Yesterday, a friend of mine & I hopped ride from the 3rd to the 8th floor at our church on the elevator. We walked to her desk, grabbed what we came for, then headed for another ride. This time downstairs for our weekly gathering of women. Just before the doors closed, a Super Nice Guy joined our trip.
As women generally do, we were engrossed in conversation. Chatting up one side and down the other, we completely forgot to press the button.
“Do y’all want to get off somewhere?” he asked.
We laughed, “You’re right, it would probably help to push a button.”
“Yes,” I sarcastically add, “we just like riding the elevator.”
“That’s a nice life – that you can get off when and where you want.”
“You’re right. … That is nice.”
We got to our stop and wished our fellow passenger a good day. But, I couldn’t help but spend a minute on what he said. It is nice to just be able to ride sometimes. To have margin in your life so you can either do an impromptu stop, or linger in good conversation.
Little did I know the surprise stop waiting for me later that day.
I’m not sure what I was doing, but only minutes before I had literally been watching out the window, basking in the joy and fun my girls were experiencing as the gleefully jumped on the trampoline. I must have been getting someone some food because I was right there when the back door flung open and wails filled the kitchen.
“MOM!! … MOM… IT”S REALLY BAD!” Speed Police was frantically yelling.
… and it was.
My sweet Sister Save-A-Lot a.k.a. Go-To-Girl (GTG) was perched at the trampoline’s ladder, pale as a sheet, terrified. “Mommy… my arm… I know it’s broken.”
I looked at her arm and instantly had to fight the wave of nausea that washed over me. I had never seen (and hope to never see again) the sight filling my stare. Her arm below the elbow was bent completely back, with sharp edges of her bone pushing the skin (thankfully not all the way through).
“Don’t throw up… Don’t throw up…” I told myself as I fought to gather my senses, the arm now flopping back and forth. I felt tears stinging my eyes, floodgates signaling their arrival.
“Mommy… please don’t cry,” GTG pleaded. She knew if I started, she would follow suit and was afraid that giving into the pain would make it worse. I couldn’t believe myself. Normally I’m so strong, almost unflappable… but this was getting to me.
I made a few frantic phone calls, loaded the shockingly composed child into my car and headed to Baylor Hospital where we were whisked to a room and attended by the amazing staff. The kid made it through her greatest fear (an i.v.) and rested in the instant relief brought on by a dose of morphine.
It wasn’t a short experience or a fun experience, but I sure was grateful for the margin in our life that allowed us to make this unexpected elevator stop with very little interruption in our life. I could leave my house in a complete panicked rush… no worries of who had to be where. I was also grateful for good friends who linger with me on elevator rides. Good friends that were quick to call and head to my house. And… I was grateful for increasingly equipped kids who were sufficiently caring for themselves. Even one who witnessed the disturbing scene that managed to reach deep down in her own soul to not only care for her youngest brother, but to start dinner for the others.
Beyond that… here are a few highlights :)
My sister when I told her we were transferred from Baylor to Children’s Hospital…
“Did you get to ride in the ambulance?”
“What did it look like?”
“Well… very uncluttered.” It really was sparkly clean.
“I guess they don’t have enabling parents.”
When we arrived at Children’s, standard questions were asked:
“How much does she weigh”
“Ummmm… Hmmmm…. No clue.”
“Do you have an estimation?”
“Not really… GTG, do you know?”
“No.” the sweet thing replies.
“I know her middle name…. and her birthday.” Details, details….
Two hours into the ordeal, I get a phone call from Teen Take-Out.
“Where are you?… Did you leave?”
“Uh… I’m at the hospital with your sister.”
He and one of his friends had been hanging out without a care in the world… or a clue. After I explained that I had actually been gone for over 2 hours, stunned, he asked to talk to his sister. When she handed me back the phone, I couldn’t help myself,
“What did he say?”
“He said he loved me. That I shouldn’t be scared. He said he was scared when he broke his arm, but it really wasn’t too bad. … Then he said he was praying for me.”
Now I’m crying for a different reason.
Wow… 3 pins and a midnight surgery later… what a day! Thankful for margin. And for friends that walk the road with me.
A few pictures (warning: could be disturbing to sensitive stomachs)
…to all the Baylor & Children’s staff..
so touched, he looked for a souvenir and came up with this laser flashlight.