Friday, October 24, 2008

Trials and Blessings

So Jenny and I left Redmond, and Emily was alone for just over a day. When she didn't answer her phone yesterday afternoon, I freaked out amid vivid visions of seizures, kidnappers, and worse. Paul told me it was ok that I did so, after all, I am the mom. But we note that he, the dad, stayed calm. Of course it turned out that Emily had taken a nap and the phone was in the living room on "vibrate."

But then later in the evening it was Emily's turn to freak out. She was texting a friend and her phone froze, just like a computer, she said, only you couldn't hit control-alt-delete. Suddenly she realized how isolated she really is and how much she depends on that cell phone to keep in touch, since she doesn't have a home phone or internet access at her apartment. But she came up with a plan--if her phone didn't work by morning she would walk to a convenience store, get some quarters, and call me on a pay phone. But this morning after a restless night her phone worked. And now Paul and Ben are with her for a few days, and Paul will I'm sure show her how to take the battery out of her phone if it freezes again.

And now for a Gratitude Post. One of the touches of grace in hard times is the people, the ones you least expect, who suddenly pop into your life for a moment when you least expect them, and just dump a pitcherful of blessings on your head.

Neither Paul nor I saw any of Emily's neighbors beyond a fleeting glimpse, and we were wishing that one of them could be something of an aunt to Emily when we can't be there. But how in the world do you make something like this come about? Well, the other night Emily, Jenny, and I returned from the dollar store and "happened" to meet a neighbor in the hallway. She was about my age and introduced herself as Kathy. I introduced us and explained Emily's situation and we each went our ways.

The next day Kathy was in the parking lot when I pulled in. She came over to me and said she's been thinking about Emily, having to leave home for her health, and me, having to leave her in Redmond. She's a mom, she said, and she knows how hard it probably is because she has a daughter in Portland but can't live with her because she herself is in Redmond because of lung-health issues. And, she went on, she really wants to be there for Emily in any way she can--if she needs a ride, a cup of sugar, anything--and her apartment is two down from Emily's and here is her phone number.

Well, I get teary-eyed just remembering the conversation, it was such a wonderful gift. I told Kathy she is an answer to our prayers. She was exactly, precisely, what we needed just then.

And just so you know, Emily tried knocking on Kathy's door when her phone froze, but Kathy wasn't home, probably because she works 24-hour shifts as a nurse twice a week.

Then today I got a call from a woman in Wisconsin who just wanted to connect with us because she is allergic to molds and has been reading Emily's Xanga and feels like she finally has found another person like herself in the universe. This lady has issues with hyperventilating and sleep paralysis and wacky hormones, things Emily has dealt with and we always thought it was just more of a long list of health issues and never once connected them with her mold allergy. So that was very interesting and validating. And I told this nice bubbly compassionate woman that it's so nice to know that Emily isn't the weirdest person in the universe after all, but the more I think about it afterwards, it strikes me that I shouldn't have put it quite like that.

Then Emily's friend Bethany called this evening and said, Hey, I'd like you to put me on your calendar to go spend a few days with Emily. Well, most gladly I did just that. This is the first non-family member to go over the mountains, through the deep vale to see her. Bethany has been a steadfast and loyal blessing to Emily for years but especially through this long ordeal.

Quote of the Day:
"Residents shall keep all premises under his/her control clean, sanitary, and free of accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin."
--from Emily's rental contract


  1. Many (many, many) cheers for Kathy and Bethany!

  2. Hi, I've been a reader for about a year, I always think I'll comment and don't usually get it done:(
    So glad to hear Emily has a friend. I commend you for being willing to go through the agony of the seperation for the good of her health. May you all be blessed many more times in the coming weeks. SuEllen

  3. Just an advice:
    If the cell phone freezes, just take off the battery and put it back. It should do the trick.
    Pierre (wishing all of you all the best an being practical!)

  4. Praising God with you about the neighbor lady. What a dear blessing.

    I know some day my children will leave home, so I don't know exactly what you are going through, but it is so encouraging to see God's hand in this.

  5. This is the lady from Wisconsin...the wierdest person in the world ;) I kind of like the sound of it, really! Frankly, if you only knew how many days I've felt very, very odd in the last several years, you'd feel like you just said something prophetic! Just so you know, I'm praying Emily's health will improve soon, and anxious to hear about it WHEN it happens.

  6. On our local christian radio this radio host was saying how his kids had been sick so much and with much doctoring they finally discoverd that they had black mold in their home. Kinda the same thing when the kids weren't at home they always did so much better. Anyway if you are interested in more info you can blog on his blog.
    Blessing to you all.

  7. Blessings abundant to both Kathy & Bethany...God is always on time!!