Friday, October 29, 2010

Thankful for Angels

It’s funny how life throws you curve balls. While I think it can drive a person mad when those happen, I think those unexpected things also make you VERY aware of what’s in front of you and all of the AMAZING blessings in one’s life.

On Friday, October 15th, my dad was in a motorcycle accident. When I heard the news, I was a little taken aback. My dad actually called me from the emergency room. Not sure how he found a way to sneak his phone in, but if you know my dad, you wouldn’t expect any different!

My dad actually told me to not worry. He said he’d be out in a few hours and it was nothing major. Again, if you know my dad, he likes to play things down, so I knew this wasn’t just a minor thing. However, I knew he was saying these things, so I didn’t worry – and to not cause a panic amongst my other three sisters. That’s just the way my dad is … always looking out for his four girls, even when he’s the one who’s suffering or hurt.

I called my sister Erin, just to let her know what was going on. As we talked, we both realized our dad was probably hurt pretty bad. I called my boss to let him know what was going on – he immediately said GO. (I’m so thankful for both of my bosses; they care so much about their employees and I’m so blessed they allowed me to drop everything and go.)

I got to the trauma center at Memorial Hospital, about an hour after they brought my dad in. I walked to his room, not really sure what to expect. But when I pulled back the curtain, my heart sank. My dad was strapped down, blood everywhere, his neck and head unmovable, and wounds from head to toe. It wasn’t the scene I was expecting. However, my dad was awake, alert – we weren’t quite sure of his injuries, until the ER doctor came in and informed us of some internal bleeding in the brain. A neurosurgeon was immediately called – and the doc was optimistic that everything would be ok.

Hospitals can be daunting. Downright scary even. But that day, I was thankful that I was at the hospital, waiting with my dad, and not getting a phone call saying ‘we’re sorry, but he didn’t make it’.

As we sat waiting for the doctors, I just held my dad’s hand. He couldn’t move, he just had to stay still. While I can’t say I enjoyed seeing him lying there in pain and the uncertainty of it all, I did treasure that moment, when I realized that God had saved my dad that day – and that we all had another day with him.

As we waited, and waited, he began to tell me what happened. I knew this was uncharacteristic of my pops. He’s very cautious, overly cautious – so I knew whatever happened, it was the alternative that was the best, to save himself, and protect any others from harm.

He was traveling down Mishawaka Ave., heading to a hair cut appointment, when he spotted the car. The car was heading out onto the street from a side street, ignoring anything in its path, including my dad and his bike. Maybe the person was on their cell phone – maybe they were speeding – maybe they just were oblivious to what was around them. I’m not sure – but my dad had to react quickly. He hit the brakes, as the other option would have been to hit the car. The outcome to this story would probably be VERY different if he made that choice. However, he made the choice to lay his bike down – that’s a choice I believe saved his life.

After hitting the brakes, everything became hazy. He knew he was on the ground; he knew he was in the middle of the street. All he could think of was ‘I need to get out of the street before I get hit’. After attempting to get up, and unsuccessful, a passerby stopped to help. It turned out, the man was a doctor – he told him to stay still, and to not worry about moving. The paramedics were called and they were there in an instant. The doctor stayed with my dad until the ambulance pulled away. We later learned that when the paramedics arrived, there was no doctor – no sign of him anywhere. My sisters and I believe it was his angel, God sent that day to protect him.

The next few days were rough in the hospital, as recovery is never easy from any type of accident. But miraculously, my dad had no broken bones. Just badly bruised and beaten up. The docs were of course concerned with the internal bleeding – but they did everything they could to control it. They also inserted a device into his leg to prevent any blood clots from reaching his lungs. He’s had those before, so they were doing EVERYTHING they could to prevent any internal injuries from becoming any worse.

Those days at the hospital, while frustrating for my dad to be there, were great times spent with him and my sisters, plus the countless people who came to visit him. My little sister Elysia and her little boy Cooper flew in from Colorado after hearing the news – and while the circumstances weren’t the greatest, we all were grateful that we were celebrating his surviving and not the worst that could have happened. Our hearts were filled with thankfulness – abundant thankfulness.

My dad was able to go home after three days in the hospital – although he was on tight restrictions. Without much of a fight, we were able to convince my dad to stay at our house. It was a great few days of all of us spending time together. We were even lucky enough to have a couple amazing ladies cook us amazing dinners. WOW. What a blessing.

And I can’t forget the moments – watching the playoffs. Although the Yankees lost, it was great to be able to watch them with my dad.

It’s funny how traumatic and often scary situations make you realize what’s right in front of you. Not that you don’t realize them before – but somehow, someway those instances serve as a reminder to never take life for granted. Never take the people you love for granted – because it could all be lost in just a moment’s time.

I can’t express how much I love my dad – and honestly, I couldn’t imagine life without him. While the road has been rocky the past few weeks, and he’s still recovering, it’s truly a miracle that he is still here – let alone walking, talking, and enjoying life.

I thank God daily for how he protected my dad that day - how he sent an angel to watch over him and guide him to safety - and I’m reminded of how lucky we are to serve a God who protects those we love. Thankful, thankful, thankful ...

(This picture was taken a few years ago - doing one of the things we ALL love to do with our dad - watch the Cubs play! Although they lost, it's a memory we all cherish.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Boys Just Wanna' Have Fun

It's been a few weeks. We apologize. Sometimes life gets a little hectic, you just then have to sit back, take a breath, and really, take each day, each moment at a time.

It's a beautiful thing, life.

A few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to snap a few photos of our precious cousins, Cody, Cameron and Chase. While they made us work for their smiles, they were so much fun to be around. They have an infectious laughter and bond among them. And while the song tells us 'Girls Just Wanna' Have Fun', we could definitely tell these little guys wanted to have just as much fun!

We snapped these photos on the lake, where our aunt and uncle live, in Elkhart, IN. It's quite peaceful there - and when you add the mixture of laughing from little ones - it makes the scene, the moment, that much more perfect.