… of God’s gifts and perfect timing … part four
So there we were, Ted and I, at three o’clock in the morning. Amanda had just passed away.
What do you do?
We cried in anguish.
We called 911.
I told Ted to tell them that she had collapsed two weeks ago and had come home fairly sick. She had, obviously to us, passed away, but we didn’t know who we were to call – the police? EMS? So could they come but please, I requested, no sirens. It was three in the morning and there was no need to wake the whole neighborhood.
I picked up Amanda and carried her body into the family room. Her bedroom was small and crowded with boxes of stuff and I didn’t think all the EMS guys and equipment would fit.
Sirens. I heard sirens. They were loud and screaming. Oh dear Lord. Why did they have to come with sirens blaring?
The EMS guys came in and hooked Amanda up to the monitors. She was flat-lined. Yeah. We knew.
They actually asked us if we wanted them to ‘try’ something and we said no. I know they understood. We didn’t want to subject her body to the trauma of intubation and electric jolts to try to start her heart. It would just have been an insult to her body. I really didn’t think it was going to work – and if it did it probably would have meant just holding off the inevitable for a few more minutes or hours until her scarred lungs proved ineffective or we would be forced to make a ‘pull the plug’ decision.
With a quilt wrapped around her, I sat on the floor in my pajamas with Amanda in my lap. My baby. My firstborn. The EMS guys and police officers were all so kind. There were questions to answer and paperwork to fill out and phone calls to make. One of the officers said he knew Amanda – that she was one year behind him in high school and he remembers her wheeling around the school. A gift. It just felt so good to have someone there with a personal connection.
At five in the morning, the men from the funeral home arrived. They took Amanda’s body away.
And it was five in the morning. And it was still dark out. And the house was silent. And Ted and I looked at each other and asked, “so what do we do now?”
We didn’t want to call and wake anyone – it could wait another hour or so.
We started cleaning the house.
Because we HAD to DO something … we couldn’t just sit and cry … and we knew it was going to be the start of a very busy day and week with funeral plans and family and friends and …
I also started making lists. It’s what I do. When there is too much to do, I make a list so I can remember everything. I listed who we had to call, and things we had to do.
Ted and I simply started DOING so we would not be drowned and disabled by the flood of emotions.
And God’s gifts continued.
My first worry was how I was going to get sister Jillian home as she was currently in school in the Caribbean on the island of St. Kitts. Thanks to social media I already could see that my friend Barb was awake and on the internet … and Barb works for a travel agency. God bless you Barb for helping to make the plane reservations to get Jillian home. A gift.
The flight we chose for Jillian had her flying into Cleveland. All other flights to Detroit required an overnight layover in Miami. We didn’t want that. Cleveland worked out the best – and allowed Ted and I to get away from home and the overwhelming phone calls and drop-by visitors so we could drive … and talk. We also got to bide some time in the Cleveland area at my nephew’s house and to visit with him and his wife and his mother. We don’t see them often. What a gift that visit was.
And I felt bad for dragging Jillian home – it is so hard to miss school – but the school schedule had a day off the coming Monday – another gift. A little break In the school schedule that we could benefit from.
Jill’s husband Andy was attending school in TN. Barb got a flight for him as well. Jill and Andy had been apart for too long … two months. The plan was for them to not reunite until Christmas break. Although it was not for the best of reasons, Jill and Andy got the gift of five days together.
Daughter Kristen got several days off from work and joined us early in the week.
The love and support from friends and family was overwhelming.
And the food came.
And the friends stopped by.
And God’s gifts continued.
… to be continued …