Well, at the beginning of this year anyway. It is safe to say that 2011 is nothing like we ever thought it would be. God has used some extraordinary events to bring us to exactly where He wants us to be. Let's go back to January 1, 2011. That's the day a bomb was dropped on us. Not a physical, literal bomb, but an event that has forever changed our lives.
My husband, Brian, and I were just sitting down to watch a movie after putting the kids to bed when we got "the" phone call. My sister-in-law, Stacy (Brian's brother's wife), called and told us that Brian's mom had had a stroke. After a few frantic phone calls back and forth, we learned that we needed to head out from our home in Davenport, IA and rush to the hospital in Elgin, IL (about a 2 1/2 hour drive) because there was a possibility that she wouldn't make it through the night.
We hastily threw a few things into a bag, got someone to come and stay with our children, and drove as fast as we safely could to the hospital where my mother-in-law lay in critical condition fighting for her life. I remember praying as I drove, "Lord, please spare her. But Lord, if you are going to take her, please let it be after we get there. Let us be able to see her one last time and say good-bye."
We arrived at the hospital about 1am to find her sedated, hooked up to monitors, IV's, and a ventilator. It was then that Brian and I were given the full story of what had happened and the severity of her situation. There was a 40% chance that she would not survive the first 24 hours. We sat by her bed, we prayed for God's healing touch and we waited.
She survived the first 24 hours, but the outlook still wasn't great. She had suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke, the more rare and deadly type of stroke. There was swelling of her brain caused by a large pool of blood. She was bleeding into her brain, and we didn't know when or if it would stop.
There would be long-term effects from the stroke. What those were and how severe they would be were still unclear at that time, but one thing was for sure: her life as she knew it, as any of us knew it, was gone.