If you're just joining in, you'll want to take a moment and read part 1, part 2, and part 3 before reading today's post.
The day after Thanksgiving my 13 year old son, Taylor came home from the hospital with a sling on his right arm due to the broken collarbone and a cast on his left arm. He was still in a lot of pain and very bruised and weak. We had to do everything for him -- including feed him, which was a full time job! ;)
Then, on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, my husband came home, wearing a special back brace which he wore constantly for three months until his fractured vertebrae healed. He was also in pain, very weak and needed my help for nearly everything.
That first week or two with all my patients home was quite overwhelming! Their physical needs were so great! I really had my hands full caring for their physical needs while also caring for the other members of my family (which included 5 children under the age of 10), running after my little Matthew (18 months old), meeting all the emotional needs that everyone had, and trying to keep our household running, all with two of my three oldest ones injured!! I don't know what I would have done without the young ladies pictured below!
Tiffany, Bethany and Danielle - my heroes!
I don't know what we would have done without the willingness of others to help us during this challenging time! I'm forever grateful to a couple families from our church who loaned us their very competent homeschooled daughters for a couple weeks after the accident. They willingly helped out with everything that needed to be done, none of which was very glamorous! :) We often half-joked that we needed one person full time just to answer the phone and the door bell and another person just to keep up with Matthew! (Matthew was one of those little fellows that needed constant supervision and had a way of escaping and getting into mischief when you thought you were watching him!) ;)
Tiffany and Matthew
We were obviously very needy during this time. But . . .
Even when our needs were so great, God's grace was greater!
It was God that gave me the strength to keep going. He provided the household help we needed. He saw that we had meals provided almost every night right up until Christmas! He provided so many people who helped with our many needs that it was overwhelming! From taking my oldest daughter to replace her broken glasses, to bringing us food of every type, to going and cleaning out the van and camper for us so that we didn't have to sort through the wreckage ourselves, to taking out our overflowing recycling bins, to raking the heavy blanket of fall leaves out of our yard, God provided someone to help with our every need!
God even provided some "comic relief" when we needed it! We had put our golden lab, Jeb Stuart, in the kennel before we left on "vacation" and he was to be picked up on Monday after the accident. Since I am not particularly fond of dogs and had my hands quite full with all of my patients, we asked a lady who worked for my husband if she would mind doing that task for us. She loved dogs and was glad to do something to help out, so she picked up Jeb on Monday and brought him home at lunch time. Jeb bounded from her car, and she shut the car door behind him -- only to discover that she had slammed his tail in the car door!!! This dear lady had to come in and sheepishly tell my husband what she had done to his dog!! That task done, she got Jeb back in the car and headed for the vet.
Once there, she explained to the vet what had happened to our family. Incredulously, he asked, "Do you mean to tell me that you have taken the only uninjured member of this family and managed to injure him??" She replied weakly, "Yes." The vet thought that was the funniest story he had ever heard! He ended up keeping Jeb overnight, removing the last two inches of his tail, (at no charge to us!!!) and then sending him home with another lady from Alan's office for follow up care. These ladies were so gracious, as they realized I did not need one more patient to have to give medicine to, change bandages for, etc!! :)
The illustrious Jeb Stuart
As the days and weeks rolled by, our family began to heal. It was a time of great pain and sorrow, but also a time of tremendous blessing! The support from our community was overwhelming! We received many, many phone calls, visits, and over a hundred cards, many with monetary gifts!
A visit from county councilman, Mr. Langston
So many people from our church and community loved us and served us in a variety of very practical ways. It was a very humbling and emotional time for us, to be so needy and to be given so much, and to be reminded of how undeserving we were of all Christ had done for us! We were suddenly so grateful for everything -- things we had taken for granted before!
It may seem we have reached the end, but this story doesn't end here . . . there was a twist we never imagined!
Come back tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of Our Christmas Miracle!