It has not been my year. Yeah, I’m not so sure it has been my decade but this year in particular has been the kind of year that makes you beg for the dropping of that big ball in times square and the ringing in of the New Year. I started this year turning 40. Honestly, it wasn’t really as awful as I thought it would be, but it does make you look back and realize how quickly life goes by so I made a decision on my 40th birthday this year…it was going to be a good year. I was going to make lemonade out of lemons. No matter how tough things got, I was going to make this year count.
And basically that’s what happened…at first. We flew to Florida and took care of my best friends daughter when she had her new baby girl. We went on two family vacations, more than we had done in years. I didn’t stop to consider the stacks of bills or the strain of the medical costs in our future, we enjoyed moments and celebrated the time we were spending with our healthy daughter and our patient and ever so loving son. I truthfully had learned not to take a moment of this time for granted. I saw it as a blessing that we were able to just live.
And then, things began to change. As if someone had turned off our fun light, maybe turned off our lights all together. First a friend who had been a pillar of support with Faith’s illness had their child diagnosed with a life threating disease. My first thought was, it must be a mistake, this family does so much to make the world better for sick children and their families no way could this happen to them. But it did and you start to remember that it can happen to any family, at any time, we don’t decide.
Faith that same week had a brief admission to Mott for an infection in her intestines. Something we are used to but never an easy thing.
At that same time my mom was complaining of a sore leg which turned out to be much more than a sore leg she had an abscess and had to have surgery. She was admitted into the hospital and she had the surgery. Her surgery was followed by a lengthy stay in the hospital and then an extended care facility.
Will also had a rough few months around this same time he was diagnosed with pneumonia, and an infection in his gum line bove his tooth.
The most difficult thing to happen this year was the loss of Will & Faith’s grandfather, Ren. He was so important to our family and is death was totally unexpected. He had traveled to London to see the Lions and he never returned. Things will be very different without him, such a huge loss.
There’s more, another infection and admission into the hospital for Faith, the flu that cancelled our Thanksgiving, I could go on and on but I really hate to rehash it all.
Then there was a moment that everything seemed to come to a crashing halt, literally. As I was driving down the road, a woman ran a stop sign and there was a choice I either ran into her going 40mph or I swerved to avoid her and hit a big truck head-on. The car was the better choice as the airbag went off in my car I began to immediately wonder what I could do to change the fact that I was in the accident. I had contemplated going out with my friend that night I was thinking maybe I could go back and do things differently that day, so I wasn’t there when that lady decided to “get confused & forgot to stop”
I got out of the car and walked around with my ears ringing and face burning from the airbag and seatbelt. I was walking in circles when the ambulance driver asked me to sit down. She was asking me lots of questions and I remember feeling like I had no clue how to answer her.
I was busy. I was staring out the back of the ambulance at the other ambulance asking god where had I gone wrong. I asked him what could I do differently. I kept asking the same question over and over again until my phone rang, and broke me out of the trance I was in, it was Mott calling about Faith’s medical supplies. For some reason I answered and talked to the pharmacist about a issue we had been having with Faith. I talked for the next twenty minutes to the ambulance driver about Faith and her medical issues. She was so concerned and so genuinely upset that I had to deal with the accident on top of everything else.
Over the next few days I had so many people say the same thing, when is all of this going to stop? I had a pastor offer to come bless my home, my best friend sent me a prayer on curses and changing luck, I had someone send me a note that she was a “good witch” and she was willing to come get the evil out of my home. It wasn’t just me, it seemed like too much to everyone, which truthfully made me even more weary. Where is god, is he even present here?
But then, some remarkable things began to happen. And I began to realize…this world is so much bigger than my bad luck.
The principal of our school called me and let me know that Santa had visited her and wanted to do some things to make life easier for our family. This Santa had new flooring installed in our upstairs, hospital grade flooring that is germ resistant and able to withstand the chemicals we need to use to not spread the chronic infection Faith carries with her at all times. Santa also got wind that our dishwasher was broken and had a new one installed. They are anonymous, they want no thanks they just want to humbly help. God is present here.
And that friend with the newly diagnosed child, got results that were in my opinion directly related to the power of prayer that surrounds this family. Promising results. God is present there.
Then a family from our school heard that we didn’t have a reliable car to drive anymore, and called to offer to get us a deal on a reliable car. This family decided they wanted to make things easier then a good deal, they got together with the dealership owner and some other friends of theirs and they had the car waiting for us when we pulled into our driveway. They bought us a car. A jeep actually. God is so present there.
I’ve been calling them Secret Santa’s and Santa’s elves but I think Gods angels is a better name for these people. And I’ve realized they are everywhere. They are praying you make it out of the hospital to see the long awaited play. They are dropping off meals and sending vitamins, they are sending cards and offering help. They send grocery gift cards and gas cards too, they send penguins and balloons. They are delivering medicine to your hospital room, taking a chance at getting sick themselves, they are distracting your son, so he doesn’t miss you when you are in the hospital with his sister. They offer hugs and they offer support and they mean it. They talk to you when you need to talk and they respect your silence when there’s nothing more you can say.
They want to make sure not only your children have a good Christmas but that you do too. These people are good. They are Gods Angels and they are everywhere, I don’t know who our Santa is. I really don’t ever want to know. And I’ve never even met some of the people who got us our Jeep, But I want them to know that they were the reminder I needed. That people are so good and good people are everywhere. And sometimes bad stuff happens but when it does god will send his angels to lift you up and get you away from the darkness. I don’t need a special blessing said over my home to protect us from any bad luck, I just need to keep my eyes open because gods Santa Angels are everywhere reminding me God is present here.