Every day I wake up, I silently ask God to place a soul in my path who needs help-animal or human. It is an absolute blessing to be able to do something good–from the tiniest thing to the magnificent–to help another.
Every holiday, I try to plan an extra special way to help a family, a shelter, a homeless group, vets, dogs, cats, turtles…a project or task much bigger than my every day blessings. This year, having a very full “plate,” I was feeling a little guilty for not planning something special at Thanksgiving time but I thought that God would understand since I have Someone to care for and many dogs with very special needs to watch over. God, however, had other plans…
Years ago, when Someone was acting odd and getting sick, I took him to approximately 15-20 doctors, hospitals, therapists, psychiatrists, neurologists and on and on. No one could figure out exactly what was wrong so I was told to put him into therapy (he tried), leave him, institutionalize him, etc. I had known him for so long as a cheery, giving, the most thoughtful, kind human being I had ever met that in my gut, I knew something else was wrong. Then, one nurse practitioner met with Someone many times and confirmed what I was feeling. Something was very wrong–but it was not psychiatric!
Saving him from a life of being sedated and confined to an institution, this nurse helped arrange visits to advanced healthcare and up the ladder we went until, after five brain scans, a diagnosis was made: Lewy Body Dementia. I didn’t know what that was–but I certainly do now–with medications and behavior management, Someone can live at home and not be medicated and warehoused into a “corner.” We owed that special nurse our lives really.
The week before Thanksgiving, I received a call that this nurse, who had moved out of state, was going to be in Houston for a visit. She was staying with a friend but would love to see us–and of course, we would love to see her! She met us at the big medical center downtown where Someone had an appointment and we spent about four hours together catching up but vowed to see each other again soon on a social visit.
Within days, as I was just sitting in The Rose Chapel at the hospital praying and lighting candles for all of our angels both animal and human, on earth and in heaven–this nurse was the last candle that I lit one for when my phone rang. The friend she was staying with told me that she was missing for almost an entire day! Her cell phones had been left on her bedside (turned out they needed charging so she left them since she was just going to get a coffee at Starbucks) and there was no way to find out where she was. Since she was recovering from an accident from the previous year, her friend was worried that she was lost or had been mugged or worse and filed a missing person’s report and was driving the streets of their area to see if she was hurt.
Sitting in the chapel and praying, gave me complete clarity of thought and a calmness that helped so much. I immediately began calling hospitals and emergency rooms. This nurse was such a responsible person that there was no way she would just wander off without telling someone. Something had happened to her. I called her son who was having great anxiety being so far away and had him work on his laptop and text me the numbers of the area hospitals–as fast as he could send them, I was calling them. On the third call, we located her! Everyone breathed a sigh of relief–but the relief would turn into great concern after finding out what had happened.
The nurse had been in an accident and was taken to the ER by ambulance after a bystander called the emergency number. She wound up fracturing her pelvis, fracturing the long bone of her arm that attaches to the shoulder joint, and so many other bruises and bumps and cuts that I think it will take months to recover in the hospital and then rehab. She cannot walk, cannot even sit up in bed and just screams out in agony if moved despite lots of pain meds. She cannot even feed herself.
So, this Thanksgiving, I knew what God had in mind! I made sure the dogs had an early dinner, got Someone ready and headed for the hospital–with a stop to pick up two turkey dinners for Someone–and his nurse! (That is all I could get approved–all of the restaurants were out of turkey that week!) I enjoyed a soda at the hospital and it was as good as any vegetarian holiday dinner that I could have ordered!
We arrived at the hospital with dinner, pumpkin pie (which was included) and brought along whipped cream and jellied cranberry sauce (a special request). I had to stop myself from gasping when I saw our vibrant nurse–just shattered and more than physically. I would have hugged her but I didn’t know where to even touch her–it was that serious a situation.
Someone took out the Christmas lights that we brought for the occasion and strung them along her bed. (We were told that they couldn’t stay past this one visit.) I cleaned up the room, made room for both of their dinners and hand-fed our angel nurse her dinner little by little. (Someone brought a cool bag to put any left-overs on ice so she could have lunch or dinner the next day which was very thoughtful and needed.)
After dinner, I turned out the lights and by Christmas lights only, I gave her a bath by hand, brushed out her hair from the accident, changed her linens…well, tried to help however I could. It was slow going because of her fractures and pain level but I thanked God the entire time I was there that I/we could be of service on this day of thanks. This was a true Thanks-giving. (Many more hospital visits to come…)
We got home after 3 AM, and thanked God again for the gift cards that our angels send because we ordered eggs and ham to mix into the dogs kibble when we got home. We also thanked God for all of the angels who pray for help, send things for the dogs and just care in general. Without you, we could not do so much to help so many.
Days later, we are still helping our precious nurse and will continue to do so as long as need be. Yes, it is a big job–but with God’s help and lots of prayers, she will recover enough to walk again. Her life is literally on the line right now so without the help of her friend who she was staying with and us, she would not make it (her family has not come down yet) so thank you for your patience, for your prayers and your help with the dogs.
God is so much bigger than us. While we are used to saying HE, God is beyond words–God is really all LOVE–the source of it, the power behind it, all of it. God is conscious though–while He is the source of the love we have for each other or for our animals, He is much more than that. HE hears our prayers–and apparently He not only knew that I was feeling bad about not having planned to help anyone this Thanksgiving more than I already do but HE also heard the nurse’s prayers–or she would not have even made it to the hospital to eat Thanksgiving Dinner!
Cherish every minute of your lives–and of the time you have with your loved ones. You never know when things will change or when God will call…too many times to count now, I have seen this with my own eyes both with animals and with people so please, don’t rush through your day unconsciously but thoughtfully–and always try to do good, to show love in anyway possible. It matters. Even the tiniest thing matters.
Sending all of our love and best wishes to everyone–I will write a dog story soon. I have the pictures formatted and ready to post with the different surprises you have been sending in to help the Rescue Ranch dogs! (firststop-laststop.com) There is a wish list on the website or you can just send gift cards for anywhere–especially needed are Burger King, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, generic Visa cards, Petsmart, Petco, or any others that you are not using, we will find a way to use them to help the special needs dogs at the RR!
If you would like to send an e-card (amazon credits are very much needed right now) or to send a credit to use for their medicines via paypal, please use: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to mail a card or gift card, please send to:
4057 Riley Fuzzel Road
Spring, TX 77386
Thank you so very much for caring.
We are extremely grateful and extremely blessed that you are in our lives.
Love and Hugs from the Herd Always-
To see the special pic I took one day sitting in The Rose Chapel, if you receive this post via email, please click on the link at the bottom of your email text. The featured pics on my blog do not go to the email subscribers for some unknown reason!