A Little Pink Envelope

Two weeks and two days ago I was getting ready to put my kids to bed when I got a call.  It was my mom.

“Honey, I fell at church and they think I broke my ankle.  I can’t move so they called an ambulance.  Can you call your sister and tell her I can’t babysit tomorrow?”

“Ummm…what?  Ambulance?  Broken?  I’m on my way.”

It was one of those grab your keys and purse and run out the door times.  I’m glad my husband was home so I didn’t just leave my kids standing there alone in their jammies.  {Don’t worry, I wouldn’t really do that.}

Like my mom always does, she was thinking of other people.  So I did my duty and called my sister to let her know she would have to find another babysitter.  Oh…and tell her that her mom was on the way to the hospital.

When I got to the church parking lot and walked up behind the group of them crouched around her I got a glimpse of her ankle and had to turn away.  For the sake of queasy tummies I’ll just say this: She dislocated her foot and broke every bone that connects her foot and ankle.  Yeah, “they think I broke my ankle.”  They are probably pretty certain.

What followed was a blur of doctors and questions and blood pressure cuffs and medications and surgery and exhaustion.  She had to get 12 screws and a plate in her ankle to get her bones back together.  She’s not twenty-something anymore and that fall did major damage.

I am the kind of person who jumps into action in an emergency.  When a kid is about to throw up, I can get a bowl under their face in 2 seconds flat.  I think it’s because I don’t feel any emotion about emergencies in the moment.  That all comes later.  In the heat of it I’m a “get it done” kind of girl.  I change the middle of the night accidents.  I put pressure on the wounds.  I get ice on it.  Whatever “it” is, ice is always good.

What I am not good at is long term care for people.  As my husband has so gently pointed out {and he is totally correct}, I can take care of the details in the moment but I’m not great at sympathy.  So when my mom needed to come home from the hospital to our house, I was instantly overwhelmed.

Regular life continued – football practice, AWANA, missional community, orchestra sign ups {Payton wants to play cello.  Awesome, right?}, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, groceries, work, Young Life…and on and on and on.  Now add to that helping my mom get around my house {wheel chair or walker?}, making sure she wasn’t in pain, getting her water and soda and food and blankets, helping her change and wash and get outside, taking her to doctor appointments and picking up prescriptions.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I love my mom and I want to care for her.  But it is not easy for me.  So as the days went by, I became more and more weary.

Not tired or drained.  Weary.  My spirit and body and mind and heart were without energy or hope.

Have you ever been at that point before?  When the only thing that sounds good is curling up in a ball in the corner of the room or sleeping for days and never talking to anyone again?

I was near despair.  I think I had expected people to rush to surround me.  I assumed our community would check in on me, help me and push their way in to help whether I invited them or not.  But to my heart’s dismay, no one showed up.  I felt very, very tired and alone.

One afternoon I walked down my driveway in my jammie pants and opened up my mailbox.   And there, under all of the bills and junk and coupons, was a small pink envelope with my name on it.

As I opened it my heart ached in such a good way and I felt loved.  My sweet friend who lives 200 miles away wanted me to know she was praying for me.  She sent me a Starbucks gift card because “coffee makes everything better”.

And at that moment, I felt hope.

you got this I think as a generation of email and texting and Instagram addicts, we have lost the art of taking out pen and paper and jotting down a note of encouragement for someone.  There is something about holding a card in our hands that speaks “You are loved” louder than any text ever could.  It takes extra time and money and that is the point.

It is about intention.

When I saw that little pink envelope, when I held that flowery card in my hands, I knew that someone went to extra trouble to make sure I was cared about.

Is there someone that you could send hope to today?  Do you know someone who needs to be cared about?

Maybe there is someone in your life who could use a little pink envelope in their mailbox.

I think we need to get back to paper and pen and stamps and extra work and intention.  This world needs a little more hope.


***Postscript:  When I hit that moment where I could not go on, I reached out for prayer to women who I don’t see often anymore – but they are rescuers in their heart of hearts.  They are the friends I raised babies and toddlers and preschoolers with and we have traveled long roads together.  And while we no longer gather together often, and sometimes we don’t know what’s going on in each other’s lives, {my family now attends a church gathering in a different city}, they are my people.  I, in my penchant for oversharing, spilled everything I was feeling to them and they ran to me.  They are amazing and I have no words to properly explain my gratitude.  Lesson: When you need help…ask.

Hometown Traveler: Sunday Parkways

Tales of a Hometown Traveler

  If there’s one thing Portland is known for it’s cyclists {followed closely by hipsters, foodies, microbrews and an unnatural love of bacon}.  This is a two wheeled city.  So it is only natural that Portland boasts summer cycling events … Continue reading

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...