Tag Archives: God

I Have Now Witnessed FOUR Miracles!

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Let me start out by saying that this is simply amazing and I am eternally grateful for God’s blessings in my life.

My mom’s family is relatively small. When we meet for holidays, there are 16 of us now that are official – blood or marriage – you know the people that have no choice and the people that didn’t get scared and run away, ha ha! When I was little, about 10 years old, that number was 7 in total. If you have read my post, “Have you ever seen a miracle” my grandfather in that post is the same that was part of the 7 people. So, that makes this additional story even more unique. From that 7 people, my parents and I were the only ones that lived in the next town over, in fact, the rest of the family lived on the same block as each other, and still do today. When we grew to 8, it was my aunt Theresa joining the family, then came 9, 10, and 11 with their kids Amy, Aaron and Chris. Then my husband and two kids followed. Here are the 11 of us – hey wasn’t that a show?

So, miracle number 1 was my grandfather turning completely around surprising the cardiologist who had given him less than 24 hours to live. (See “Have you Witnessed a Miracle” on my blog for the full details. Let me now tell you about miracle number 2, was my aunt Theresa after undergoing surgery what seems like yesterday because we were so scared, but really it was several years ago. She was in the hospital for quite some time as the doctors were trying everything to make her better. And they were successful. I was suffering from bronchitis that refused to go away so I wasn’t able to visit her so my recollection just isn’t as good as if I had been there so I could use my photographic memory. My memory is bad due to M.S. I guess, so all I know is that they weren’t sure she would make it and that uncertainty lasted way too long, just like my bronchitis. It seems like it was over a month. I had to depend on family to text me. This was in June, so we were really grateful at Thanksgiving time that year that she was there with us.

Number 3 is my grandfather’s son, or my Uncle Rick. It was Tuesday, early December, I had just arrived at work (that is not the miracle, ha ha) and somehow, I missed two phone calls and the two corresponding voice mails. As I noticed it, I looked at who they were from and told my boss, “uh, oh, this can not be good news.” My aunt had called me at 5 something in the morning and then my dad followed a voice mail at 7 something. So, there is only one way to find out – I listened to the voice mails. And I was right, it was not good. My uncle Rick was taken to the hospital via ambulance, he thought he was having a heart attack. Especially concerning because he is also diabetic, which is known for causing circulatory issues. My dad’s voice mail was just to ensure that I had heard about my uncle. So, I immediately called my aunt. Rick had felt the symptoms for an hour before he drove around the block to Steve and Theresa’s house to tell them that he thought he was having a heart attack. They immediately called for the rescue team. He was taken to a local hospital that just recently restricted the cardiologists that could practice there, you have to be a hospitalist specific to that hospital. The patients do not get to choose who they see – not a good move in my opinion, but nonetheless, they made the policy. My favorite cardiologist, Dr. Kola is not a hospitalist, so he was not able to see my uncle which really made me uneasy. I KNEW if Dr. Kola was in charge everything possible would be done, now I had to wonder. Since Theresa said her husband, my Uncle Steve, went to the hospital with him – I texted him, “How is Rick, if they haven’t seen him yet, load him up and take him to the other hospital where Dr. Kola can see him.” And the reply was that, “He is in recovery now, heart cath done and a stent put in.” Truly amazing since this was only 2 hours and 15 minutes since they called the ambulance. So, when Rick came out of recovery he told my uncle that he was feeling better. I went to visit him for a little bit before my next meeting. He was in good spirits. When I greeted him, I simply asked, “So, were you a little bored this morning?” And he chuckled and said, “I just didn’t want to go to work.” I just replied that “You know you can just fake it and call in sick.” Sarcasm and humor, that is how all my family rolls. 🙂 He said he was feeling better, but was aggravated he had to lay flat for 6 hours on his back. Yes indeed, as he should feel better. The doctor told Rick that he was “lucky to be alive”. His main artery to his heart was almost completely blocked to a point that very few survive the cardiac event. Especially given the amount of time that he had symptoms before he sought help. So, this was miracle number three that would join us again at the holiday table. Praise God!

