the art rehab facility called Mary Free Bed in Grand Rapids Michigan. Today she is. Today she is the same captivating daughter after her chute didn’t open on that hill. Today she is a self-proclaimed “safety nerd” as she deeply regrets not wearing a helmet. She is not finished healing, but is coming along much faster than predicted.

Thank God.

That is the reason I am writing about these two days. This is why I confess to the world and God my own fractures. Just because we are human, we flake out sometimes. Come on, admit it. God went looking for Adam and Eve in their nakedness. Why would God not look for us? I know this opens up the Pandora’s Box of why many things don’t make sense, all the way from 9/11 to a weak baby chick not surviving. I, for one, need to hop off my little private, arrogant self, and admit I have a lot less control than I thought.

Today, I thank God for those who continue to hold us through prayer, presence, and embraces. Life is mysterious. God is mysterious. So, if you find yourself in a fussbudget frame of mind, that’s okay, no judgement here, but consider the possibility of coming out from hiding. God is looking for you, along with some human humans.


God, thank you for all the loving people in my life. You show up when they show up, whether I admit it or not. Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. Amen.



  1. swcoastn@cox.net says:

    My dearest little brother, I have been studying the bible more lately and trying harder to connect with God…the One who loves us regardless of our sins and trespasses. The One who sees us in much greater light than we see ourselves. What we have here on earth is a journey to what lies beyond the physical life we have right now. I pray that you continue to find comfort and strength in the Lord. And prayer? It is so powerful!!! That I have learned through the trials of my own children, you who are learning that through the trials of your children. And speaking of children, we are blessed with them! Through all they do, or don’t do, we are blessed. They are constant teachers for us. Their youth, strength, joys, sadness, wonder, excitement and mystery teaches us, who grow older daily, to keep the child in us alive.

    I love you so much Jerry. I pray for you and your family every day. I just can’t wait to give you the biggest hug ever!! ~M

    ps: who jumped out of a plane? I’m guessing Mia and Lizzie…..

  2. Sista Ellen says:

    Mary brings a good insight into parenthood and the trials and joys that come with it.

  3. Love you!!

  4. glad your daughter is recovering quickly from the accident and i can imagine what a shock it was… i love that god comes searching for us – esp. when we hide for whatever reasons… he’s awesome

  5. rocksand5 says:

    What a summery of what you’ve been though recently! My brother and Tom used to jump out of planes back in the day. Remind me sometime to tell you about the day I almost got sucked out of a plane w/ no seats and an open hole where a door should have been.Glad you’re ba-ack! Sometimes it takes a storm to refresh us. Your family remains in our prayers.

  6. Jerry,
    When I read this in my inbox I wanted to add my voice to all these dear friends praying for you and with you. Oh, thank God for the faster than expected healing! Oh, the lessons learned. Thankful for your captivating daughter and for all our fractured selves who need reminded of the one who holds us. xoxo

    • Thank you Laura. By the way, that is the name of my daughter who just came home from the rehab hospital a few hours ago. She is doing well and out pacing all predictions and expectations. We are so very thankful for her return! Praise God!

  7. Reblogged this on Gerald the Writer and commented:

    I read this again. Wow. That was a rough go. God is good.

  8. I cringe every time I hear about someone with head trauma. It can change a person’s life in a heart beat. Praying for a good recovery for your daughter.
    It’s not how far you fall that’s the issue. It’s the sudden stop. (I couldn’t resist throwing that in.)

    • If anyone would know about this, you would Jasper. This event happened in 2015 and she is almost fully recovered. her sense of smell is still off but otherwise we are grateful that other things fell back in place within a year.
      Thank you J.

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