You never know what will happen in a day. That’s what we kept saying to ourselves, saying to each other. You never know what will happen.
Like always, we got up, went to work, went to school. I had a very productive morning, good work was done. After I had finished what I needed to do, I met up with a friend from church for coffee. Well, I thought it would be coffee but we ended up having lunch, which turned out to be a good thing!
Towards the end of lunch my phone rang. I did the right thing and ignored it, but it rang again. It was my brother ringing to tell me that my father had had an accident.
And the day changed.
He had taken a 4 meter fall off some decking that he was nailing down. He had broken his ribs, broken his back, bruised his lungs. Serious but not fatal, no spinal cord injuries, no brain injuries. While this is a horrible situation I can still see the hand of God in it and I want to share how much I am grateful for:
I am grateful that I was with a friend who prayed with me straight away.
I am grateful that we had eaten lunch – my next meal was after 930pm.
I am grateful for the grace that my employers immediately gave me – they have taken over my work and allowed me time to be with family with no fuss at all.
I am grateful that my brother was with my mother when she found out what had happened and that she didn’t have to face it alone.
I am grateful that we were about to have a massive family reunion, my sister was about 2 hours from home, having flown from the USA and my daughter was home from Canberra. Everyone could see how Dad was for themselves, no one had to rely on second hand information.
I am also grateful that my sister and brother (and his partner) were already going to stay with Mum and Dad, so that without any fuss Mum could have company that night.
I am grateful to my lovely family for letting me stay in the hospital room with Mum and Dad when other things (like picking up my sister and eating) were happening. I didn’t want to be anywhere else.
I am grateful that the people who found Dad after the fall were a registered nurse (who works in neurology) and a GP.
I am grateful that my daughter thought to bring in snack food when she came to the hospital.
I am so grateful for the cups of tea that were given to us in the emergency department.
I am grateful for my husband who supported me when I was trying to support others.
I am so grateful that Dad was in a large room in Emergency and that all the family were allowed in, together, to say hello and spend some time.
I am very, very grateful for the amazing staff, who looked after Dad so well, and also, looked after him with a smile. And answered all of our many, many questions with patience and grace.
I am grateful that there are enough of us around right now to take care of everything with ease – to divide up the cooking, the announcements, the support, the shopping, the decisions.
I am very grateful that Dad has not damaged his spine, that he is able to chat to us, that he still has his sense of humour.
I am so grateful for the support of our many friends around the world. And so grateful for Facebook for easily connecting us and making updates relatively painless.
My father still has a way to go. He will be in a back brace for about 3 months. He will be in a fair bit of pain for a fair while. And there is still a chance of complications with his lungs as clearing them of fluid is difficult when you have limited mobility. We have a journey to travel but we will be travelling together. Several of my friends lost their fathers in the last year and I am acutely aware of how blessed we are to have Dad still around.
There are so many people to thank for all they have done. I don’t want to take away from what they are doing and have done, but above all, I want to thank God. As we walk through the hard road ahead, may we always be aware of the treasures along the way and be grateful.