It was five in the morning and thankfully I had received lots of rest on the weekend. A message flashed on my computer screen and I learned that my sister had been airlifted to ICU in Regina. Within minutes my bags were packed, and I was on my way for the four-and-a-half-hour drive.
One message and everything changed immediately. All the plans for the next few days lost their significance and I was into a totally new set of goals.
The week before I had been part of a team of nine individuals who walked the streets of High River handing out lunch supplies. Firsthand, I saw the devastation that accompanies unexpected trouble.
As a citizen of Medicine Hat, I had also been waiting and watching the flood waters that threatened to disrupt dreams and accomplishments of residents who had worked for a lifetime.
And now, here I was facing a personal trauma.
There are so many things for which I can give thanks at this time:
- Excellent staff and understanding clients - My whole week needed to be rebooked and even though many of my clients had their own struggles to discuss with me, everyone offered grace and allowed us to move their appointments to the following week.
- Financial planning - I had gas in the car and was able to afford a hotel room, restaurant meals and could handle not having an income for the days that I was away.
- Strong relationships - My brother-in-law, nephew and I had a foundation that allowed us to comfortably cry together and talk about things that no one wants to talk about when someone is in ICU. We also had good memories from the past about my sister that brought laughter into our conversations.
- Prayer support - I knew that there were many who were investing their time and energy into remembering us with requests for strength and wisdom.
- Professional expertise - We knew that the hospital staff and medical equipment were top notch.
- Kindness of strangers - The hotel staff provided customer service that lifted tired and heavy hearts at the end of the day.
- Strong character - All the family members have been fortunate in the fact that we have experienced trouble in the past and weathered it. Although we were concerned and very sad, we shared the idea that we could and would accept whatever happened. (That's hard to do!)
Well, my sister is still extremely ill, and we are not sure about exactly what will happen - or when. She is still being fed through tubes and likely will not be able to ever return home. But the hospital has comfortable new beds and she is in a room that is quiet, so she is able to sleep.
We all have trouble at times and usually it comes at an unexpected time without advanced notice. No matter what the trauma or crisis is in your life, please remember to look for the things for which you can give thanks!