Friday, May 9, 2014

Miracle on 23rd Street

A short housekeeping note before I get to today's post:
I hope you've noticed all of the updates here at the Sanatorium. Kara has done some amazing work, and I love the new design. Thanks, Kara.
All that was left to complete the renovation was my job--completing the links in the tabs under the header. Two hours later and many forgotten memories revisited, I finally finished it this morning. I added links to the "About Me," "Favorite Posts," and "Gifted Education" pages. I had forgotten some of the posts I'd written, and it was fun to reminisce. So, if you have time, go take a look.

I've written a lot this week about the fairy-tale dinner we prepared for Ben's prom group. Here is the true story behind the glamour and glitz.

That's my friend Shauna up there talking on her phone. She is truly one of the most talented, selfless, incredible women I know. She partnered with me and never doubted my vision for the library's transformation. She spent hours decorating and planning, not to mention making most of the food and extending assignments for the rest of the meal. We are a duo to be reckoned with when we collaborate--prom dinners, wedding receptions, we can get it done.

Thursday night, she arrived at our house with her daughter Abby to help dismantle the library and hang the fake ceiling. I couldn't have done it without her. As we were moving everything out of the room (and finding places to hide it all until the dinner was over), my great-grandmother Humphrey's mirror slipped from where it had been temporarily propped, and it shattered. It wasn't anyone's fault--accidents do happen--and Ben quickly cleaned up the shards, putting the bigger pieces in a garbage can and vacuuming up the really nasty ones that somehow always find their way into the sole of someone's foot.

Friday afternoon was complete chaos as we tried to finalize all of our carefully laid plans. Abby was home working on the place cards and babysitting Eve while Shauna, Ben, and I flew from one thing to the next, trying to accomplish as much as we could in the short amount of time we had left before the kids arrived. Remembering that she had left the green beans in her fridge, Shauna went to the phone to call Abby. As she was hanging up the phone, she took a step backwards, and a long shard of glass from that broken mirror sliced open her leg. I was in the adjacent room at the time, so I was surprised when I heard an eerily calm voice from the other room say, "Jen, I need your help. I just cut my leg open."

When I rounded the corner, I saw Shauna on the floor, holding closed the surprisingly bloodless gash. I didn't think much about it, since she was so calm and there was no blood, but she looked at me and in that same eerily calm voice said, "I didn't look to see how bad it is, but I think I'm going to need stitches." Ben somehow appeared from nowhere, and I asked him to sit next to her while I ran to the kitchen for a wet cloth for compression.

While I was at the sink, still in a state of shock at what was happening and still reeling with all of the items left on my to-do list, I heard a knock on the front door. "I don't have time for the door right now! UPS doesn't know that we have an emergency in here!" I was tempted to ignore the door, but after flipping the cloth over the counter to Ben, I answered it.

I couldn't believe who I saw. I still can't believe who I saw.

There at the door was my friend Kerry. My medical doctor friend Kerry. And his wife, Joyce. They were kindly dropping off some lanterns Joyce was lending me for the night. Much to Kerry's surprise, I asked him to come in the house, because he was "just who we needed to see." They followed me through the house to where Shauna and Ben were seated on the floor. After a quick look, Kerry determined that the gash did indeed need stitches, and that he had just gotten off work but that he would be happy to take her down to the office and stitch her up right then. After bandaging up her leg, Ben assisted Shauna into my suburban and the three of them left for Kerry's office.

Joyce, who just happens to have a little lot of the entertaining/decorating bug in her, told me that she had nothing planned for the afternoon, and she would love to stay and help me continue setting the tables. Forty minutes later, the tables were set and Shauna was back--six new Xs on her lower leg and ready to complete the big job we still had ahead of us.

So many times in my life, I see coincidences and brush them away as just that.

That shard of glass, that gashed leg, and that knock at the door--all within 20 seconds of each other--brought a sting of grateful tears to my eyes. I knew at that moment that my Heavenly Father was mindful of me and my friend and our desire to provide an unforgettable night for our sons and their friends. I was reminded that He is there, even when I'm too busy to acknowledge His hand in my life.

Six stitches and a gashed leg may not have been life-threatening, but it was just what I needed to bring me to my knees and thank Him for a sweet tender mercy on an incredibly overwhelming day.

God is real. He is there. He comes to our aid when we ask--sometimes even before we know we need His help.


  1. Great picture of Shauna! She truly is one of a kind! Glad to know that even things that may be insignificant in the eternal scheme of things but are important to us, are on His list too!