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This was a week that had me “saying uncle.” As the older sibling, it was my sisterly duty to make my little brother “say uncle” while sitting on his head and holding his arms down. I looked it up and the term “saying uncle” can be traced back to ancient Rome which is interesting. Yet the more I think about it, surrendering is a natural part of life and it shouldn’t be surprising that “saying uncle” has a long history.

I was forced to surrender this past week when a hives breakout put me in the emergency room for an afternoon. It couldn’t have happened on a worst week and I was quickly reminded these are the weeks when stuff like this ALWAYS happens. This is the glorious sense of humor of life and I best just smile and ‘go with it’ blotchy, red, swollenness and all.

As I was hooked up to machines and settling in to be observed for 6 hours, I glanced at the 0 to 10 pain scale sign on the wall and pondered this whole thought of “saying uncle.”

My father may not be a large man, but he is definitely one of the tough guys. A man’s man who will grin and bear it through any pain. A year and half ago, my father went through an accident that was so horrendously painful. He was trampled by three 1500lb cows and his ribs were crushed together permanently on his right side. What that means is that he broke ribs on both his front and back side of his body including his pelvis on both sides. The doctor described it to me as the worst pain she could know someone to go though and my father was the toughest tough guy she had ever seen. And she had seen professional football players with injuries not as bad brought to sobbing tears.

While my father’s mental strength to shoulder the pain is commendable. It was also dangerous. As soon as I got there I could tell by the look on his face when he said he was at a 7 on the pain scale, he was actually at a 15. But I was the daughter of 40 years and the health professionals underestimated his pain levels because they didn’t know what I knew. The details aren’t important but my father’s care was sped up and it was the wrong choice, a scary moment occurred and he was okay but it could have been fatal. After the incident, which my father mostly doesn’t remember thank goodness, he surrendered. He truthfully told his pain number from that point on and his healing has been remarkable.

As I sat in the emergency room and smiled at the pain scale and the memory of my dad, I surrendered. I rested and accepted my 6 hour care at the hospital where the staff were wonderfully kind and I focused on their kindness and not my ‘to do’ list. I still am not sure what caused my hives and I surrender to the not knowing too.

Is there a situation in your life that you need to “say uncle” to? Surrender isn’t a sign of weakness as my father learned. Surrender is sometimes the first step to healing.

Do you have a story of surrender? Please share in the comments.