Friday, I woke up with plans to clean the house and put in quarter round. After making myself hot coffee with eggs and toast, the sparkling dew on the spring grass distracted me. I left the kitchen table and took the dogs, Mercy and Cookie, outside. The dogs were content with my change of plans. They accept going outside anytime for any reason. God bless dogs with their moment-to-moment happiness.
I was in a mood of gratitude, feeling thankful for my family, my job and my animals. I marveled at the dandelions, yellow against the new grass. They didn’t seem like weeds, just little flowers hoping to become puffs and renew their kind. Do dandelions dream of their time on the wind? God bless the dandelions.
Inside, I started laundry and began to saw the quarter round. I do not see myself getting hired as a quarter round installer anytime soon, or, if I’m honest, ever. My miters left gaps large enough to stick dandelion stems in. I would call my hammering ability inclusive, as in, I included my thumb as well as the nails. God bless home improvement amateurs.
While I cheerfully bumbled about with hammers and saws, the phone rang. It was the high school. My son had some mild chest pain and due to his history, would need to get checked. I explained that I didn’t have a car, because he had one with him at school and my husband the other. I tried to reach my husband. No luck. The school called back and said my son was being driven home to me so I could take him to the ER, one school member driving my son in his own car while someone else followed to drive the administrator back. God bless small schools and caring school staff.
In the ER, everyone treated us with kindness and expertise. From the desk clerks to the nurses and doctors, we felt our son was in good hands. I texted five friends to pray for my son, and their immediate prayers eased the tightness of my bones. I felt them close to me. My ribs loosened to let me breathe again.
We waited for the cardiac test results and listened to the ER stories through the curtain, stories heard but not seen, heard but not completely understood. Ambulances brought in broken people, overdosed and injured. We heard a code blue and knew someone’s life was on the line.
We listened to a conversation about a child who used to come in the ER often but had died. He wouldn’t ever be back in. Through the curtain, we felt the collective missing of a boy we would never know, and somehow we missed him too.
A volunteer came by and offered us something to drink. The clear soda he brought cleared our minds. It grounded us in the simple act of being alive, swallowing something sweet.
The cardiac tests came back negative. My son was OK.
God bless us to always taste the sweetness of life, whether surrounded by weeds, sloppily sawn quarter round or a curtain in the ER.
Lord, bless our eyes to see beauty
in both hospital waiting rooms and
Seven days of the week our lives belong
Don’t let us turn our backs to what
experiences to know you,
chances to pray and
chances to ask for prayers.
The end of our days belongs to you.
Before we return, remind us to relish
the sweetness of now.
Oh! The sweetness of now when
we taste it.
Have you had a day that turned out differently than you expected? Who can you ask for prayers when you’re worried?