I’ve heard the expression, “life can change on a dime.” I’m not sure where that originated, but my life certainly took an unexpected turn in mid January. If you are one of my loyal readers (I love all your e-mails!), you will remember that my husband had emergency surgery in December. We thought that was the end of surprise medical conditions. We were wrong!
Just three days after having oral surgery, I found myself in the intensive care unit at Mercy Hospital. It had nothing to do with my surgery. In fact, no one really knows the exact cause of my problem. All I know is it seemed like déjà vu as the ambulance transported me to the ER with my husband following behind—much like when I took him to the ER in December. Needless to say, it was scary. The good news is that my condition should heal on its own with a special diet and rest.
During this healing process I have had time to reflect on things that really matter in this life and have seen love and compassion in action. Before I left for the hospital, my longtime friend, Marqueeta, rushed to our home at 2:30 am to take care of Jay, our son with special needs. She is one of those friends that the Bible describes as “sticking closer than a brother” (sister in this case). She also stayed with Jay when I took Carl to the ER. Déjà vu!
Another friend, Mary Lou, met us at the ER and waited with me through those wee morning hours until early afternoon. She was also with me in December when the surgeon met me in the waiting area to report on Carl’s surgery. Déjà vu!
My son, Aaron, loaded his family in the van and drove to Edmond from Arkansas to check on me. Sons and moms have special bonds, in case you didn’t know. I even got to have a short visit with my grandchildren at the hospital. Four-year-old Alexandria was concerned that Grammi-Lou’s hair was messy. She took a comb and tried to fix it while two-year-old Axton gave me toddler kisses. Those healing hugs from my grandbabies were like “liquid joy” running
through my IV.
Not one to do well at hospitals, I talked with Jay by phone. “Hey Baby, Mom’s going to be okay. I love you!” I could hear the smile in his voice as he replied, “I love you Ma-ma.” And Carl? Well, he kept the turnpike hot between Edmond and Mercy, taking care of Jay’s needs when only he could do so then sitting with me at the hospital, sleep deprived from caring for me through oral surgery and now this. Though exhausted, he refused to leave my side. Seeing such love and concern etched on his face made me realize all over again that I made the right decision 44 years ago when I said “I do” to a handsome, young soldier in a little Army chapel just hours before he went overseas.
There were calls from family, too distant to visit, and a lifelong friend who didn’t know I was in the hospital but just had a “feeling” she needed to call. A minister from my church prayed with me in ICU. Morning prayers were broadcast over the hospital intercom as I was transported to a treatment room where a nurse and assistant took my hands and prayed before the doctor arrived to perform an invasive procedure. There were unseen prayer warriors everywhere.
When I got home, friends brought food and offered to do laundry or run errands. What a blessing to be loved and pampered when energy is “lower than low.” I believe this is what God calls all of us to do—to pray, wait, call, help, cook, shop, clean—whatever we can to help those in need.
Today, as I look around my home, I realize there are few tangible things that really matter to me. My treasure is found in the hearts of those I love and the God who never leaves me. May you find this same treasure in your own life—hopefully, without a health crisis!