Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Life is Stranger Than Fiction Part II

In our last episode - the younger boys and I were headed out in the van to pick up two other children (read: actually they're teenagers) and spend some time at the highly secure gated community club's pool. And yes, I was wearing my swimsuit with my towel wrapped around most of my body. Then suddenly.....

Three doors down I noticed the commotion going on outside of our dear friends' house. The security guard just glared at me when I turned around in the middle of the street. (Okay.. you would have to if you had seen where I turned around.) I dropped the boys off back at the house, got my mother and ran down the Wetles.

Since we went in through the garage door - the security guard decided to not come after us. Inside we found our dear Peggy looking frantically for papers for her precious hubby Jerry. He is laid out on a gurney with several paramedics around him. It's clear - they are taking him to the hospital. I immediately ran back home and changed clothes and told the boys to do whatever their grandmother told them to. Hospital mode - they are so accustomed to it. I had the privilege of driving Ms. Peggy's caddy so that the dear woman didn't have to. We chatted non-stop along the way to the hospital in GR following the ambulance. Our cell phones ringing off the - well, technically, wall doesn't fit here does it?

Upon arriving Jerry was taken back and they began working on him. The man had been out working in his yard from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - he (72) clearly had heat exhaustion. As Peggy and I were sitting out in the waiting room until she could go back to see him - the two main paramedics came into the room. I told the men my name and thanked them for taking such great care of Jerry. The younger parademic of the two started talking to the receptionist. He was recounting to her the loss of his 31-year old wife just 3 weeks ago. He had such huge tears streaming down his face. I told him that while I could not understand first hand the loss of a spouse - I could someone who I had loved beyond words. He then said to me, "Yes, I know who you are. I remember you and your dad coming into the fire station numerous times. I knew you were his daughter the first time you came in with him because you both had that smile about you." The older one then said, "Yes, wasn't your dad a pastor?" Peggy immediately jumped in and said, "No, he wasn't a pastor but he might as well have been given all the people he ministered to over the years." The older one went on to tell us about having back surgery recently. We talked about pain... life... God. I gave the younger one my number and told him to call if we could be of any help to him and his 7-year old son. We hugged and again - huge tears.

Peggy was finally allowed to go back and see her precious Jerry. As I waited in the waiting room - her daughter and two granddaughters came in. We exchanged hugs. She is a nurse and couldn't wait to get back to see him. Yet, only one family member could at a time. We talked about women's ministry and life to pass the time. You could tell - she needed to see him for herself. Peggy finally came out and off Beverly went...... Jerry was doing much better.

We continued talking... Peggy, the girls and I until Beverly came back out... Yes, in her heart/mind... Jerry was going to be okay. Peggy immediately sent me back to the highly secure gated community to rescue my mom. I had noticed Peggy's car was almost empty so I made sure to put $10.00 worth of gas in it on my way back. Something I learned from my daddy many, many years ago.... I wasn't sure where I would find my mom and the boys... but I had hope. I drove up into the main parking lot area of the clubhouse and sure enough.... There was the van. My mom had not only driven her own grand kids to the pool but had indeed gone by and picked up the other two as well. She was sitting there eating french fries while drinking a Coke and talking to another close friend from church. And yes, soon enough there was Hoover and they were off. I was beyond proud of my mom. That close friend was off as well....

I sat at the pool and visited with a lady from church who I honestly didn't really know until today. She asked me to share about our family and when I was finished - she thanked me for providing her with such encouragement and hope. There were two teenage girls sitting there listening and soon enough... they were talking with me. After an hour and a half or so... I gathered up the kids and we left in Peggy's caddy. The other kids thanked me for going to the pool even though they would have liked to have stayed longer. They understood I needed to get Peggy's car back to her. Our boys told me they were proud of their grandma too as we pulled into the driveway.

I returned Peggy's caddy back into her garage and walked into the house through the backdoor. Sitting in the living room was Peggy, Sammy, Belinda and their son, Jay. Jerry was just getting out of the shower in their bedroom. He walked into the room and we hugged. As I was sitting there in that living room - I couldn't help but take it all in. You would never in a million years know that Jerry is not their biological dad and grandpa by watching and listening to their grown children.

Peggy and Jerry were really close to my dad. Sammy, his wife Belinda and their son, Jay were too. It was natural that he was a part of the conversation as well. Jerry, in fact, was there when daddy passed on. Before leaving - I made a point to talk eye to eye with Sammy while shaking his hand. Sammy is a pharm. rep...... I made it clear that our family did not think in any way shape or form that a certain med had any thing to do with what happened to daddy the night he had the heart attack. Sammy said that it meant alot to him that I told him that. He didn't know that I had been praying for the opportunity to do so face to face. Goodbyes and hugs - and the promise to let the lawn pastor take care of the lawn were taken care of as I walked out the door.

Upon entering the house.... I knew she was laying on her bed. My mother and Hoover had originally been scheduled to play golf today. We talked about all that had transpired. She said what happened today was a wake up call to her because she had been pushing herself so hard lately to play golf when there was actually sunshine instead of pouring rain. She gets overheated rather easily you see.

Life is stranger than fiction but I wouldn't trade it for all the money and success in the world. Now THAT has to be HIM!

Please pray for the Wetle family, Jason Tate and his son Kolbi, and Mr. Stanley.

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