Judy’s short story of how God shows up for the rescue.
Heaven’s Best Helper
Most of our friends said, “Don’t do it”. In fact, I can remember mom telling me as I grew up: “Don’t ever have kids.” So my husband, David, and I waited for 9 years before considering a family. It wasn’t just the usual concerns. Genetic counseling indicated we had a fifty percent chance our children would be born without legs, just like their mom.
Our first child almost arrived at home, though thanks to the paramedics she arrived ten minutes after I was whisked into the Emergency Room at Stanford Hospital. Her father carefully noted she had legs, feet and ten toes, before rejoicing that our baby was a little girl. We named her Emily.
Mothering our firstborn was the usual adventure PLUS. With trial and error I learned what jobs worked best from my wheelchair and which ones worked better with my artificial limbs on. Intuitively, our baby adapted to me – she’d tuck her chin into my shoulder to steady herself when I’d carry her while walking. As she grew, she became the Mama’s Best Helper, picking up items I’d dropped, getting things from the other room.
The day I realized that Emily and I could manage mothering is the day I wanted more children. Next came Elizabeth.
It was one of those days I was sure I’d bit off more than I could chew. The girls and I headed out the door for a 10:30 AM doctor’s appointment. I was four months pregnant with our third child. Slowly, tiredly I loaded my wheelchair into our van, got the two girls in their car seats and we were off. Disappointed to see the handicapped parking spots full up by the hospital entrance, I parked down the hill. I sat for a spell, too fatigued to begin the unloading ritual. When I looked at the sidewalk in front of the car, I saw a not much to look at man, whose eyes met mine. With a smile, he walked over to my door and said: “What do I do to help?”
I talked him through the unloading routine: he got out my wheelchair, helped me into it, assisted the girls out, helped Elizabeth unto my lap: “Oops, don’t squeeze baby,” I warned her as she leaned back. Emily held on to the armrest alongside my chair and the stranger stood behind, guiding us all up the incline.
We were a great team. Entering into the hospital, he pushed; I helped steer us to the elevator. He pressed the button. Then I turned to thank him. No one was there.
We proceeded to the OB appointment, stopped at the grocery store. I cooked and served dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, put Elizabeth to bed. As I relaxed in the rocker reading Emily some goodnight stories, it suddenly hit me. My words confirmed for both of us, what had been a silent hunch:
“You met an angel today, Emily.”