We’re All in Stitches: Its been a helluva week

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Dad with Happy Go Lucky Katie, before the stitches

Ever wonder where the phrase “we were all in stitches” came from? It’s a reference to shared laughter, that holds people together.

Its been a helluva week around the Batz house. The family hotel, corporation, taxi service, restaurant, infirmary and party systems have been bursting at the seams — thank heavens for stitches.

Last Thursday Mother Nature tossed a nasty curve ball north of the Twin Cities. She whipped up a 60 mph wind gust that threw an open car door into the side of my face. An ER nurse in Chisago City closed the gash above my right eye with four stitches.

From the car on my way home, I called my happy-go-lucky 19-year old daughter Katie, looking for some sympathy…I wanted to laugh out loud about how silly I felt. She literally couldn’t laugh with me… “Your not getting any better?” I asked. After vomiting consistently through the night before, her answer made me forget the bump/shiner/stitches on my head. At 1:30 AM Friday the surgeons at Fairview Southdale performed an emergency appendectomy. Thank heavens for three little incisions and 9 stitches. Looking back, I’d never seen anyone sicker. Happy Katie couldn’t sit up, lie down or even smile. Nothing funny about that.

To say that life goes on is an understatement. During all the drama, we had three house guests; our Rotary International Exchange student Debbie, from South Africa, (she’s a wonderful kid from South Africa); my childhood buddy Rob Joyce from Sioux Falls; and Melinda’s sister Diane. Melinda and Diane spent most of the night at the hospital. I got up extra early on Friday, because I was hosting my monthly Good Leadership Breakfast at 7:15 AM. As I examined my face in the mirror, I was in stitches again…I had to laugh about the past 12 hours. Because, there was no way around that fact that I’d be forced to tell the story over and over again for the next couple of days, and I needed to have my “A-game” for the weekend.

The next day was a mountain top day for me. As a professional speaker, I’ve had the dream of doing a college commencement address. Two days post stitches, I was on the stage at the Pantages Theatre, glowing from the inside out as the speaker for the Devry University graduation ceremony. For 12 minutes, I totally forgot that my face hurt like hell when I laughed, smiled or opened my mouth. Pinnacle career moments tend to have that effect.

As I floated out the door, I paid particular attention to the graduate families who had invited me to share in their moment. One latino man joked about my clever speech and my wounded face…we were both in stitches.

It would be fair to describe me as a person who is always in a hurry. Rushing ahead is central to my type-A DNA. However, this day was different. I savored the Hennepin Avenue stroll. I stopped about 50 yards from the Pantages and soaked in events of the past 36 hours. I lingered and prayed on the word: “grateful.”

Then, I noticed my car door was open. How could that be? Turns out, a group of professional thieves had captured the electronic door lock signal from my Honda Accord when I used the remote. They opened the lock and pilfered through my car after I entered the Theatre. In broad daylight. Of all the things they could have taken, they stole my golf clubs. Damn. Ouch. Why me? Why today? Why my GOLF CLUBS!?

The clubs were in my car, because the following day was Father’s Day. I was already surly because this was my first Father’s Day without my son alongside at the Owatonna Country Club. (He’s in Montana.) Now my soul hurt, my face was sore, my daughter could barely walk, and my wife was understandably a nervous wreck. Don’t you wonder how Exchange Student Debbie was feeling through all this?

One week later, we’re all back in the saddle again. Sister-in-law Diane already removed my stitches and the shiner is almost gone. Katie’s friends rallied around our kitchen table, bringing laughter that made my face and Katie’s stomach hurt again…but this time we are glad to be in stitches.

Lord, we are so grateful for stitches. We just don’t need ’em again anytime soon.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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