Monday, October 25, 2010

Savor The Moments.

The other afternoon, my Mom, Levi and I went out for lunch. We tossed around several ideas and settled on our favorite little New York style eatery tucked away in a charming little shopping district. Upon arrival to our lunch spot of choice, I sighed and said, "oh yeah, this place doesn't have high chairs." The joint is far too small for high chairs so we sat and pondered what to do. We finally decided to dine at a uniquely feminine little place where I had my bridal luncheon five years ago.

They sat us in the same room where we celebrated that special day and as we entertained Levi with his toy trains and counting sugar packets, we reminisced about everything that day entailed. The hostess sat us beside a window and said, "this is almost as good as dining outside". Mom ordered a nice appetizer of stuffed bread with cheese, olives, artichokes and peppers melted inside. Levi was charming every one around him and I took notice of the nice little families surrounding our table.

As I tore a piece of bread in half for Levi, Mom said, "what's going on?" and as I looked around at our table neighbors, everyone was looking out the window and gasping. I looked forward, out the window in front of me, and in my direct line of vision was a middle aged lady suffering a massive seizure. She looked to be my Mom's age and was dining with her husband and her daughter that looked to be around my age. Her face was distorted and she shook violently as her arms and hands drew up close to her body. Her husband held her tightly, trying to keep her movement to a minimum and her daughter stood up, jaw dropped, eyes blank and not moving. She just stared at her Mom.

Everyone around us was screaming and several people came to their aid trying to help as best they could. As the chaos around us ensued, Mom said, "we have to pray." We bowed our heads and proceeded to pray for the lady and she slowly stopped moving as much. The seizure lasted for several minutes, but seemed like an eternity. Her face turned gray and she suddenly stopped - slumped over in her chair, eyes closed, looking lifeless. Someone took her pulse and we all breathed a sigh of relief when he said she still had a pulse. We continued to pray.

She opened her eyes and looked completely confused. The ambulance came a few short minutes later and wheeled her out on a stretcher. Her daughter, still in shock, went through the motions of gathering up their things and her husband stayed by her side and stroked her face. It was hands down, the most terrible, most terrifying thing I have ever witnessed. I can not get that lady out of my mind and I pray she is okay.

We overheard the manager later saying that the lady didn't know what the date was, her name or what state she was in when she came to. She was completely disoriented and confused. She also said this was a first time occurrence and had never suffered from seizures before. Husby said that's not good news - likely a brain tumor.

As the tragic events winded down and everything was quiet again, our food arrived and our appetites were gone. We were all so shaken up by it that we couldn't even eat. It hit me like a load of bricks that life is precious - life is fleeting. Each moment that the Lord blesses us with is a gift. One we should never take for granted. This lady expected to enjoy a late afternoon lunch with her husband and daughter on the patio of a nice little restaurant and she left on a stretcher. They probably had evening plans that were cancelled and instead sat scared in a hospital waiting room.

Life, each minute, is something to treasure with all we have. As I replayed the events of the day back in my mind and how Mom and I wasted about 30 minutes going back and forth on where to eat and settling on a place we rarely dine, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord sent us to pray. Not only during the midst of it all, but I laid awake for a long time that night praying for this soul - for her family - for salvation, peace and healing. I would imagine my Mom did the same.

The Lord works in mysterious ways, and I hope I can continue to be used by Him - through prayer, through my actions, through life. Be aware of those around you. Pray for them. You may be in their presence by divine appointment.

19 comments:

  1. Wow, that is an incredible story. I have worked on an ambulance for a better part of a decade and am the one who comes to the restaurants and homes and Christmas mornings of people having the worst moments of their lives. When doing my job I never think to stop what I am doing, or stop my thoughts at least, and pray. Its good to know that there are people out there, people we may not know or see, that pray for those in need when others may not think to do it.

    Like you, I also hope the woman is okay. However, I think your husband is right... unfortunately first time seizure occurrences in middle-late age is a primary sign of a brain malignancy.


    Cabin Fever in Vermont

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh my heavens! How scary! I have had a very similar experience. Hang on to your hat... Almost 7 years ago, a month before my wedding, my roomie and I were having one of our "last hurrahs" together. She was driving about 70mph on the freeway and the traffic started to slow. God knew what He was doing (as always!) and as the traffic slowed my sweet roomie went into a massive grand mal seizure while driving. From the passenger seat I had to pull the moving car over while holding her head up so she wouldn't choke (as she was foaming at the mouth and barely breathing.) I called 911 and it took about 6 minutes for them to reach us. I have never prayed more fervently in my life, as I seriously thought she was going to die in my arms. It was by far the scariest moment of my life and I still get teary thinking about it! She stayed in the hospital for over a week and underwent massive testing, as she had never before seized. It ended up that a medication she was taking caused the seizure. Horrible horrible horrible stuff! God was absolutely watching over us that day and it was a true miracle that everything turned out as well as it did.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is tragic that it takes events like these to remind us of the fragility of life. Just two weeks ago a friend of ours, 57 years old, slumped over in church while her husband of 36 years was preaching. She never regained consciousness. She had suffered a massive brain bleed. She passed away a couple of days later, leaving a grieving husband and two young adult daughters. We must treasure the moments, refuse to let bitterness and pettiness mar our relationships. We have but a moment together............

