Saturday, December 20, 2008

Comfort and Joy

It's late and it's been a L-O-N-G couple of days for me.

Friday I was on call 24 hours at the hospital and it was crazy busy....making rounds on patients from the day before, seeing patients who were added to the seemingly endless surgery schedule, and visiting folks scheduled for surgery Saturday. I wasn't sure when the madness would end and I wanted the 24 hours to come to an end quickly.

It didn't, not soon enough.

During my crazy day, I noticed a name on the add-on schedule.....the same name as one of my neighbors. Sure enough, about an hour later he rolled into our "holding area" to be evaluated before his unplanned surgery. You see, a few hours later he was running an errand and slipped on a concrete ramp tearing a tendon in his leg, which required immediate surgical attention.

We live in an older neighborhood with many "older" residents, including both our side neighbors. We have grown to care for them and "watch out" for them, just like they do for us. I feel like they are family!

While talking with Mr. Joe, I asked him where was his wife, Mrs. Rosie. Although his grandson was with him, I knew she would be worried about him.

Mrs. Rosie was taking their youngest daughter, Deidra who is 35, home from the hospital. Deidra had been in the hospital for the last week after a SEVERE ashtma attack. Which, at one point, required her to be on the the "breathing machine". She was making progress and finally able to go home.

I had the privilege of taking care of Mr. Joe during his surgery and checked on him before he left the recovery room to go to his room. He let me know that Mrs. Rosie was up in his room. I told him I would go check on her before I made my final rounds for the evening.

As I got off the elevator and turned the corner, I met Mrs. Rosie in the hall. She hugged me and when I asked her where she was going she told me she had to go to the emergency room. She said Deidra was coming back to the hospital. She had no other details but a bit of urgency in her voice. I scribbled my cell phone number down and gave it to her to have, just in case.

I said a prayer for my neighbors and their daughter. Finished my rounds. And finally got a few hours of rest before coming home this morning.

My phone rang about lunch time, I didn't recognize the number but answered anyway.

I heard Mrs. Rosie's quivering voice on the line....she immediately thanked me several times for taking care of Mr. Joe and then she said, "she's passed, Deidra's passed". She began crying and said, "my baby girl is gone".

My sweet neighbor's 35 year old baby girl won't be sharing Christmas with them this year. The Lord chose this time to take her home.

I wish I knew why! Parents shouldn't have to bury their children, but my neighbors will.

As we came home this evening, our neighborhood luminaries were lit. There were trees, reindeer, stars, inflatables and manger scenes adorning yards all over....but not next door. The lights, decorations and nativity Mr. Joe and his grandson put up earlier this week sat in darkness.

Please take time this holiday season to say a prayer for Mrs. Rosie and Mr. Joe and all their family. They have 6 other children. Pray God will COMFORT them and heal their hurting hearts. And remember Mr. Joe as he recovers from his surgery.

And then take time to thank God for sending his son, Jesus, that we all may know the JOY and true meaning of Christmas.


P.S.He loves you.. said...

I'm sorry ..this is always hard.

I will talk to HIM about it.


Ashley @ said...

tears are welling up...I will be in prayer for them.

Luanne said...

I will be praying for their broken hearts--and for you. God's light, hope and comfort will shine through you.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

OH, that is too sad. I have a tenderness for the elderly, also. I'm just so glad that you were a familiar face that brought them genuine care for body and spirit. You were Jesus to them, Tammy.

littletoesandcheerios said...

Aw, this is just heartbreaking. It would be the hardest thing to lose a child no matter how old they are...praying for them.

Carolina Mama said...

Hey you! Merry Christmas early! I'm with you on the weight loss initiative. Come Jan. 1. :)

Queen B said...

What a tragedy! I'm so sorry for them. I will be praying for this family.

Well Behaved Krissy said...

Oh how painful, but how wonderful that you were able to be there in a time of extreme need. :) Blessings

Simply_Pam said...

With birth comes death.. never easy even when you expect it. I work in a detox unit at a drug rehab so I understand what it's like to see other peoples pain and their joy of a renewed life..
Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Valarie Lea said...

Oh my goodness, that is awful! Bless their hearts. Praying for comfort for them. I just feel so bad for them. :(

Leigh said...

SO very sad, please share this with her...

I see the countless CHRISTMAS TREES around the world below
with tiny lights like HEAVEN’S STARS reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so SPECTACULAR please wipe away that tear
for I am spending CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.

I hear the many CHRISTMAS SONGS that people hold so dear
but the SOUND OF MUSIC can't compare with the CHRISTMAS CHOIR up here.

I have no words to tell you of the JOY their voices bring
for it is beyond description to HEAR THE ANGELS SING.

I know HOW MUCH YOU MISS ME, I see the pain inside your heart
for I am spending CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.

I can't tell you of the SPLENDOR or the PEACE here in this place
Can you just imagine CHRISTMAS WITH OUR SAVIOR face to face

I'll ask him to LIFT YOUR SPIRIT as I tell him of your love
so then PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER as you lift your eyes above.

Please let your HEARTS BE JOYFUL and let your SPIRIT SING
for I am spending CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN and I’m walking WITH THE KING.

~ by Wanda Bencke
© Copyright 1999

jennifer said...

Man I am just so sorry. I know it hit you personally too. Deidre was two years younger than I am! You just can't take anything for granted.

I will pray for your neighbors Tammy and I will say a prayer for you too.


Kirby3131 said...

My husband received a liver transplant 3 years ago tomorrow (Dec 23rd) - I always send a prayer to the donor family who lost their young son, just a few days before Christmas.

I will send prayers out to your neighbors and family. What a blessing that you were there for them, even if it was just a few minutes. I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

Makes me so sad....

Jennifer Raack said...

Oh, that just broke my heart! However, I could not help but think how wonderful God is. I know it must have made Mrs. Rosie feel at ease to know you were there taking care of Joe so she could be with her daughter. God placed you there because He knew they would need you! Praise God you are there to minister to this family during their time of need. I am praying for our precious Lord to wrap His arms around them and give them peace!....the way only He can!!!