LONG POST ALERT – update at the end from 6/22/18
June 25, 2017
I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing but today I am finding the need to write the raw truth that is weighing on my heart and my mind. I have been so deeply touched by by love and spirit in the last 24 hours that I am near drained of energy yet fully awake in my soul.
Yesterday afternoon, Saturday, I was sitting at my home office desk working. Why was a I working on a Saturday you ask…because my angles placed me here, at my desk in view of the caller ID on the home phone line that I never answer. I saw the call come in from my special squeak cousin Chris and was so excited to see her name that I was able to grab the phone on the first ring, before the answering machine picked up on the second ring. My excitement of the call was short lived when her voice broke in telling me that she has been better. I knew in that instant that things were about to change, I just had no idea how, why or in what direction.
Squeaks brother Tom, my near in age cousin, has two young boys. I can say young because I am middle aged and 19 seems really young to me. The two boys were involved in a terrible accident up north very near to the place we all know and love “Proffers Paradise”. They were air lifting Jake to the hospital in my town. Everyone would be hours away, I would be within 15 minutes. This is a no brainer situation…no one has to ask, no priorities are questioned, you go….and you go fast.
With adrenaline coursing through my veins I weaved through traffic, swearing at people who dared drive the speed limit and cursing the road construction that is “summer in Michigan”. Panic and fear reared against the compassion and love within me as my mind raced to every possible scenario that could play out. I thought of my cousin being so far away from his son, I thought of his son being alone at the hospital, I thought of my own children and how this whole thing is beyond my comprehension. I could not get there fast enough.
As I raced on the highway through downtown towards the hospital in East Grand Rapids, I saw out the passenger window the most beautiful, small, delicate, nearly translucent angel fly off to my right. I knew instantly that it was my Aunt Nan, whom I just wrote about in my last post, who is Grandma to this young boy. The Angel flew off the exit ramp and into the distance as I raced on. My mind fought for meaning behind why this angle didn’t stay with me but veered off and panic set in as I thought maybe this angel, my sweet Aunt Nan, came to take Jake home. My heart clenched at the thought of having to tell my family this horrific news and bear witness to the overwhelming grief.
As tears flowed from my eyes, I drove on to the hospital only to learn I was at the wrong one. Panic has now turned to terror as I run through parking lots, swerve through side streets and bang my hands on the steering wheel. I say a prayer as I beg for the light to turn green. I just need to get there, he can’t be alone. No child should ever be alone.
I finally arrived at the downtown Grand Rapids hospital, was escorted upstairs and prepared for what I would see. He was there, he was breathing and oh my….there is our Proffer boy, look at those eye brows! I tried to absorb everything they were telling me so I could update his dad but in all honesty I am not even sure what streets I drove to get there, who brought me to the room or even what floor we were on. I found my spot on his right side, took his hand under the covers and just told him I was there. I explained who I was as we have only met a few time in recent years and let him know I would not leave him until his dad arrived.
I sat next to Jake for what seemed at times like minutes and others like days, holding his hand, wiping his face, taking to him, telling him stories of his dad, his grandpa, anything I could think of that would bring comfort to him. I spent time washing the dirt and blood from his hands so maybe he wouldn’t look as roughed up when is mom and dad arrived. I tried to always be touching him so he knew he was not alone and as I closed my eyes and let the silent tears fall onto the bed, I prayed that all the love of his family and friends could be channeled through me and into him. I prayed in my head, I prayed out loud and I prayed into his ear in hopes he could hear and believe every word.
As I sat in the dark of the room late into the evening, as his parents and family raced from all different directions, as my adrenaline rush started to ease, I realized that he was my child too. They are all our children and we do whatever we need to do to support them and love them and care for them. It didn’t matter to me for even a nano second that this was my cousins child, that night, he was my child too. This realization expanded my heart to depths I had not known before and as that happened things shifted. The room although dark, felt lighter, it felt sweeter and full of grace as if grace were something you could physically feel. I knew my angel had returned and she stayed with us in that room and wrapped us both in her love.
It was during these late night hours of quite, when Jake had stabilized (as much as possible at that point) that I understood why I saw my angel on the highway earlier. She wasn’t coming to take Jake home, she was leading me to him. The exit ramp where I saw her was the exact exit I needed to take to go to the correct hospital…as I saw her drift into the distance, she was heading straight towards Butterworth hospital as I raced on to another hospital. She was just trying to lead me to him so I could share her love, her healing, her strength and make sure Jake knew he was not alone.
6/22/18 – I have not been able to even re-read this post until today. It has taken me nearly a year to shake the intensity of that night and the days that followed. Jake is doing great now. I haven’t seen him recently as he is a busy college student but from what I can tell, he has recovered 100%, for which I am thankful for each day.
Over the week that he stayed in the hospital in Grand Rapids, I was able to spend time with Jakes family, my family. Tears began to be replaced by laughter as each day his condition improved. Early morning coffee and late night chats kept us all going on so little sleep.
As I look back now I realize that my angels, not just Aunt Nan but also Big Lar and so many others were at work in my life in the days leading up to this event. I now understand why I bought a bulk supply of little to-go boxes at Costco the week prior. I now understand why Bob and I prepped so much extra food for dinner the night before. I now understand why I was sitting at my home office desk looking at the caller ID that Saturday afternoon when my cousins call came in. My angles were setting me up to be prepared for exactly where I needed to be and what I needed to be doing.
Angels are everywhere among us, you just have to look and believe.