The Blame Game

My dad called earlier this afternoon. He was at the ER with my mom who’d fallen at the movie theater and gashed her head open.

Being five hours away in times like this truly makes me nauseous. However, knowing this, he struggled to find the right words so I wouldn’t be on the interstate as soon as we hung up. Unfortunately, his struggle took place AFTER I’d answered the phone.

“Look, I don’t want you to worry…” Pause.


“Hold on. Listen to me,” he continued. Another pause.

I pretty much envisioned the funerals of every member of my family during this second pause.

“WHAT?!” My heart was about to beat itself right out of my chest at this point. “Just tell me!”

“Your mother..” Another pause. Note to parents everywhere: figure out exactly what you’re going to say and how you are going to say it BEFORE dialing the number. Especially if your child has a tendency to overreact.

By the time he spits out the rest, my suitcase is lying on my bed and I’m not sure if I’m packing sweats for the hospital or a black dress for the church.

“…tripped and hit her head at the movie theater. But she’s okay. They’re doing an x-ray and then they are going to stitch her up.”

He then tells me that he wanted to call my sister and me before he sent a message through the family group text. I appreciated that as I would not have taken kindly to reading this hours later in a group thread that, for my sanity, stays on Do Not Disturb. It would’ve been almost as bad as finding out that the call to my sister had already been made. I AM the oldest, after all! đŸ˜‰

All kidding aside, I’m so grateful that my sister lives near our parents. I also have two daughters, a son, a daughter-in-law, and a niece and nephew that live nearby. According to Dad most of them were squeezed into the exam room this afternoon!

Once my Mom was stitched up and back home resting, my dad FaceTimed me so I could see for myself that Mom was okay. He gave me the full version of what had happened: Mom’s hands were full and he’d already gotten to his seat in the middle of the row in the darkened theater. Mom had to go past a couple sitting on the end of the row when she tripped over the lady’s knee and fell forward, landing on her knees and hitting her head on the brackets that bolt the seats down.

I’d heard enough. “THAT MONSTER!” I yelled. Maybe I used a synonym. “She couldn’t move her legs? I hope she felt awful. Did she feel awful? Did it ruin her day? I hope she couldn’t enjoy the movie!”

I was really mad at this woman.

Laughing, Dad said, “You sound like your daughter. And your sister.” Both he and Mom went on to tell me how helpful the couple was, even getting her to the car after applying pressure to her head to stop the bleeding.

Mom insisted the lady had done nothing wrong; she had, in fact, moved her legs. Mom insisted  it was no one’s fault despite my insistence that SOMEONE must pay for this.

“Why is this family so sue-happy?” she asked.

In a moment of clarity, I realized a profound truth. No one wanted to sue anyone. We weren’t really even mad at the lady. We were powerless and helpless and had been scared. There was nowhere to direct all of those emotions so we looked for someone to blame.

Blaming someone when things go wrong helps you regain a sense of control.

Someone has to pay for our misery.

The thing is, Jesus already did.

We’re supposed to take all of our fears and sorrow and lay them at the cross, where He laid down His LIFE for us.

No matter what happens.



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