November 1, 2001 Mother collapsed with a brain aneurysm. My dad rushed her to the hospital. Doctors did not have good news. Mother had only a twenty-five percent chance of survival. A Medic-Vac flight was called. Neurosurgeons were altered and waiting in another town a hundred miles away. We were told not to get our hopes up. Mother might not live through the flight.
During the two and half hour drive to the other hospital, my dad planned Mother's funeral. He told us which dress he wanted her to wear and which scriptures he wanted read. He talked about what he’d do afterward, whether he would stay in the house or move. I prayed –begged- God not to take my mother. I held out for a miracle.
My sister lived near the hospital and met the Medic Vac flight. After conferring with the doctors, she greeted us at the door with good news. Mother had survived the flight and was in critical, but stable condition in ICU.
For three weeks Mother was unresponsive, finally rallying slightly on Thursday, November 22, Thanksgiving Day - Mother and Father's 50th wedding anniversary, exactly to the day. My sister cajoled a local minister into coming to the hospital to bless my parents' reaffirmation of their wedding vows.
It wasn’t what we had originally planned. Mother was to wear her gown, Daddy his suit, and they were to stand before the church congregation, followed by a dinner cruise on the local steam boat with family and friends. The hospital room was a little more drab, but we were overjoyed she was still with us.
Her improvement was steady, and after forty-five days and brain surgery, Mother was released from the hospital. She was home for Christmas.
Now, ten years later, she has fully recovered. Even her eyes have returned to their normal color. Right after the aneurysm struck, Mother’s eyes turned from hazel to dark blue. Now they are hazel again. And Mother is running, as she always has, to the mail box, to the shop in back of the house where my dad tinkers on his projects, and everywhere else she needs to go. She never walks. She is sewing and knitting, and has taken over the cooking, cleaning and bill paying to my dad’s unending delight. She is also back to grabbing her broom and chasing my father out of the house and back to the shop when his teasing wears her patience thin.
Family will gather this Sunday either in person, or on the phone, and reminisce about her “wreck”, as she calls it, and give thanks to a merciful God who has given us a few more precious years with this faith-filled rock we call Wife and Mother. This November Mother and Father will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.