Now, onto miracle number 4. So, my uncle’s heart attack was on Tuesday. A few days later, on Friday my husband and I went to bed at 10:30 p.m. (we are quite the party animals, I know). I awoke at about 12:30 a.m. by my 15 year old son, Brian, talking with his dad. All I heard coming out of my slumber was, “Alyssa” (my daughter), “accident”, “Aaron” and “ICU”. Well, that popped my eyes open faster than the alarm clock going off. I believe my response was, “WHAT?!” So Brian said he had gotten a text message from Alyssa asking if we knew my cousin Aaron had been in an accident and was ICU at the hospital. Uhm, no, we were not! Apparently she had seen something on Facebook. I went to bed early, so I was clueless. I immediately called his sister, Amy – is this true?? I was sincerely hoping for some prank of someone trying to be funny… but it was true. At that point, he knew he had a broken sternum and bleeding in the brain, but not much else. The dreaded answer to ‘do they think he is going to be okay’ was “they don’t know, they said it would be touch and go from here. they may move him to Springfield.” ugh, Springfield is the ultimate center – the one that you know things are really bad if they go there, (in my opinion). I then called my mom to make sure she knew, she was sleeping too and did not know. So, then I decided I would go back to sleep and go visit him in the hospital later that day. I thought about how I had babysat for him from the time he was 6 weeks old to a little over a year. Now he was married with an almost one year old daughter, Selena. He has changed quite a bit since then. All the memories danced in my head as I prayed until I fell asleep. I did visit him that day, the next and just about every other day as I could. It was rough. The first week he was in ICU and was sleeping or barely coherent. Then, the day came where they moved him to a regular room before they transferred him to Springfield for therapy, so I left at lunch that day to visit him before he left town. It was so great to see him looking more like himself, talking, moving around and playing with little Selena. She was full of smiles – it was the first time that she got to see him since before the accident. And it was during this time that I saw the stubbornness of our Grandpa (aka miracle #1). Aaron was having difficulty walking with his right leg so a bed alarm was installed to alert the nurses if he tried to get up. Already that day in the short time he had been there, he had gotten up and changed his clothes. During our conversation, he started to get up. His wife, Jessy, asked what he was doing. He needed to go to the bathroom. Jessy was going to get a nurse, but he was on a mission, so she tried to make sure he didn’t fall instead. She asked if he was supposed to go on his own and he replied, “they didn’t tell me that I can’t”. At this point, he was off of the bed and the alarm sounded… BEEP BEEP!! And I told them, “That would be a NO.” He made it to the bathroom with Jessy’s help just before the nurses got there. Later that day, they must have realized what a renegade they had on their hands and moved him directly next to the nurses’ station. Or maybe they learned who his grandfather was, as he was stubborn in the same way. He felt he could, so he tried! I told Jessy and Aaron that he came by it honest. Our grandfather climbed on the roof to fix shingles within 24 hours of being released from having his leg amputated from below the knee down. (Well, they didn’t specifically tell him he couldn’t, so he did!) Aaron was in that room for a few days, then sent to Springfield Memorial for therapy. Luckily, they deemed him able to come home and have therapy on an out patient basis. He was released on December 23rd. He was home for Christmas! Not that he was bouncing off the walls as he would of when he was a little kid, but he was there. Praise God again. From the look of the car, it is a miracle.

As my husband drove to my Grandma’s house for Christmas Eve dinner, I just thought of how lucky we were. We could have been two seats short of what Thanksgiving dinner was just a few short weeks before. God was good to us and truly blessed us with two more miracles, both in the same week. And so, I thought that this holiday could be called Thanksgiving/Christmas because we certainly had rights to be Thankful.

When you think about who you think will be next to pass through the pearly gates, you rarely ever think about these quick turns of fate that could affect anyone around the table – it doesn’t have to be the oldest person, or the person in the worst health, you just never know. A few years ago, it could have been my aunt after surgery. This year it could have been a heart attack and/or a car accident. Cherish your family and friends while they are here, hold them close and never take for granted the time you have opportunity with them.

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Have You Witnessed a Miracle?

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Have You Witnessed a Miracle?

