Sunday, December 28, 2008


I was awakened by the ringing of the phone the other morning. It was my father-in-law calling to talk to Jeff. I hate to admit that 2 weeks ago, if he had called early in the morning - on a day perfect for sleeping in - I would have been a little annoyed. I like my sleep. Sadly, I'm not a morning person.

However, on this cold, rainy morning - the day after Christmas - I found myself choking back tears as I listened to Jeff chatting on the phone with his dad. I could hear Jeff's words fumbling about as he fought to keep his emotions in check. I could only imagine the array of thoughts and feelings he was experiencing as he listened to the voice on the other end of the line.

Relief. Amazement. Joy. Thankfulness. And I imagine a part of him was having a hard time trying not to think about what could have been - or, what almost was.

Two weeks ago his father survived a life threatening aneurysm; an aneurysm that went misdiagnosed for two days. He then survived an emergency, 10-hour surgery to repair the extensive damage caused by the rip in his aorta; a rip that spanned from his heart all the way down to his legs. It was a surgery only complicated more by the need to perform a double bypass and replace a faulty valve.

Then, as his father laid in his hospital bed, recovering from the surgery, it was discovered that he had developed a life-threatening lung infection. Just his being awake, lying in a bed, having a ventilator doing all of the breathing for him, was too taxing for his body. So, as quickly as they had woken him up, the doctors sent him back to sleep. And we watched him sleep for 6 days. And we waited for his lungs to get better.

And we prayed.

It was then determined that he would need extensive therapy on his lungs, so the insertion of a trach was scheduled for Christmas Eve. However, on the morning of Christmas Eve, the doctor who was supposed to do the procedure fell ill with the flu; so, they rescheduled the trach placement for a few days later.

Then, on Christmas Day, he woke up.

The doctor re-examined him and it was determined that his lungs had made such improvement that he no longer needed to have a trach inserted. So, they took him off the ventilator and he began to talk, again.

And we all gave thanks for the beautiful Christmas gift that God had given us.

So, the day after Christmas, as I listened to Jeff talking on the phone, I gave thanks that he had been given another opportunity to have a conversation with his dad. I gave thanks for being awakened by the ringing of the phone.


Butterfly Mama said...

Oh Nicki, what a beautiful Christmas gift. I'm all teary with gratitude. I want to call all my family even thought it's too late!

What a blessing.

~Crystal~ said...

Praise Him...I say...Praise Him!

gretchen from lifenut said...

Wow! What an amazing story of thankfulness and protection. I'm so glad you shared---especially how a once-minor irritation can be turned on its head in a heartbeat.

Antique Mommy said...

That is indeed an incredible story. Definitely the best Christmas present of the season. Wishing your FIL good health in the coming year.

Trina said...

Hey Nicki! Thanks for the comment. I am sooo behind on my blogs its embarassing. Forgive me. I just read your last post and wow what a blessing that your FIL is okay. That is an incredible Christmas gift. How life can change in a moment...scary...

Wendy said...

Wow, that is a wonderful gift!

Hope you are doing ok. Miss hearing from you.

Wendy said...

i am on facebook.
email me when you get a chance. i can't remember your last name. :)