As I sit here writing today I have in front of me our calendar that is on the kitchen wall. In January for instance, there were projects due, schedule for the kids, a friends wedding, a sweet sixteen party, a charity walk and other events that I wanted to make sure we attend. I would love to consider myself a well organized person who writes things down in order to get things done. How many of you have the same calendar on your wall right now. It helps, right? Well, not this time.
January was going along as we got news my father-in-law had fallen and needed hip surgery. Being an older gentleman, we knew of the risks that come with that type of surgery. I can not tell you how frustrating it is to be in another state while a family member is going through surgery and you can’t be there. Most family members believe that we are void of the situation and we are some how less involved or don’t care as much. So we sit and wait for the phone call that says everything is ok and sigh with relief that it’s over. That did not happen. Unfortunately, the surgery was a success but my father-in-law had trouble after. A lot of trouble. My mother-in-law would call us and say that he was getting worse and that they needed to help him breath. Every time (husband) Bills cell phone rang, we held our breath. At one point, his mom flat out said, you need to come up here now. Bill looked at me and said we better rent a car and drive up now. Ok? What about all the things on the calendar? I have to cancel things, make arrangements and are we really leaving the kids alone! Albeit they are almost twenty, seventeen and fifteen respectfully and all the friends and family near by said that they’ll check-in on them, that alone made us feel better about going.
Not a coincidence, my van was being worked on and the garage felt bad it was taking so long to fix, they rented us a van to use for the weekend. I was calling for a “reasonable” midsize car and just got the run around. When I was picked up to get the rental van, the rental company said they would be able to get me a midsize car and beat all the other rental companies prices. At this point, I just needed a car. Monday came and we found out that the weather up north was awful. Snow and more snow was the forecast. When I went to drop off the van and pick up the new rental, it was taking too long. The nice salesman who said he would “hook me up” was not there. Now I was in tears as the car I was promised was gone, new fees were going to be tact on and all I knew was that we needed to get on the road. With tears in my eyes, another salesman saw me and said privately, “just take this van, we’ll charge you what you were originally promised, no other fees.” I was concerned about the miles per gallon on the van and he assured me that the other car we were going to get would have gotten the same. This I was going to recognize as blessing number one. Big and roomy to put all our stuff, like heavy coats, a couple of blankets my pillow and of course, our lacrosse sticks (to play at the rest stops!)
We get on the road and find out that his dad is doing a bit better. I felt that God was letting him hold on until Bill could get there. Knowing we were going to drive through the night, I drove first. (Hate driving at night.) It was like the parting of the Red Sea. No trucks, no traffic, no bad weather - clear roads for me. Seven hours later - somewhere in Georgia, got cheap gas and it was Bills turn to drive. Same thing, clear sailing. Blessing number two.
God bless New Jersey. Here was the snow, a ton of traffic and the bridges. Prayed for patience and Bill said that he was hungry and where should we stop. There is a diner in Tarrytown, New York, over the Tappan Zee bridge we loved going to while we lived in New York. So there we went. Blessing number three. It was good to sit and relax after the eighteen hour drive. We then headed up to upstate New York where Bills dad was and that part of the drive took a while. We had time to talk. I tried to prepare him for what he might see, as he had never been this type of situation seeing your parent so weak and helpless.
We got there, picked up his mom and it was sweet to see her hug her “baby” and just be happy. We headed over to the hospital, and no preparing could help Bill for what he saw. It broke my heart. I had really thought, this is it. We stayed for quite a while. That night, his mom took us out for a lovely dinner and we talked. It was a great spot with a big fireplace (don’t have those in Florida) and I could see Bill relaxing a bit. Over the next couple of days, it was a roller coaster. Times his dad looked good and was trying to talk, other times, it was bad, really bad. They had gotten Bills dad stable enough that it looked like he was going to make it and we knew it was time for us to go. Blessing number four. We had made the choice to take a detour to go back to the “old neighborhoods” and reminisce. What happened next could only be described as “ask and you shall will receive!” Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time.