It was August 1993, that I myself witnessed a miracle.  Something so truly amazing that it could only be from the hands of God.  Before I tell you the details, let me give you a little history.  My grandfather was a diabetic on insulin, had his leg amputated from the knee down on one side and his toes removed on the other foot due to circulation issues.  He had a heart attack and was later diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure.  Keep in mind that today, patients with CHF can live for a long time as many more treatment options are available.  Eighteen years ago, however, it was limited and the longest anyone expected these patients to live was at most 5 years.  However, most succumbed to the disease between 2-3 years.  It was mid-high school that my grandpa was diagnosed with CHF.   He lived less than 10 minutes from my house for my entire upbringing and my paternal grandfather passed away when I was 6, so I have many, many memories of him.  Since they lived so close, and were retired, they took care of me when I was sick or the baby sitter was not available so that my mom could go to work.  Great memories of pancakes for breakfast, playing in the playhouse and going to Dairy Queen for a full meal deal.  They always had one of the free dessert coins to give to me.  I loved those things!  Oh, and they always had a few pennies for my piggy bank.  Pennies don’t mean a whole lot now, but to a kid, they are a treasure!

About 6 months after I graduated high school, I was engaged and found out I was pregnant.  My grandpa was kind of excited to be a great grandpa!  During my pregnancy, his health declined and he was in and out of the hospital.  On a Saturday in August, the 7th to be exact, my mom called me and told me  he had a heart attack and was in the intensive care unit at the hospital.  I remember rushing to see him that evening and he didn’t look well at all, his kidneys were failing, his diabetes was difficult to control.  I remember seeing him suffer, losing his strength and praying to God to not let him suffer long.  I had planned to come and see him the next day, but my daughter had other plans.  I was due August 16th and she didn’t want to wait.  Late morning August 8th, I went into labor.  While my grandpa was on the 4th floor in ICU, I was admitted on the 3rd floor labor and delivery.  Alyssa was born at 11:26 p.m. on August 8, 1993.  One of the happiest days of my life and yet a bittersweet one as well because I knew how much my grandpa wanted to be there to see Alyssa.  But in the ICU, babies couldn’t visit and he couldn’t leave ICU.  We went home a few days later and I remember getting a call from the ICU nurse just shortly after arriving at home.  She told me that my grandpa was not expected to live much longer and as a last wish, he told the cardiologist, Dr. Kola,  he would like to see his first great grand baby.   Dr. Kola ordered the ICU nurses to quarantine the ICU and sanitize it so that I could bring Alyssa in and they were ready.  (This directive showing compassion and sympathy from a doctor could be considered a miracle all in itself, but that was just the beginning.)  I was a brand new mom and upset, so I called my mom – after all, it was her father and I knew she would want to be there as well.  She came and picked Alyssa and I up and drove us to the hospital.  We arrived and I was amazed at how many tubes and wires he had on and in him.    But his face really lit up when he saw Alyssa.  We put her in his arms and took pictures, Grandpa n Alyssa, day of miracle he kissed her and when we left, we said our goodbyes.  I went home and cuddled with my bundle of joy, as she really helped me through that tough time while I waited for the call to advise that he had passed away.  It was after 10:00 p.m. when the phone call came from my mom.  Dr. Kola had personally called my grandma to tell her that he witnessed the most amazing thing he had ever seen.  Since my grandpa held Alyssa, they had been pulling the wires and tubes away from him, he no longer needed them.  His kidneys started working again. His diabetes was controlled.  He was going to come home, and he did. IMG_3593 We were blessed that he was able to hold her many times after that day. 

