Crisis changes perspective

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 30, 2010

It is a dark, dreary, and rainy Sunday afternoon as I write—a time which could turn me into a gloomy mood. Instead, my heart sings, filled with gratefulness to God because my husband lounges in his recliner in the living room watching a football game on television. I never realized I took that scene for granted. I never will again.

Events of Friday, Jan. 15, changed all that. Around ten o’clock that morning, he was in the midst of a heart attack as a helicopter transported him to a Dothan hospital, straight to the cath lab. As the helicopter was lifting off, our daughter and I rushed home, snatched a few belongings, and headed to Dothan. Only someone who has followed an ambulance or made a trip to a hospital after an airlift of a loved one could identify with our anxiety.

“Take good care of my dad,” our daughter said to one of the Life Flight attendants as they rolled him from the bed to a stretcher to take him to the helicopter. “Don’t speed,” our son cautioned, as I hung up the telephone after informing him. On the trip to Dothan, we tried to think positive. No matter how much we tried to push back our worst fear and talk about something else, the fearful question kept invading our minds. Would he arrive in time?

When we reached the hospital, we rushed straight to the information desk. A clerk told us he was in the critical care unit. We had no details of his condition, but praise God, we knew he was alive. Someone directed us to the waiting room. Soon afterward, our pastor Rev. Tim Trent came in. During all the years my husband was in the ministry and made similar visits to hospitals, I never realized how much it meant to have your minister at your side during such a time. I’m forever grateful to Tim.

After what seemed like half a lifetime and nobody called our name, I made some inquiries and we were allowed in the unit. We learned that a surgeon had inserted a stint. Our patient was awake and alert. He and Tim even joked with each other before we all stood by his bedside for Tim’s encouraging prayer for us all.

Sometime later, our granddaughter from Lexington, Ky., arrived. She was in the air three hours after she booked her flight. Our son drove in from Louisiana the next day. What a blessing to have them beside us as we experienced the ups and downs during his hospital stay.

We appreciate the calls of concern, love, support, and prayers offered for him and our family. They have meant so much. He is on oxygen and doing well; he hopes to continue writing his fifth Rev. Alabaster Armstrong mystery novel soon.