Normally we go to the sending facility to pick up our patient but, today is a little different. Today the ambulance will meet us on the tarmac with our patient already on board. They have arrived with Mr. R. (we have been asked not to use his name) and his wife.
He is an 82 year old gentleman with dementia who had fallen while in Florida. His family wants him transported back to his summer home in Michigan and closer to their daughter. Once we have done our initial assessment on the ambulance we safely secure both Mr. R. and Mrs. R. onto Abe in preparation for our flight to Traverse City.
Mr. R. does not really speak much but we are able to have a nice conversation with his wife D. She tells us that they have been married for 60 years and have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. Shortly after retiring they purchased an RV and traveled extensively around the United States. Mr. R. started getting dementia about 3 years ago. Over the last several years they have spent their winters in Florida and their summers in Michigan. D. says that the summers in Traverse City are quite beautiful but the winters have become too harsh for them.
After a quick refuel in Indianapolis we are back in the air and headed on to Traverse City. It is a beautiful day for flying. D. tells us she was a bit nervous flying on a smaller aircraft at first but she goes on to say that this is the smoothest flight she has ever been on and is enjoying it very much. Both she and Mr. R. were able to rest quite a bit during our rather long flight and each tolerated the flight well.
As we fly over Traverse Bay off of Lake Michigan (the pinky finger of Michigan if you will as you look at the glove ) we land safely despite the ice on the runway.
We transport Mr. R. and D. to the receiving facility and during the drive I can see the beauty that D. spoke of even beneath the several inches of snow. ( I love snow !)
There are tall pine trees everywhere you look blanketed with the soft white snow. (such beauty!) Even the staff where we took them talked about how much they loved living there. After we transferred care and prayed for the family and staff we said our good-byes and returned to the airport.
As we fly back home God blesses us with a breath-taking sunset. A spectacular orange and red sky as the sun fades all too quickly over the horizon. As with many things pictures do not do it justice. What a wonderful way to end the day a reminder that He alone is in control.
I thought about Mr. R. with his dementia and how difficult that must be for a family and loved ones when someone you’ve known no longer remembers who you are. It somehow for me seems a little easier to put myself in their place. However, I cannot even begin to comprehend what it must be like for the person with the memory loss — to not recognize anyone around them. I am not sure which would be more heartbreaking.
In our humanity our memories fade and our bodies grow tired and weary.
Isa 40:30 even youth grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall
Praise be to God that our Lord never does.
Isa 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. he will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He knows us intimately.
Matt. 10:30 and the very hairs on your head are all numbered
We see over and over that God promises us that He will never leave us or forsake us.
Speaking to both Moses and Joshua in Deuteronomy the Lord says:
Deut 31:8 the Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
He makes that same promise to believers
Psalm 94:14 For the Lord will not reject His people; He will never forsake His inheritance.
This has to bring us great peace and comfort to know that our God will not only remember us always but that He will never leave us. Eternity with Him is our hope and promise as believers and followers of Christ.
So for today lets put aside all that is going on around us, all of the earthly distractions that can creep into our day and before we know it we have lost sight of Jesus. Today let’s make a conscious effort to put Him first. If that means every hour to stop and look at the clock and just whisper His name or whatever that may look like for you I encourage you to do so. How much better our day will be if we fix our eyes on Him. He asks so little of us.
Thank you to Hal, Mark, and Lisa for allowing me the honor of sharing this mission with you and to each and everyone of you who continue to pray for this ministry.
Psalm 105:4 Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.
Shelli Engle RN