Monday, September 5, 2011

{LIFE- my MEMORIES} my FAMILY "vacation" & where I've been

Memories. Family. Moments. They are a BEAUTIFUL thing.
What family memory do you take away at the end of Summer 2011?

Summertime. Dreams of kids playing, spending time with family & vacations. Maybe the beach.

I am very lucky. I have 2 dads. One that lives in Florida that I only see about twice a year & a step-dad named Bob. He lives here & has been a part of my life for 30 years.  He is a WONDERFUL man!

My family started planning a HUGE family vacation a couple years ago. 
We spent more time 'talking about it' than planning. Well this year we did it. We were set.
We saved. We booked it. My mom & step dad were coming & also one of my brothers & his family. It was gonna be one great vacation.
Once my daughter was out of school for the summer - we started the 'count-down'.
We even created a "summer bucket list" - she's only 8 so it was pretty basic.

Funny how precious life is. One minute you are just going about your everyday business.
Then in ONE.SPLIT.SECOND.  . . . your life is completely different. Never to be the same ever. again.
This was MY summer memory. 
NOT the 'typical' summer you envision for your family but nonetheless, they ARE memories. 
Memories of spending an insane amount of time with my family - more than what that family vacation would have given us. More heart-to-heart discussions about life. Decisions made together - as a family. 
Be careful for what you PRAY for . . . sometimes GOD just might give you what you want. 
Does He always give us what we want exactly like we imagine? NO. But He DOES hear us & His timing is always PERFECT. . . . I know we have ALL have heard that a million times but it's TRUE. I got my family vacation . . . but it just wasn't at the beach like we planned. It was in a hospital - an ICU ward to be exact.
Instead of building sandcastles - we were building our faith.
Instead of working on our tans - we were working on medical bills.
Instead of looking forward to tomorrow - we were living in the 'moment to moment'.

July 21, 2011 is a day I wish would have turned out differently. But it didn't.
My husband & I took my daughter to the movies & then we were planning to shop - a day, just for her. My mom was supposed to go with us but God kept her home, so she could be there when she received THE phone call - the one from a complete stranger who turned out to be an angel sent from heaven . . . telling her that her husband, Bob - he had been struck by a van but he was alive. Bob didn't have a cell phone (never has) so God kept him conscious to be able to give this angel - Tammy, the phone number to call my mom & give her the news. My mom prayed through the phone so Bob could hear her, which he did - thinking that at that moment - it could be the last. Then Tammy told my mom what hospital they were taking him too & to get there asap. 
She called me - worst phone call I ever received - telling me Bob had been coming home from work (he had been working late) & was struck on his motorcycle by a van. The van NEVER saw him. Please hurry, she said.
My family is one that has ALOT of faith. We are STRONG in it. but when you are put in a situation such as this,  . . . I'll be honest, it's hard to know that everything is going to be OK. That God will protect him & be with him. But He already had. The fact that he was not dead from the impact was a miracle in itself.

We got her to the hospital & he was still conscious - what a blessing! We were able to talk to him & we treated it like out 'last good-byes' . . .just in case. He was being rushed to surgery. . . . come to find out he had been thrown from his bike - lost his leg, had a broken front & back pelvis & a ruptured bladder. These were life-threatening injuries.
We prayed. HARD. My extended family was there in the ER in no time flat. We had FAITH he would make it through this. We TRUSTED. We even WONDERED how people get through these situations if they don't BELIEVE . . .have that FAITH. My heart goes out to those who don't believe because it is so lonely with out someone to put your FAITH in & trust HE will come through for you. Because doctors couldn't understand HOW he was still with us?? You know doctors . . .they just "have" to have a medical explanation (lol). But we KNEW who the great physician was & we also KNEW everything would be fine. WHY? Because God is bigger & better than anything that could have happened in that hospital.

Today is Sept. 5, 2011 . . . 6 & a half weeks AFTER the accident. He is still with us & doing so well. Our family "vacation" is still being played out, as he's still recovering & more memories are forming.

Things happened. And then more things happened to Bob. Once one crisis would be fixed . . .here comes another. He has had everything that could go wrong, go wrong but WE kept the faith. Leaned on God more because that is what HE wants us to do when things look dark & we don't know what tomorrow will bring or even the next hour. 

He was in the ICU ward for weeks. This man had more tubes in him than a science experiment but they all had a purpose. Looks scary but necessary. He got pneuomonia. He had a vent for multiple weeks so he could breathe. He got MRCA - which required all of us to wear cute little yellow gowns & plastic gloves EVERY time we wanted to go in his room. He had tubes draining his lungs, pelvic area, everywhere- so they could control the bloating from the impact. We kept the faith. He got downgraded to trauma & we had hope. He was there only 2 days & got an infection that resulted in an emergency exploratory surgery where we almost lost him. Doctors told us they had to remove his colon because of the infection. And fix a bladder rupture. ONE half hour later, he starts to bleed out. They take him back to surgery. Are you kidding me right now? At this point I didn't know how much more I could take. You see. I am the ROCK that holds are family together. I take a lot of grief - let people vent on me - they need that. I just take it. For the sake of keeping peace. I couldn't lose it. My family needed me. Then I realized I was being tested again with my faith. Did I believe that God would be there with Bob & extend his grace once again & save him yet again? YES. YES I did. I kept holding on to the fact that if Bob was meant to go, then God would have taken him that night he was struck . . . not weeks later, after bringing him back to us. And HE did!! Two - not one - but TWO emergency surgeries later, he was back in his room in ICU. They said he would be fine. Doctors still perplexed as to "how" he is still here. I knew. =)

Sounds bad? It was. He had so many surgeries, they were worried about his heart, then his kidneys failing, then he needed dialysis, then fluid around his lungs, heart, you name it - it happened. But piece by piece, we were standing strong knowing that he was slooooowly being put 'back together'. But there were just as many blessings & miracles than bad stuff. Like how the person who got to my step-dad FIRST, is one of my friend's friends. Or how the paramedic who took him to the hospital - his sister ended up being his ICU nurse. Or how about the fact that he NEVER wore a helmet while riding & he sustained NO head injuries! Or the fact that he never lost consciousness at the scene & was able to tell someone his phone number. Or the fact that Bob FELT - yes I said FELT,  God's hand at the scene & he knew that he was going to live! What a joy to feeeeeel that & know that he was going to be fine. My family has so many of these blessings that God has given to us, that we now, with a little grin, call it "the 6 degrees of the accident" since there are so many things to rejoice & celebrate!!

