My Christmas Thanks-giving

I just want to thank the Lord today for the best Christmas that our family has ever had.  When the kids were little we used to hide their gifts in a treasure-hunt type of game, make up clues and write them on the back of old Christmas cards from the previous year, and we would pin the first clue on the tree, then each gift they found would have another clue attached to it.  This is a great way to spread out and slow down the actual opening of gifts, so we parents got to enjoy their enjoyment.   Isaac, now 15, requested we do the scavenger hunt again this year.  (Most years there haven’t really been enough things under the tree to really do a treasure hunt.  In fact, most years we used Christmas as an excuse to go ahead and buy things they had needed but we hadn’t wanted to buy on credit, and we would get them their new shoes and clothes, and we just downplayed the gifting altogether, which still in principle holds true as a positive goal.  The two last Christmases, first I was sick, the one in 2012 was when Garrett’s cancer was diagnosed.  So neither of those years were Christmas “doings” very big in any way.  Just not a priority.  Didn’t even put a tree up in 2011.  But Ben will leave home this coming summer for the Army, and even though we have a lot pressing financially due to Medical bills, we determined this last Christmas together as a family all living together in our home, needed to be special.  Isaac had his second surgery a week ago to remove the hardware from his leg, (since he plans to go in the Navy, it had to come out!) and so he is hobbling on crutches again.  So in lieu of a treasure hunt, I just gathered up riddles and they had to solve a riddle before they could open a gift.

After everyone got out of bed and moving around (my kids have NEVER woken up before Mom and Dad on a Christmas morning!!!) we sat down and Garrett read the Christmas story from Luke 2.  We prayed and thanked God for all He has brought us through and for always making sure we had what we needed, and especially for causing us to find out about Garrett’s cancer in time, and for good results on his five-month follow-up screenings and perfectly normal hemoglobin this time!  And then we had our riddles and gifts.  God blessed us with a gift certificate through Garrett’s work, which paid for clothes they got, and almost everything else was purchased at really good bargain prices on eBay!  We have sold some things and still selling some things, which will pay for the rest once the payment comes through.

Around 1pm we headed up to my in-Law’s house, where we enjoyed a delicious home-cooked meal (I concede readily my Mother-in-Law is a really, really good cook!  Way better than me, despite my husband’s appreciation for my own cooking–he’s not picky!)  It was a pleasant time all around.  As we were sitting around enjoying cookies and coffee, I was texting back and forth with my Mom who is in WV and this is her second Christmas without Dad.  (He died in November so the first Christmas was just a blur).  I asked her what she was up to, and she had been cooking, but was then going online to see the pictures I’d posted earlier.  Then she sent me a text that read “Call me please NOW”.  Coming from my mom, that sounded like an S.O.S.

When she answered the phone her voice was faint and weak.  She was having a sudden and extreme dizzy spell in a sitting position.  It hit her very suddenly.  It was accompanied by nausea and blurred vision.  My nephew, whom she has raised as her son, was there but in another part of the  house where he couldn’t hear her so she asked me to hang up and call and ring the house phone in hopes he would hear it and come out to answer it and could help her.   I didn’t want  to cut off my connection with her, but immediately I remembered that my cousin was up visiting her dad about 2 miles up the road from Mom, and I thought to get my husband to call my cousin while I stayed on the line with Mom.  We realized that since I called her on her landline, I couldn’t do what she had asked without hanging up on her.  By the grace of God Justin just happened to come out of his room then, so I instructed her to have him 1) Get her an aspirin, and a blood pressure pill and have her take it.  2) Take her blood pressure,  3) check her blood sugar and then when I got those figures, to 4) Call 911.  I am on the phone with my Mom who is 300 miles away, managing this on the phone with my nephew, (special challenges) and my husband contacts my cousin on her cell, while I hand off mom on my cell to my seventeen-year-old son who has E.M.S. training, and Garrett hands me his phone to speak with my cousin.  She (a health and fitness trainer and YMCA manager, trained in first aid and CPR,  and her husband  (Army Iraq war vet) readily agree to go to Mom’s and check on her.  The E.M.S. arrive right behind them, and this is a very rural mountain area.  They took her to the E.R.  Triple digit Blood pressure (stroke caliber) both diastolic and systolic, and blood sugar also higher than it has ever been.  Her stress levels are through the roof right now in the wake of my Dad’s passing and some other family issues.  The E.R. got her levels down, and my cousin and her husband brought her home.  This transpired between 3:16 p.m. and 8:30 pm.  She was discharged home, and my cousin, who also lives here in VA, is bringing Mom here today to spend some time with us and my brothers who both live nearby, so we can just spoil her for a little while.  (My parents moved back to W.V. after Dad retired, but raised us here).

So I am thankful that my Mom, who is 69 and has Fibromyalgia and very little sensation in her hands, was somehow able to formulate a text in the middle of dizziness and severe nausea as well as blurry vision.  (God-intervention number 1).  I am thankful that I generally text my various friends and loved ones some time throughout the day on any given holiday and had already had a conversation with my cousin to know she was in the area, and I had the presence of mind and my nurse training, and was able to get her phone number off the phone I was using without having to hang up with my mom, able to give it to my husband who dialed it and that my cousin heard her phone and picked up right away. (God-interventions 2-8) and that my cousin and her husband also went to the hospital to remain with her and bring her home, (one of Mom’s brothers and her sister also came), and that Mom’s agreed to come visit here for a week or so (biggest God-intervention of all!) so she can rest her body and mind for a while.

Thank you, Lord, for all these things in place to meet the needs You knew my Mom would have between 3:16 and 8:30pm on this Christmas night! It was His Birthday celebration and He is still giving out gifts!

If my postings are sparse this week, just know it’s because I will be entertaining a V.I.P.

Love my readers, but this is my Mama! Please pray for God to give her peace and rest.