My daughter was leaning in close to the iPad screen for our video call, putting all her weight on her table topping forearms when her balance shifted backward and gravity took over. She slid off the table in an instant and out of my view.
She’s always doing this. Falling down. What follows is an half-embarrassed, half-pleased-with-herself grin. But several seconds passed and she didn’t come back onto the screen. Her mother called to her from across the room and she didn’t respond. It was only when she came close that my wife detected that something wasn’t right. She started screaming for me to call 911.
That was four hours ago. Daughter is okay; she fractured her skull, but it’s not a displaced fracture and there is no bleeding. I’m on the first plane to her in the morning, hoping to outrun the sound of her mother’s screaming and the crushing weight of helplessness that hangs onto you when your child is injured miles away from you. It’s what I fell I need to do.
Apart from me, though, practically dozens of people have staked their own well being to mine and my family’s this evening in a way that makes crystal clear for me the good things we’ve been given in our life. While my wife was speeding to the ER, I made one phone call and sent one text, and within half an hour two pastors–former colleagues–were by her side. One of them is staying the night in an as-yet-undetermined ICU. Two college students, former youth group stalwarts who are now leaders, called and had to be talked out of rushing to the hospital themselves.
Meanwhile, my people–the colleague group that is in constant daily communication over Facebook Messenger–prayed with me and sat with me well past midnight, when the CT results came back. My wife’s family has a Messenger group too, and that swung into action with prayers and attendant waiting.
And I’ve just sent the email to my newest colleagues asking them to excuse me for a week they hadn’t planned on. I hate doing that, and yet I’m not hesitating to do that.
I don’t expect to blog much the next several days. Let this word of gratitude stay here in the meantime, then: Krista, Karen, Courtney, Landon, Brian, Marci, Chad, Libby, Rick, Barbara, Donna, Sandra, John, Nathan, Bekah, Alejandro, Angel, Chuey, Shannon, Shelly, and Katie. I’m grateful for you. You’re saving my life right now.