Howard a 49 y.o. retired police detective moved from his home in Kansas City to Miami, Florida to fulfill his dream of being a salsa dance instructor, already known as “the Salsa King of Kansas City”.
In mid-October while on his motorcycle he was hit by a car whose driver admitted that he was paying more attention to his cell phone than he should have been.
Howard sustained multiple injuries a few of which were an intracranial bleed and collapsed lung requiring a trach and ventilator support. Immediately following the accident his sister Angie (the oldest of 5 siblings and the only girl) flew down to be by his side the entire time.
It was Angie who contacted us here at Grace on Wings about transporting Howard back to Kansas City closer to family.
We arrived in Howard’s hospital room and were immediately greeted by Angie’s sweet smile. She and the staff proceeded to tell us how much more alert Howard seemed to be, in knowing he would soon be back with his family. Although he was not able to communicate with us verbally we could see the evidence of this in his eyes.
So we began the process of transferring him and his ventilator to our cot for the flight back home. Once we arrived back to the airport we carefully and gently placed him aboard Abe. Angie would also be traveling with us and she too took her seat for the flight.
Our flight would be long with a need for refueling in Memphis. During the first part of it Howard rested well however, after our refuel he was much more awake and active. Between Memphis and Kansas City he wanted to reach up with his left arm to hold on. (Now if you have never been inside Nellie or Abe you would not know that where Howard wanted to hold was the exact spot of our emergency exit, of course he did not realize this) What a blessing it was to have Angie along.
Having worked in the health-care field herself she was quite helpful. Although Howard could not see her during the flight he could definitely hear her. She would firmly give him a command always saying “please” and “thank-you” and he would obediently do as she asked. So I gently held his hand the remainder of the flight as Angie explained that he could not grab at anything above him as that would not end well for any of us. Overall he did very well. Seeing Angie’s patience and kindness in communicating with her brother brought to mind for me:
COL. 3:12 THEREFORE, AS GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE, HOLY AND DEARLY LOVED, CLOTHE YOURSELVES WITH COMPASSION, KINDNESS, HUMILITY, GENTLENESS AND PATIENCE.
What a sweet example she was setting.
Once in Kansas City we transferred Howard to the care of his new facility and prayed with both he and Angie. What a difference family can make during times of recovery.
By this time night had fallen and Abe would be bringing us back home to Indy in the dark. Above the clouds, the stars were so amazingly brilliant.To look at each one and know that God alone set each one in its place:
GEN. 1:16b-17 HE ALSO MADE THE STARS. GOD SET THEM IN THE EXPANSE OF THE SKY TO GIVE LIGHT ON THE EARTH.
WOW !!! It is so peaceful and serene and in the quietness of the flight home as tears filled my eyes I found myself in awe of God’s majesty. Quietly thanking Him for the opportunity to serve. For me it is moments like this that I feel God’s presence so strongly. In these moments I have no worldly worries. His peace and calmness overwhelm me. Moments like this that I want to remember forever.
PHIL. 4:4-7 REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS. I WILL SAY IT AGAIN: REJOICE! LET YOUR GENTLENESS BE EVIDENT TO ALL. THE LORD IS NEAR. DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING, BUT IN EVERYTHING, BY PRAYER AND PETITION, WITH THANKSGIVING, PRESENT YOUR REQUESTS TO GOD. AND THE PEACE THAT TRANSCENDS ALL UNDERSTANDING, WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS.
I ask you, where do you feel His peace and presence most? I encourage you to find that place today and just BE STILL AND KNOW (PSA. 46:10a)
Thank you so very much to Hal, Lisa, and Chris for a great mission and for all of you who hold us up in prayer.