How can you not believe in the existence of the devil and of heavenly angels? The mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso were certainly the devil slithering into the bodies of people who allowed it and forced them into doing terrible things to other people. The Devil causes pain and forces accidents to happen.
He is real.
The night before these two horrific mass shooting events occurred, my husband was on a concrete floor from a fall causing blood to run rivulets from the back of his head. His arms bent at the elbows and unable to come down.
Legs not moving. Eyes looking frightened and pained.
Here came angels: Ambulance drivers, nurses, doctors, our children and sons-in-law, friends and neighbors, trauma doctors, neurosurgeons, physical and occupational therapists, nurse’s aids, physician assistants, sterile specialists, custodians, food preparation workers, social workers, psychologists, case managers, hospital volunteers.
Angels embodying those who could help. Angels embodying those who wanted to help.
A quilt showed up at the door of the trauma room. A wordless friend handed it to me and kissed my cheek. It absorbed many tears and gave off warmth for the many days to follow. There were uncountable texts and phone calls of offers to help.
Friends showed up for a hug or sent a message, respecting the need for my husband’s rest, not laughing at my lack of makeup or hair brush, not coming out of curiosity or to be the first in the “know” or wanting to be the one to spread bad news. The sincerity and kind words wrapped around us like bubble wrap. The hugs and offers to help lifted us when we didn’t even know we could be lifted.
Our children and their spouses and our grandchildren stepped up to help in amazing ways. They mowed lawn, paid bills, took care of the garden and the house, and the farm. They came to the hospital so that I could step out and cry. And cry some more. And because I am an emotional person ... to cry even after that.
My husband probably wouldn’t like me to reveal this trauma so publicly. He is a private person. He didn’t want me to write about his mild heart attack years ago, or the time he cut his fingers in the power saw, or the time he broke five ribs in multiple places and nicked his lung. He says, “Everyone has problems. They don’t want to hear about mine.”
And in the many days I have spent in the trauma ward and in the ICU, watching the ambulance helicopter ferry the injured and the sick to the emergency room in a constant dance against death; the many wives and husbands I have met who have loved ones struggling from injuries or bodies experiencing trauma of some kind, I find he is right. Everyone has problems.
But I also find that there is comfort in the sharing of our stories and our healing, our worries and sadly, sometimes, our letting go. We are all humans who face tragedy and must depend on the love that can only be carried by angels.
But hope is the beautiful and fragrant bouquet presented by angels. Hope that full use will return to arms and legs. Hope that walking again is in the not-so-distant future. Hope that the spinal cord injury was mendable and that life can continue as it once was without too many adaptations.
Before being whisked off for neurosurgery, the young surgeon asked my husband if he had any more questions for him before they left for the operating room.
“Will I be able to farm again?” was his last question to the surgeon.
The surgeon smiled. “We will do our very best to make that happen.”
An angel with a bouquet in his hands.