    ReplyDelete
  4. oh my word, how awful :( I hope that she is okay!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That sounds like such a traumatizing experience...
    That family was blessed that you and your mom were there to pray for them....
    I truly hope she gets better....
    xoxo
    www.joiedevivre-chiara.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for sharing this story, Whitney. It made me tear up! We never know when something like this will happen to one of our loved ones. We should never take anything for granted. I, too, believe that God placed you, your Mom, and Levi in that restaurant specifically to pray for that lady in that moment. I will pray for her and her family as well.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't mean this as a mean comment, but just because someone has a seizure and has never had one before, does not mean they have a brain tumor. My sister who is 23 had her first seizure in June and has had multiple tests done and does not have a brain tumor.

    It is wonderful that you are continuing to pray and think about this family. I hope everything turns out.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow! God works in great ways, and without a doubt, you were there to pray. This is such a reminder of how blessed we are today. Who know what tomorrow holds. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my goodness.... thanks for sharing Whitney. This made me tear up. How traumatizing for the family and everyone who witnessed it! Important to be reminded how fragile life is sometimes, though. This put things in perspective for me today, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  10. That is incredible. I have seen some scary incidents like that and I know how deeply they can affect your sense of well being. We all forget how fragile we truly are.

    Thank you for sharing, I will pray for her too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That is very scary!

    My mom had a seizure out of the blue, when she was about 48. No explanation, no brain tumours, and hasn't had one since (that was about 14 years ago)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your story gave me chills. I remember the night when my older sister had her first grand mal seizure and we were all so shocked and scared. I will pray for this lady with you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Woah, what an experience. And how amazing that you and your mother had the presence of mind to pause and pray. Those are definitely the kinds of experiences that shape you, change you in a way. I had an experience a few years ago in which I watched an older man drown. We learned later that he'd had a stroke while snorkeling and no one realized what had happened until it was too late. I was pretty shaken up for a while. But like you, it made me so grateful for each day. I hugged my hubby a little tighter that night and sang to my daughters just a bit longer.

    I do hope that woman is okay.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh wow I hope she's okay.
    A girl in one of my classes had a small seizure once, but that was enough to have me shaken up.
    I can't imagine feeling the way her daughter or husband must've felt. So scary.

    ReplyDelete
  15. That story reminded me of how felt when I saw my mom having a seizure in high school.. So, so scary!!

    My thoughts then shifted to my husband. The night we had Timothy, I had gone from completely normal to full blown clampsia in a matter of hours! (My father, a surgeon and my OB both were shocked it happened so quickly!) I had two seizures in the middle of the night and husby had to carry me dead weight. And preggers down our steps to the car. I was very confused and disoriented when I came to as well.. I still thank the Lord everyday for an amazing husband who stayed cool, calm and collected through the whole thing!!

    Seizures are scary!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just wanted to thank you for writing this. This really made me think about everyone I hold close and dear. I love the realization that God puts us in places without even us knowing why, but for a specific reason. I probably have missed many opportunities to minister to someone or even just pray because I get preoccupied with life. I am thankful for reminders like this to keep me on track.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sweet Whitney: My heart was touched and I was moved emotionally by your witness. Why? Because you and your mom were obedient to stop and pray. Countless times this has happened to me and I so agree in Divine Appointments. Many times people have no one to pray except those who feel lead to because God placed them at just the right place and right time.
    I love your mom's obedience and yours to listen and be aware when God speaks.
    My emotions were there too because you and your mom helped me pray through a miracle in Keri's delivery. I sent the word to your mom as I wept at her bedside and as Terry joined me and i receive note that you too prayed as did my sisters--God answered and He answered quickly in Ker not having to have a C-section. God amazes me as does His nudging my buddies to pray along with me.
    I hope you understand my rambling. But thank you sweetheart for your godly witness to all. I love you deeply and appreciate your relationship with God and with me and mine.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This made me cry. Life really is too short and I don't think we're in any place or situation just by coincidence. God definitely played a role in leading you to eat there that day. I hope her and her family are okay.

    ReplyDelete

May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails