My dear friend Kara Kawanami, pictured above (2nd from left) wrote the below reflection as she was processing her father’s (Bruce’s) recent bike accident and journey back to health. Kara gave me permission to share this as a beautiful reminder of the power of the faith of a father! Thank you Kara for these words…..
My dad was hit by a car while riding his bike on November 25. He ended up with two broken pelvis bones and three fractured neck vertebrae along with five days in ICU, two pelvis surgeries, one funky neck collar, and three different hospital stays. Miraculously, he was discharged home six days before Christmas. Even though he is unable to put any weight on his left leg, is in a wheelchair, and has to wear a cervical collar for three months, my family is very happy and blessed. We were able to be together for most of the journey, which significantly helped the recovery process. My mom was always with my dad at every hospital and my younger brother with autism, Kyle, was a faithful prayer warrior every night. I was able to be there during the trauma hospital/surgery part, while my youngest brother Brett was able to be there during the initial weeks at home. Throughout the journey, many people told us that it was amazing to watch our family support each other. We all love my dad, and wanted to do everything possible to help him recover quickly. On the night before my dad’s second pelvis surgery, I told him, “There’s no other place I’d rather be right now.”
My dad is a huge part of our family unit. He definitely holds us together, from his calm leadership, to his wise decisions, to his humor, and to his positive outlook on life. He values his relationship with God close to his heart, and right behind that is his family. I have very fond memories from my childhood of waiting for him to come home so he would play with us. He planned family vacations where we would spend hours together and bond, like when he decided to drive an RV from San Jose to Seattle. He helped us with our math homework and brainstormed science projects when we were younger, and now answers lots of financial questions and helps us plan for the future. He taught us how to use tools, complete yard work, and care for the cars. My dad also supports all of us by being present in our lives, even now. During 2013, he spent many hours every week with Kyle to help him cook and live independently at his own house. He also drove six hours to hear Brett give a sermon. He also gave up a week of his summer to help me take my youth group for teens with disabilities to camp (he has done this for the past four years too). My dad places tremendous value on his relationships with his family. I am so thankful that my dad invested so much time with us to build these relationships. Hence, when we received the call about the accident, we all immediately flocked to the hospital to be at my dad’s side.
Throughout the whole hospital experience, my dad’s faith never once wavered as he always stated, “God is good.” It was definitely a traumatic accident and there still is an extensive recovery period, but watching my dad’s continuous and unwavering faith is a huge encouragement. My almost sister-in-law, Melissa, said it best. She said, “Even though there was so much going on, Dad had the same sparkle in his eye and smile on his face. That’s a man who knows and believes that God loves him despite his circumstance.” I have learned so much and have been inspired by my dad’s faith. When that is coupled with the deep relationship he built with us over the years, I am beyond blessed. Each member of my family is so thankful for the memories my dad created throughout the years, as well as the gift of many more future memories.
– Kara Kawanami
Thank you to all of you for entering in!
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