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Trapped in the lint filter

January 2, 2006

Of course there are lots of things that happened over the past couple of weeks. But I want to remember two things and share them here.

It was the night before the night before Christmas. We were sitting at the table in my Daddy’s house. I think we were changing batteries in one of his weather gadgets. For a reason that I can’t explain, I took my phone out of my pocket and noticed that I had missed a call from Greg. I text messaged back for him to call back if he needed something. When I sent that message a voice message popped in. I told you that it was the navel of the universe. I am actually surprised that there was cell service at all.

As soon as I listened to the voice message, my sister Susan looked at me and asked, “Bad news?” All I could do was nod.

I have heard Greg in almost every emotion. I have heard him mad, happy, I have probably heard him cry as much as any man I know. But, I had never heard him scared. Greg is a man’s man. Scared is not a common thing for him.

His message was that they were on the way to Texas (to see Megan’s family for Christmas) They were about halfway between Shreveport and Austin and McKinnan (their one year old daughter) had blacked out, here eyes rolled back in here head, she threw up and then stopped breathing. That Megan had performed CPR on her in the car…that Megan and McKinnan were now in an ambulance headed for the next hospital in Jacksonville. She was breathing but still rather lifeless. That if we could take a minute to pray for her that he would appreciate it. It was at the end that his voice fluttered and my heart sank.

I got Kim to come back into the bedroom and told her… we prayed, We both began to cry as we begged God to spare the life of this little one. As we took turns praying and calling others to pray as well. Hours past and we got an occasional text message with an update. Late that night we spoke to Greg and Megan and got the rest of the story, the 911 operator asking where they were, “Ask the state trooper that is trying to pull me over”. Sir you need to pull over, “My baby is not breathing..That ain’t going to happen”
The trooper deciding he didn’t want to resuscitate a one year old and that the ambulance was just a minute or two up the road, to follow him.

The joy of hearing her screaming in the ER.

It seems that all is well. Greg had sent one message from the ER that all was well , that God was Good. We talked about that and how they had, like we, feared that God wouldn’t spare her life. That He had prayed if you need to take her go ahead. He said that if he had taken her God would still be Good.

That is what I want to remember. That in the face of his greatest fear ( he has many times told me that they didn’t want to die apart from each other and there 3 children) his faith remained true. You need people like that in your life.

The second memory is not as dramatic but a small victory. At Kim’s dad’s house Caleb didn’t want his picture made with the rest of us. Kim’s aunt was joking with him that he wasn’t part of our family anymore. After the picture I went and held him and told him that he was part of our family, that there was NOTHING that he could ever do that would make him not family. That I would always love him. That may not seem like much, but, those moments have the potential to wound us for a long time.

So, hug those children you love and tell them the length and depth of your love.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2006 12:45 pm

    A lot of emotion packed in that post. Missed you, glad all is well.

    You don’t have to tell me how you are weird…I already know about your “elevator thing”.

    Happy New Year.

  2. January 2, 2006 1:17 pm

    Actually, I’d still like to hear about the weirdness. 🙂

    Missed you Tommy, and so glad the story ended well for your friends. How scary.

    Have a great 06!

  3. January 2, 2006 4:00 pm

    Elevator thing?

    I’m glad you’re home safely – Happy 2006!

  4. January 3, 2006 12:45 pm

    Tommy –

    The past several days have been VERY emotional for so many people and now I’m reading your post. Humm, ummm, ummh.

    I don’t know who Greg is, Tommy. Relative, friend? What a powerful story and I’m so thankful their baby is okay (I guess – what on earth happened to her? Are they doing tests?)

    As for Caleb – how old is he? I feel so badly for him, but so relieved that you did what you did for him. God gave you the heart and the history to know exactly what to do with him and did it. Praise God for that, even though I’m (still) so sorry you had to go through all the history you did, yourself, through the years.

    When you say –

    “That may not seem like much” [to some people], you are right. But because of your own experiences, God has blessed you with a terribly sensitive heart to have compassion and understanding for even the littlest of children, who are so innocent and pure and loving.

    Because, you are also right (you well know) that “those moments have the potential to wound us for a long time.”

    It reminds me of Sunday afternoon when we left my son Mark’s house in Picayune and Zoe (you’ve seen her picture with Hannah – she’s 3) was right behind me in the open door. Tom was in front of me and I was on my scooter trying to get down the small “step” from the door to the porch, so Tom and I were both “busy.”

    Zoe was right behind me with her new, bright pink umbrella opened over her head (no, it wasn’t raining) and I started to move forward while telling her good-bye.

    She quickly looked at me and said, with a very hurt voice, “aren’t you going to give me a kiss and hug good-bye, Grandma Dee?”, as has always been our habit since she was a baby.

    I did, of course, and Tom came back and gave her a big hug and kisses, too, kneeling down to her level and holding the umbrella out of the way.

    It’s stayed with me very deeply inside ever since. The sound of her voice and the look on her face and in her eyes. Somehow that moment breaks my heart in thinking that I failed her (although I know, like you, that we were just busy and preoocupied and all and we made it “right”). I think why it has stayed with me is because I know we all fail each other in this life so many times without realizing the gravity of small moments like that that come along where we can act and/or speak, but are silent and/or preoccupied, instead.

    So – when I read this post of yours late last night, I was moved deeply then, too, because of your love for your little son and how I identify with that and so want to be a loving parent and grandparent. I thank God for your love, compassion and faithfulness as a dad.

  5. January 3, 2006 2:00 pm

    Greg is a friend and McKinnan is fine, a freak thing. Caleb is 5.

    I think its important to know that children who feel loved deflect these things much easier than those who feel doubt about it.

  6. January 5, 2006 7:09 am

    WOW… a true horror story for a parent, but I’m glad that she is doing OK. That’s got to stay in the back of their minds until they know why it happened.

    Good Dad, Tommy … you’re a Good Dad.–>

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