Daddy on the Mend is a true story. Here are some details behind the story.
On June 11, 2007, my children and I shared a picnic lunch with my husband Jake at his job site where he worked as a roofer. We watched him climb back onto the roof, then waved good-bye and left to run errands and visit my sister and her newborn twins.
Ten minutes after we left, Jake stepped on a piece of tar paper, couldn’t regain his balance and slid off the roof. He landed on his right leg and lay sprawled on the ground in pain, wishing he could faint. His co-workers called the ambulance.
Those were the days before everyone carried a cell phone, so they had difficulty reaching me to tell me the bad news. “Bring your children here and hurry to the hospital,” my sister-in-law urged when she finally got a hold of me.
The hospital was 50 minutes away. By the time I got there, Jake was admitted and waiting for emergency surgery. The diagnosis: spiral fracture of the right tib-fib. Recovery time: 8-9 months.
Post-surgery, he stayed in the hospital until he could maneuver stairs with his crutches, which was a total of one day for someone as determined as my husband. I drove him home where our four young children and I tried to make him as comfortable as possible.
Those first weeks were a whirl as we settled into a new routine with doctor and physiotherapy appointments. God was faithful and provided strength, finances, and healing.
“You can’t keep a good man down,” they say. How true of Jake my darling–he weeded the garden in his wheel chair, and later in the summer when he walked well with his crutches, he opened a fruit and vegetable stand and built a pantry cupboard. In the fall when we resumed our homeschool, he taught math classes.
I took advantage of the extra time I had and began writing about our experiences. I chose to tell the story from our children’s perspectives.
After five months, Jake graduated to walking with a cane. All the while, he brainstormed what job he would do after his recovery since his roofing days were over. Open a furniture store? Drive truck? Raise rats to sell to laboratories? He was offered a job with a window and door installation company and went back to work 8 months after his injury.
Meanwhile I had submitted Daddy on the Mend to Christian Light Publications. The response: it needed one main character instead of alternating from each of the children’s points of view, and it needed to be told on a simpler level. Basically, an entire re-write! My email writers group friends encouraged me that this is not a bad thing, and with continued trust in God, the re-writing began.
One snowy evening about a year later, I received the exciting news that Daddy on the Mend was accepted as a children’s chapter book. The glory be to God!
Daddy on the mend again: Jake had recurrent infections since the beginning because his body was rejecting the steel plate in his leg. Also, he was unable to run. Eleven months after the injury, he had a second surgery to remove the foreign objects. Recovery was quick this time. Daddy had mended!
How about you? I’d love to hear how you trusted God in difficult circumstances or with a difficult project.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Romans 8:11