Sometimes things seem to happen when you think the timing could not be more off. Usually, though, the timing is just perfect- it only takes some time to realize it.
I try not to get too mushy, gushy on my blog, but sometimes I just have to. Plus, I think this can answer the questions of a lot of friends that have sent messages my way.
This Thursday, one week away from Thanksgiving, Dad called me on my way to work… this is pretty normal. I answered in a hurry and chatted for a few short minutes about our upcoming trip to the Corvette museum in Bowling Green, KY, Thanksgiving, work and the weather. Then I rushingly got off the phone as I was walking in to work for a very busy day.
The day passed quickly…. busy with work, barely stopping to even eat a bite of lunch. Then, all of the sudden.. time stopped. I got word from my stepmom saying Dad had gone out for a walk and had not returned. (For those of you who don't know all the details, Daddy is paralyzed on one side from a stroke and lost his sense of verbal communication in said stroke. He walks with a cane and a limp… but this doesn't stop his stubborn ways.) Okay, no big deal…Dad is a social butterfly. I'm sure an old friend stopped him on his walk and offered to take him for a little joyride and to the local meat and three for a hamburger. The hours continued to pass and the worry started to increase. I was reasonably calm and collected until it got dark outside. My sweet dad had been out for seven hours now… as hard as it is to admit it, I got this sick, vomitty feeling in my gut and thought there was a chance that I may not see him again.. I didn't know what else to do but cry out to God to please help us find him. There was an unbelievable amount of family, friends, volunteers and concerned community members scouring the roads around their home looking for him. He couldn't have gotten that far, right??
Within two minutes of my desperate (and attempted silent) tears of prayer, a man who I have known my whole life came out of nowhere and said, "We found him."A million things went through my mind…Is he okay? Is he alive? Is he hurt? Is he scared? I didn't know what else to do but run…as fast as I could toward the area the man said he found him. Hysterically crying in fear of the unknown I ran through briars, limbs, mud and who knows what else until I had his sweet face in sight.
That was the tightest hug I've ever given.
That was the scariest few hours of my entire life. No joke.
So, today, once the dust has settled, I find myself in Barnes and Noble.. Shopping for car magazines to deliver to the hospital in the morning in an effort to fight Dad's boredom as he fights, like he always does, for his body to heal so he can get back to his normal life.
Dad is going to be okay. He is incredibly sore, cut up, banged up and exhausted. Covered in mud, soaking wet and blood, we carried him to the hospital- although he has an unknown journey of therapy and recovery ahead, he is ALIVE and still his sweet self.
I've never been so thankful.. for the countless friends, family members, co-workers, community members, church members and volunteers who gave up their afternoon to help us…. for the sweet Dad I have that continuously shows me what a fighter really is… for the stepmom who stands by his side and goes through so much day in and day out…for the sister who shares in my fear and pain and is always there for me..for the stepbrother who searched all day long and consoled me in my manic state..for the mom who drove me home and listened to me talk/cry it out for the last few days.. for the stepdad who spent his afternoon looking for my dad.. for the sweet aunts, uncles, friends and loved ones who called, texted, searched, emailed and prayed for us all.
More than anything, I am thankful for God's timely answer of my desperate cry for help. He did it "just in time." This Thanksgiving will be unlike any other.