Yesterday I woke up and looked at my desk. It was just as I’d left it when I got the emergency phone call on Thursday. My Bible was open to Isaiah, my reading glasses resting on the pages. My cup of coffee sat next to my journal…
The phone had rung, and as I answered I assumed I was getting my normal “Just checking in” call. But instead I heard Dad say, “Mom’s hurt. Get over here quick.”
I ran down stairs, grabbed my keys and drove over. As I turned onto their street I saw a fire truck, a police car, and an ambulance. It didn’t immediately register to me that they were for my mom. It must just be a coincidence, I told myself.
But then I parked my car and immediately a police man said, “Are you Cheryl?” And I heard Mom hollering and saw her strapped to a gurney about to be put in the ambulance. Suddenly I was surrounded by about eight or so policemen and paramedics. They told me a neighbor had seen mom down on the sidewalk by her front door and had called.
Mom was irrational and hollering, and the paramedics were wondering if she’d had a stroke. I told them she had AD and this was normal for her. They still suggested she be brought to the hospital, because of her fall. They also told me Dad was a little incoherent because his blood sugar had dropped very low. They told me to take my time and make sure Dad was okay before I followed them to the hospital.
The hospital visit began with eight hours in a small emergency room. The nurses and doctors were quite wonderful and so understanding. But of course the whole thing was exhausting. I was so thankful that she was not seriously hurt—just some scrapes and bruises, and was able to go home the next day. By Saturday I was relieved to see that she was back to normal for her.
Then today, I was waiting for my mother-in-law to meet me at my house to ride with me for her birthday dinner. Suddenly a stranger pulled into my driveway, and rushed up to my door. I opened it assuming she had come to the wrong house. But she said, “Are you Nina’s daughter?”
“She’s having an episode in her backyard. Come right away. Your Dad isn’t answering his door and we called the police.”
Oh, mercy! Not again, I thought, as I ran to their house. I found the neighbors standing next to the house. They pointed to mom, standing by the bushes in her stocking feet hollering and upset. They said they had pounded on the door for Dad but he hadn’t answered.
I went over to Mom and she literally was standing in the bushes, her face up against branches, hollering gibberish. I helped get her out and walked her back into the house. Dad met us at the garage door. He’d been looking for her. For some reason he hadn’t heard the knocking. I got her inside, and went back and thanked the neighbors, gave them my phone numbers, and talked to the police.
I made sure mom and dad were okay and then ran back to meet my mother-in-law. Then I called my brother and asked him to get a high lock on the kitchen door to the garage that Dad could reach, but mom couldn’t. We’d had child safety knobs in place before, but for some reason it was gone now from that door. (On Thursday Dad had left the front door unlocked, because he was expecting my brother any minute.)
Later I went back and found my brother had installed the new lock in right away, and I talked to Dad about keeping the other doors locked all the time.
I’m thankful for neighbors that care and take action. I’m thankful that Mom was not seriously injured. I’m thankful that God is always watching over her.
But when I picture her outside, lying on the sidewalk hurt and confused, or walking around in her stockings outside, I cringe and I cry. My poor mama. Oh it could have been so much worse.
And I think about it all and it hits home that none of us knows the future. We don’t know when we’ll get a serious phone call or an urgent knock on the door. We don’t know when we ourselves will take out last breath.
And just like we do all we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and well, we want their souls to be well, too. And so we can pray for them and invite them to church. And we can tell them about Jesus and how He died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins.
We can tell them that Jesus wants to give them new life now and for eternity. And our part is to believe in Him and follow Him. We can’t make them believe, but we can prayerfully do our part and trust God with the rest. And we can do it all with love and grace and gentleness.
And someday Jesus will return….”And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds…” (Matthew 24:31a, NKJV)
“Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left…Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” (Matthew 24:40, 42)
Jesus goes on and tells us to be ready and to be faithful and to be wise and watching. He is coming at an hour we do not expect.
I pray when He returns He finds us faithfully serving, faithfully loving, and faithfully following Him. Maybe we’ll be holding a loved one’s hand and comforting them, or sitting at a desk reading Isaiah with a cup of coffee….