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.  I wasn’t really supposed to get pregnant when I did, I wasn’t married yet, but if I didn’t have that bundle to bring my grandfather such joy I would have lost him that day.  And I also truly believe that a positive attitude is the best medicine.  He lived to see my Alyssa grow up and was feeling pretty good until Alyssa was about 2 years old.  His health then started to decline again.  A few months after her 2nd birthday, I found out I was pregnant again due August 2nd, 1996.  His health continued to decline but bounced back a little bit after I found out at 4 months along that we were going to have a boy.  My grandpa was even more excited to have a great grandson he would have one of each!  There were several hospital stays as my grandpa got worse with his CHF.    He went into the ICU again on July 30th, my Grandma’s birthday.  About 9:30 p.m. on July 30th my water broke, more so, it gushed everywhere.  Brian tried to be born on my Grandma’s birthday, but missed it by a few hours, July 31st at 3:55 a.m. Again, Grandpa was on 4th floor in ICU and I was admitted on the 3rd floor – I had a feeling of de ja vu.  This time, when he heard about Brian’s birth, he started to turn around and he was moved out of ICU, which meant we could go visit.   He got to see Brian and hold him, but his health did not make the remarkable recovery and sustain it as he did with Alyssa.  He got to come home, but this time, his health failed much more so than it had in the past.  When Brian was 4 months old, I remember seeing my grandpa suffer, losing his strength, losing his ability to get around.  Knowing how independent he had always been, I knew that this was a hard time for him.  This man climbed on the roof to fix a shingle as soon as he was released from the hospital from having his leg amputated.    I prayed that God would relieve his suffering.  This time God didn’t relieve his suffering by removing it, this time, it was to bring him Home.  I will never forget, the whole family surrounded his bed in the hospital room, he had severe edema and was not alert.  Dr. Kola even came and sat with the family for a little bit.  When we went to leave, as we always did, we went to tell Great Grandpa bye and Alyssa, as she always did, gave him a hug.  She looked at my mom and I and in a sad little 3-year-old voice and said, “Oh, he didn’t say goodbye.”  I know in my heart that my grandpa heard that and knew he couldn’t ward off death forever.  It was later that night that God took away his pain and brought him to heaven.  My mom called to give me the news as my husband was preparing to leave for his 3rd shift job at 10:30 p.m. It was a flood of emotions from tears to sadness that he passed to extreme relief that he no longer suffered.  He was a blessing in my life, teaching me the importance of family relationships, to always keep going, to work hard, to always look for the good and basically to enjoy life regardless.

A year later on the same date that he went Home, at 8:30 p.m. I put Brian down for bed in his crib.  At 9:00 p.m. he was sleeping soundly.  I know my grandpa felt the pain in my heart as 10:30 p.m. rolled around and I started to remember the previous year.  I know this because at 10:30 p.m. Brian started laughing hysterically, as if someone was tickling him.  I ran in his room and he was standing at the crib rails with his hands reached out in front of him and having a good time.  I know that my Grandpa was tickling him to tell me not to be sad for him. I picked Brian up and felt the love he just shared with his Great Grandpa.  I put Brian back down to sleep and went to bed myself knowing my Grandpa was still part of my children’s lives.

So, I have had prayers answered in ways that I did not expect.  God gives us the answers we ask for sometimes, sometimes He does not answer them at all and sometimes He answers them in ways we least expect so that we know He listens to our hearts. The first time God answered, he relieved his suffering by making him better.  Which was a true blessing to have him part of my daughter’s life and the first few months of my son’s life.  Not many people can say that they knew their great grandparents, but mine can.  They knew 3 out of the 4 great grandparents and still have their Great Grandma H.  God blessed my life in many ways, but truly by witnessing a miracle.  A miracle that I am truly thankful for, because of it, my children met their great grandpa.

My grandparents were each such a blessing in my life and I am so thankful that they were able to be a blessing in my children’s lives.  My Grandma B lived until just this past December, so she was part of their lives through their teen years.

Grandma B and Baby alyssa

Bub sitting on Grandma's lap

My Grandma H is still part of their lives and continued to host holiday dinners and lunches when family is in town until 2012. In 2012 she began falling and the day after Christmas that year she fell several times in one day. Her Alzheimer’s Disease started taking over and stopped her from doing regular daily tasks, like taking her medicines. From that day forward, she was in a nursing home. As of today, May 25, 2015, she is still in the nursing home and continues to decline in cognitive ability. But both my kids had many good years before that happened.  

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The ongoing instilling of the value of the roles that your family plays in your life.  I hope that you get prayers answered in ways that completely change your life, as they have mine.