Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Phone Call

The phone rang the other morning with the obnoxious ring that all phones have. Racing to answer it before the person hung up, I answered, slightly out of breath.
“Rachel? I just wanted to call and give you a heads up that you might need to get a substitute pianist for the choir on Sunday,” Sister Jones said on the other end. She sounded a little frantic. “Sister Baker’s daughter is on her way to the children’s hospital in Salt Lake and doesn’t know when they’ll be back.”
“Oh, no! What happened?”
“Emma fell off their horse a while back and they thought she just had the flu. But apparently she has some major internal problems with her organs and they took her to Salt Lake this morning.”
Now, I’m the choir director in my ward and we’re singing today. Fortunately the second councilor in the bishopric’s wife said she’d play and does a masterful job. But honestly, my first thought was not for my choir or the predicament I was in but for the Baker family.
The Bakers don’t have very much money and they have eight children. Sister Baker just had a bout of cancer and one of the boys has had cancer too. So this is not a family unaccustomed to trials. Still, my heart went out to poor little Emma who is not yet even four! I can only imagine how scared she must be – and her parents too.
About two weeks before this, my husband and I were getting ready for bed late on night when we heard the piercing sirens of an ambulance as it stopped across the street from our home. Knowing the 83 year-old grandmother who lived there had a severe heart attack the month before and had problems with fluid collecting on her lungs, we rushed out to see what was wrong. The medics wheeled her out on a stretcher and her sister and her worried children filed into the street. We feared the worst but her daughter said she would probably be okay. She wasn’t eating and had more fluid on her lungs. In fact, over the course of the last month, they have pumped about 48 pints of fluid from off her lungs. But she has signed the papers saying they aren’t allowed to do anything more to her to keep her alive. So it’s only a matter of time. And while the medics and firemen arrived and then helped her into the ambulance, we sat across the street, helplessly watching as they carried away the sweet lady who has been like a grandmother to us.
Now, I don’t tell you these stories to put you down, but I have been thinking a lot about the precariousness of life. It is so easy to take our health and family for granted. I wonder what I might miss if someone special were to suddenly not be here tomorrow. Would they have felt my love for them? Would they have understood the importance they were in my life? And would I always regret not doing things differently? It is amazing how little things can put my mind into certain thoughts. I hope these things make me a better person! And I hope we all will strive to let those closest to us know of our love for them!


Anonymous said...

It is very thought provoking. I enjoyed reading it as it helps to put things in perspective.

Rebecca Talley said...

Actually, I think about losing loved ones every day. My father left one day for work, and never came home. I didn't even get to go to his funeral. I went to bed one night, woke up the next morning and my mother had died. A few years later, my grandfather was alive one day, gone the next. Then it was a close family friend who'd been like a second mother to me who battled cancer but eventually lost. And this was all before I turned 18. So, I do think about it. You're right life is fragile. We all need to appreciate and enjoy our loved ones.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Wow - I hope everything works out for the best.

JoAnn Arnold said...

I know what you mean with your comments on your post. thank you for sharing