Did I ever get mad? Heck yeah. I was sad. worried. angry. bitter. but then all those emotions are so exhausting & doesn't change anything. So I grabbed my FAITH. That's all I needed.

Fast forward to today. He has since been released to an "assisted living" facility where he is eating, getting stronger. He needs to be here until he can qualify for the hospital's aggressive physical therapy program. Blessing - this new place is ONLY a 5 min. drive for my mom (compared to the 20-30 min. to the hospital). Blessing - my family got to move back home after spending over a month + with her - to make sure she could handle everything. Plus I made a promise to Bob - that I would do this so he wouldn't have to 'worry' about her - just get strong & I'll take care of her, is what I told him. 
Blessing - I am now back to working on my business. I was so worried everyone would just forget me since I wasn't online. But YOU didn't. THANK YOU!

Have you the kind of FAITH to get through a family tragedy like this? I hope so. It was my goal in this whole ordeal to share this with my readers once I had the time. When I could share without tears streaming down by face. Not a chance- {lol} - still tears down my face as I am writing this, but for reasons you may not know. They are HAPPY tears because I can share this with ANYONE who will read & let them know how powerful FAITH can be - it can move mountains IF you just believe! They are HAPPY tears because I can leave my step-dad every time I go visit now knowing that he WILL be there when I go back the next day. They are HAPPY tears because looking back, we DID get those FAMILY MEMORIES that I wanted to make. God provided the BEST way for my family to BOND. CONNECT. SHARE. than anything my family could have planned. They are HAPPY tears because if by some chance just ONE . . .one person starts to say to themselves . . . "hey - this story makes me wonder . . .maybe there IS something bigger than us" - then I can look forward to that. They are HAPPY tears because I have believed for years & am so THANKFUL that God saved my life many years ago because it is soooooo comforting knowing I have someone in my corner every day! I couldn't do it alone. And I do not have to. =)

A few weeks into all this drama, I was looking for something to listen to in the car, I was by myself & having a "cry my eyes out"  moment {since I could} & came across someone saying this:  . . . and I quote "Don't tell God how big your mountain is, tell that mountain how BIG your God is!"

I carry that with me every day now. I BELIEVE in that quote 1000%. 

I cherish EVERY single moment I get with my step-dad Bob, cherish the time caring for my mom, cherish the moments with my daughter, with my wonderful husband, & my family & friends. I am a changed person. I am NOT the same person I was 6 & a half weeks ago. I am different. I stop every day to cherish a moment I may have missed being so busy before. I make it a point to really ask people HOW they are doing than assuming they are ok. I work smarter now to allow more time for my family. I think about decisions more. I am making choices that will be better for me & my family. I am a changed person. I am still Laura - just a new & improved one. One that appreciates all the "little things" & makes the most of every day, every moment. And makes sure to THANK God for all my blessings every day - big or small. For He is the one that gave my family the BEST gift from our summer "vacation" - Bob. He's still here & only because God extended His grace that summer night, saved his life & changed the face of our vacation. One I will never forget. 
Will we still take that family vacation? Yes. It's just "on-hold" but it will be awhile. He still has a long road of recovery in front of him. But we can wait. =)

I knew there would be a reason for everything. Have I found it yet. No. But one thing that has resinated with me this entire experience is that I was meant to share this with people. Is it scary to put yourself out there. Yes but I am doing it anyway.

So go HUG your daughter . . . your son . . . your sister . . . your brother . . . your dad . . . your mom . . .or YES even your step-dad . . . your "Bob". 

Tell them how much they mean to you - RIGHT NOW. And remember, there IS someone in your corner & can be everyday - just ASK! We are only promised TODAY . . . don't wait until tomorrow!

Summer 2011 will have the BEST family memory of all . . . God saved "bob". =) Thanks GOD!


  1. what an amazing Story. I'm so glad BOB is doing better. :) I really needed to hear and it did bring tears to my eyes... God Bless you and your amazing Family.

  2. thanks so much Tiffany for your comment. I appreciate it, means alot to me & my family! =)

  3. Laura, thank you for sharing. God is amazing and He is faithful. Sometimes I forget the little things to be thankful for, but your story has reminded me. I remember when you asked for prayers. I prayed then. I didn't know the situation but God did. I'm so happy to hear that Bob is doing better! We must never give up on our Faith. God is always with us.
    Love and hugs to you and your family

  4. I'm going to post the quote you shared "Don't tell God how big your mountain is, tell that mountain how BIG your God is!" I love this! I remember one of my Beth Moore studies she said something like this too...very powerful
    Blessings to you

  5. Thanks Terri for taking the time to leave me a comment! You are too sweet & I so appreciate the prayers from you during that time - they definitely helped & much appreciated! Thanks for being a fan here - great to have you! =)

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am so glad that your family and Bob are doing better!!!

  7. I have so much I want to say, but the tears are preventing me from typing I will email you instead over the next couple of days 8)



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