We stayed up near my mother-in-law, or as I affectionately call her, Mama T, for a week after the stroke. My sister,Danielle, had brought my children up to my mother about 25 minutes away, and I drove back and forth almost everyday between the hospital and my kids. That was until my van broke down mid-week.
I was in Sycamore (where the kids were) with my other sister, Jes, who had come down from Wisconsin to help my mom watch the kids, when the temperature gauge on my van went to "H" and began lurching down the road. We managed to pull into a parking lot, turned off the engine and Jes went out to investigate while I called my mom to come and pick us up. At that point Jes got back in the van and reported that there was greenish liquid coming out from underneath my van; that would be radiator fluid.
Let me stop and explain a few things at this point. Brian and I barely lived paycheck to paycheck at this point, and it was the middle of a pay period, so there was no money to get the van fixed right then. We had been surviving the week off of some gift cards we had been given by my father-in-law for Christmas and the generosity of friends and family in the area for food, extra clothes, etc. God was so in the middle of this crisis and carrying us through, it was amazing.
So, my van is broken, stuck in a parking lot, and yet I could care less. Why?? Because my Mama T had just suffered a stroke and there were more important things on my mind than my van running at that point. But God had even this under control. If my van had broken down before that time, I would have been driving out in the middle of the country, by myself, on a freezing midwest January day. Or had this happened the week before at home, it would have devastated me emotionally.
But no, it happened where my mom could be to the kids, my sister, and I in less that 10 minutes. My husband was using Mama T's car for the week, so he could come to us, limp the car the 1.5 miles back to my mom's, and drive me back. Oh, and Jes' husband, Phillip...he's a mechanic. He would be driving out in a few days to pick her up and take her home and could fix the van in Mom's garage for the cost of parts. By then, it would be payday.
We drove home in a newly repaired van feeling like we had aged about 10 years in just a week. We didn't understand how anything could be the same, how we could go back to doing our "normal" life after everything that had happened. Little did we know....