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.