It was nearly two years ago that I received that dreaded phone call, but it's still fresh in my mind. He's still in pain every single day, and it's difficult to watch, but he's here with me, and that's what I'm thankful for. Last Wednesday evening, Autumn sent me a text telling me to check my email. She had sent me a message that took the wind straight out of my lungs. A dear friend had received a similar phone call earlier in the evening regarding her own husband, only he was a pedestrian and had been struck by a car. He wasn't an hour away, but three states away, as he had been attending a conference. The news reports weren't good. Skull fracture, broken leg, critical condition. My mind raced, and prayed.
Thankfully, the news reports aren't always correct. Bad shape, yes. No skull fracture, thank God. Meanwhile, seven children at home and two away for college, were anxious about their parents. While the two oldest at home are plenty capable of taking care of things, I knew they would need a break. They'd need to see a fresh face. The younger children needed a distraction.
Distraction I can do. With a full schedule and absolutely no time to put together a home-cooked meal, I arrived bearing hoagie rolls, lunch meat and cheese, a big bag of apples, and an assortment of cookies. We talked, and hugged, and talked some more. Soon, I instructed the littler ones to use the potty, and get a coat. We were going for a walk. Distraction. Fresh air. Distraction. Exercise. Distraction. Making happy memories. Distraction.
We hiked over two miles, through the beautiful leaves, around large mud puddles, up hills and down. We skipped stones at the lake, tried on leaf hats, and identified turkey and deer tracks. I told stories of playing house outside when I was a girl, and described why milkweed is the perfect playing house food. I was gifted with pine cones, nuts, flowers, and a plethora of leaves. So many, in fact, that I couldn't carry one more.
When a child gives you a gift, even if it is a rock they just picked up, exude gratitude. It might be the only thing they have to give, and they have chosen to give it to you. - Dean Jackson
Thankfully, Doug has been released from the hospital, but your prayers for him are still appreciated. He has a long road of recovery ahead. I'm off to provide a distraction once again.