Crises – we all have them and we all dread them – and with good reason. A crisis can take an ordinary day and change it in an instance, and almost always not in a good way.
That’s what happened to my family May 19. Wednesday morning is usually a quiet one for me – the Journal office is closed so I work from home, and/or take care of housework, doctor’s appointments, etc.
It was a morning like that last Wednesday, when the phone rang. Charles, who was at work, called to tell me he was coming home because his “back was killing him” and he felt sick.
Now, for any who know my husband, you know that if he admits to pain — and if he hurts bad enough to leave work — it’s bad.
Later, on our way to the doctor, he was hurting worse than I’d ever seen him. I followed my instincts and pulled over at the EMS station in Danielsville.
It was so good to see familiar faces come out that door at my request for help. They were professional, courteous and kind and I had no doubt he was in good hands as they loaded him up and whisked him away to the hospital.
Later in the emergency room, family and friends called and came by, and we were all relieved to eventually find out it was a kidney stone (his first, and hopefully his last) – not a good thing – but something we could handle.
Three of the EMTs who’d brought him in or assisted us when we came to the station — Kevin Cheek, Millie Temple and Ronnie Thompson — came by to check on us while on subsequent calls to the emergency room.
And I will never forget, Kevin (who also moonlights as a DJ and who’ll be providing the music at our daughter Miranda’s wedding this weekend), telling Charles that “we have a wedding to go to in a few days; we don’t need to be doing this” as he hooked him up to an IV line in the ambulance.
Later, back at home, with more phone calls and visits, I was struck, and certainly not for the first time, about how nice it is to be part of a small community such as ours. We may squabble among ourselves, but when there’s a need, we come together.
And so it is that crises, as bad as they can be, can also be blessings in disguise, for they help us bring things into perspective by sweeping away the clutter of life. During a crisis, we get right to the core of what is important and true in our lives. On that long ride to the hospital that morning, I was not thinking of anything but what was important – I wanted to be with my husband, contact my children, I wanted to hear the voices of my family, my friends. I wanted to know God was there, with us. These were feelings as old and instinctual as any I’ve ever felt.
Like WWII veteran Lloyd Carter (featured in last week’s Journal) told me during my visit with him recently – we can’t get along without each other. A touch, a word, a kindness from another are all as necessary as the air we breathe, especially when things go bad, whether we admit it or not. Without those things, we are lost in a world that is often as cold as stone.
I’m thankful that my family and I received such sustenance from friend and stranger alike recently.
Thanks to you all – and God bless you.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for The Madison County Journal.