True confession time. What part of your body would you like to change? Come on, be honest. Is it the crumpled nose? Or the thunder thighs? Or what about that birthmark shaped like Brazil on your shoulder that looks like a purple Sharpie pen threw up?
We all have that thing. The thing that glares at us and makes us wish we’d been created differently
While I can pick apart my every little pore, wrinkle, and mole, I would love to change a genetic trait straight from a branch of the family tree. The Parkin Neck.
Picture a Russian wrestler with a beer keg connecting his head to his shoulders. This thumbprint is courtesy of my Great Grandma Eva Parkin, passed on to my father, my brother, me and some of our offspring.
I’ve attempted slimming exercises, tugged, and smushed it thin, but when bone and muscle structure dictate its size, you resolve to a future of photos resembling Jaba the Hut in the next layout of Jedi Knight Monthly. Oh, to swivel around on C3PO’s skinny C1 vertebrae! Perfection!
That was, until we got the call.
You know the one. It started with the too calm words: “It’s your dad.”
While I’ve gotten to be a veteran of these Dad calls—an artery ruptured from a swift horse kick, a tumble that made him crawl a half mile to the house, an explosion he walked out of, etc.-it still causes my heart’s flippy mitral valve to lock up, and my jaw to clench my grayish Tetracycline 1960’s antibiotic teeth as I try to process the information.
A fire-breathing three year-old had bucked my favorite larger-than-life cowboy into a heap, head first. Immediately, all feeling and function in his 74 year old arms and legs disappeared. Once help arrived, the sleeping sensations slowly started creeping back. Whew! After a life-flight to Wichita, the verdict was delivered on the doctor’s Iphone screen.
My chicken legs barely held up my knobby knees when the neurosurgeon pointed out the “Christopher Reeves Fracture.” Realization throbbed through my prominent veins only lab techs drool over.
From the get-go, we understood he should have died, but to learn that what saved him from total paralysis and a lifelong relationship with a ventilator, was our Superman’s neck muscles of steel. The protection, God genetically predestined, saved him from slamming into the ground to securing his boney ondontoid process with a screw.
A few days later at a college football game, I watched as freakishly gargantuan offensive linemen clashed with our barrel necked son, outweighing him by at least 80 pounds. Oblivious, he was to the precious gift passed down to him.
And me, well, as clutzy as I am, I’m sure it will probably save this scrawny, broad-shouldered, no butt, railroad spike build someday.
If it hasn’t already……
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it (the thorn) away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Miraculously, Dad could be back in the saddle roughly 6 weeks from now, and the horse, Avenger, secured a position, bucking out for a rodeo company. Also, it dawned on us, if he had not been temporarly paralyzed he would have tried to get up, securing the same fate of Christopher Reeves.