It started with, "Dad fell off a ladder. They think he broke his leg or hip. I'm headed up to the hospital."
Then I got, "The leg isn't broken, but he may have messed up his knee and he has a pretty good gash on the back of his head."
Next, "The leg is fine, but there's a thoracic fracture."
And before the afternoon was over it became, "He's fractured several vertebrae and broke ribs, which punctured his lung. His left leg is weak and they think there's some pressure on his spinal cord. He's going into surgery as soon as the room is available."
Thus began a very tough week for our family.
My father-in-law is your quintessential good guy. He's always there to help, works hard and never complains. He comes in, gets the job done (VERY well), and then goes about his business. He calls himself rent-a-husband and he's paid his dues at our house, for sure. He's strong, but tender-hearted, tough, yet gentle. Though he's quiet, he says a lot when he speaks. With the same hands he'll fix my dryer, wipe tears from his eyes, replace a broken window or pray with hurting people.
But my favorite quality is what I call the Boesiger charm. Whenever they've eaten at our house, he never leaves without a hug and a kiss on my cheek. He'll flash me his cock-eyed grin, give me a wink and say, "Thank you, Tami." At church he'll sidle up next to me, put an arm around my waist, cock an eyebrow and ask, "How are you?" I'm not sure how he does it, but he melts my heart like a little girl every stinkin' time he grins my way. Don't tell him (or my mother-in-law), but I think he could get me to do about anything with only that smile.
It was tough seeing him lay in the ICU and it got worse day after day as there seemed to be no change. His fall occurring on my daughter's tenth birthday brought back bad memories of my own father dying on my son's tenth birthday. Seeing him hooked up to so many machines and missing his essence in his eyes when they were open caused me to plead, "Oh, God, please, I can't do this again already."
On his fifth day in ICU, his ventilator tube was removed and he was finally able to communicate some, but his voice was very weak and raspy. He spent most of the day sleeping and looked completely spent as my husband and I were leaving. I teased my mother-in-law about messing with him all the time and told her to watch out because before too long he was liable to side swipe her to leave him alone. He didn't say a thing or open his eyes, but he smiled and nodded his head. I felt a little relief seeing his humor coming back. I bent down, kissed his cheek and turned to leave, thinking he was asleep, when out of nowhere he said softly, "Made my day."
Mine too. Wow. He did it to me again, half-conscious.
I saw a glimpse of HIM again that night and was encouraged. God is good. He has turned a corner, but please continue to pray for he and my mother-in-law. There's a long road ahead with plenty of anxiety and questions and pain. We praise God for bringing him this far and trust His faithfulness to bring them through each day. Thank You, Lord.
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.