On the Wings of Your Prayers
I want all of you to know I physically felt your prayers, and continue to feel them as we move through each new day. Thank you.
It’s been a week now since we’ve moved my parents from their house in Michigan, their home since 1946. They are 91 and 92 years old, and very independent. Dad is blind; Mom has dementia. We’ve moved them here to North Carolina into the Fidelia Eckerd Living Center to be close to them and tend to their care and have them looked after around the clock.
This was a huge decision and one that took a long time to settle. I blogged about the Honor Flight for WWII veterans my dad and I took; you may have read that. The story of the decision to bring them here began just prior to that.
I’d been praying for answers. Was it morally right and just to remove them from their home? They are not bedridden. .......................
The week before we went to Michigan— I, to fly with Dad and Dave to stay with Mom— I had a call from a friend of theirs. It was 86 degrees (in Michigan that involves a lot of humidity, as well) when Dad took Mom and Toby and walked to the Home Depot. This is more than a mile, much without sidewalks, or broken sidewalks, and involves US 131, the truck route between Detroit and Chicago. He went to buy a lawn tractor for $1600. Money he doesn’t have, by the way. The Home Depot couldn’t have been better about this. The customer service rep knew exactly who I was talking about. They’d given them water and cooled them off, and wondered why a 91 year-old blind man needed a tractor. She said a man by the name of Tom had picked them up, stayed and drove them home. He’s known to them, a regular at Home Depot. I wrote Tom a thank you note via the Home Depot.
This was the clincher for me. Mom had been the eyes for both of them, Dad had been the brains of the dynamic duo. Now the brain was making bad decisions; dangerous decisions. They can’t stay there any longer. But what to do about Toby? I finally stopped praying for answers and dumped the entire thing on God. “If they really should move, then take care of Toby, Lord, because I’m out of ideas. You have to do this for me, or we can’t move them.”
The following week, Dad and I took the Honor Flight. There were 80 veterans and 80 guardians. On the plane, three veterans were seated together with their three guardians behind them. I was seated behind my dad, and seated next to me was…Tom. The Tom. As we got acquainted, he told me he and his wife were CCI puppy trainers. They were also volunteers for Southwestern Michigan Golden Retriever Rescue. Really? I’m a volunteer with Foothills Golden Retriever Rescue of the Carolinas. He said, “My wife got so distressed over the many nice dogs we can’t take in because they aren’t goldens, that she started a new foundation in Southwestern Michigan called Upcycle All-Breed Rescue.” I must have looked like I’d been shot, mouth open, barely breathing. I was stunned. There it was. Untrained, unhousebroken, obese Toby could be trained properly, given the appropriate diet, and find a great home. When his wife learned the story and agreed to take Toby, I cried. The major hurdle was gone. My prayer was answered. Thank you.
Answers from VA and Medicaid, after two years, finally came.
Two weeks later we were back in Michigan. Surprise! I talked to Dad about what we were about to do, and had my next argument prepared. But, he said, “Okay.” No argument. No discussion. I took them to the hotel while Dave loaded their bed, chairs and TV onto a U-Haul truck, and left for North Carolina. I removed Toby to his new foster home. I pulled laundry and clothes and items they’d need to start with. Suddenly, I was overcome. I felt panic, fever, and shoving. The light was suddenly so bright inside the dark little house. I was suffocating. I have to get out of here. I have to get to the hotel. Leave. Now. I slammed the door and was at the hotel in 8 minutes. The desk clerk said, “I’m so glad you are here. I was trying to call you. They’re trying to leave. They walked down three flights of fire escape and were going to walk home. They said they thought you were looking for them.” It was the prayers, wasn’t it? Calling out to me. Blinding me, shoving me. I was wrapped in the tight cocoon of your prayers. What can I say to you but Thank You?
The first day of our trip was uneventful, the drive was pleasant, nice weather. My driving habit is such that I don’t change lanes often, only if necessary. Some drivers, Dave included, can’t stand to drive behind a truck. Driving behind trucks doesn’t bother me if they are moving at speed limit. If they slow down, I put on my blinker and pass them on the left. Otherwise, I’m fine in that lane. I’d been following a truck for many miles. He’s doing 75-78, I’m about two or three car lengths behind, perfectly content and comfortable south bound in the center lane of I-75.
In an instant I’m in the lane to my right. I had no intention, no blinker, hands still at 10 & 2, no conscious action, but there I am in the next lane. In that very instant the truck I’d been following hits a lawn chair, a big yellow folding chaise lounge. The thing comes flying out from under the truck into the air like a cannonball. All the broken pieces of plastic and metal are projecting like shrapnel; I can hear it raining on the other cars. The chair crashes down and lands exactly where I would have been. It would have gone through my windshield or torn up my carriage or both, at 75 mph in the center lane of I-75. My parents would have been killed if my car had not been lifted by your prayers into the next lane. Thank you.
Their arrival in their new “apartment” with their own bed, recliners, TV was surprising. Mom, in a moment of clarity said, “Wait! Do you mean we are never ever going back to our home? I have to go feed Toby.” My Dad came through like a champ, but eventually he, too, dissolved in tears. “I can’t stay here without my dog.” He cried and cried. In my lifetime, I’ve seen my dad cry twice: he had a hemmorhoidectomy, and I got married. But, he got through it. And that evening when Dave and I returned together, Mom and Dad were walking through the halls, holding hands, learning their way around, checking things out.
We are going to be fine, dear friends, and I want you to know how helpful, how life-saving, how effective your prayers have been. Whenever I feel any doubt, I physically feel your prayer presence give me confidence and a smile. If I begin to worry I see that light in their living room telling me God wants them here, safe and cared for with assurance they are surrounded and sustained by your prayers. Thank you so much, all of you, for carrying us on the wings of your prayers.