75 year old Rita, her daughter and 2 granddaughters were vacationing in the Bahama’s. On their 2nd day there Rita took a pretty serious fall which would require them to return to the states immediately transporting her to a hospital in Miami.
Her children have been taking turns making the trip to Florida so that someone is with her at all times. Rita required some surgery initially but she is now stable enough to be transported back to rehab in her hometown. Her daughter Lindy flew down last evening to fly back with her mom.
We have circumnavigated some nasty storms on our way down to Miami. By the time we land the dark gray clouds continue to swell as they fill with moisture ready to break open any minute.
Our ride to the hospital is rather long given the rush hour traffic of Miami. As we enter Rita’s hospital room she is wearing a multi-color summer top and a smile. She still has a cast on her right wrist and needs to wear her neck collar, but after what she has been through these are now minor.
I detect an accent as she begins to speak. Lindy greets us warmly with a hug and a sigh of relief that finally her mom is going home. She jokingly says, “mom was running out of children to care for her.”
The staff here have given her great care and are all telling her how much they will miss her. As we leave the unit they are all smiling and wish her the best.
Prior to placing her onto Nellie we stop to pray despite the Miami heat and humidity. We explain that we will have to suffer through the heat for a few minutes until we get airborne. Rita did very well during her flight, her only request was a drink of 2 of water. We enjoyed our conversation with both her and Lindy.
Rita had come to the United States from Germany when she was 21 years old after marrying her husband. They moved to a small Ohio town where they lived on a farm. It was there that they raised their 8 children ( 7 daughters and 1 son ). Rita ran a beauty salon for several years while raising their children. Later she opened her own Christian bookstore. This was her real passion and it remained open for 20+ years.
All of her children still live here with the exception of 1. Lindy has grown up here in this small town raising her children and is now the school superintendent. She knows most everyone.
When we arrived in Ohio where we were welcomed at the airport by her son Walter and daughter Marsha. Lindy had told us that Walter told her before she left, “please get mom home.” ( I bet he could tell some stories having 7 sisters.)
Lindy asked if she could get a picture once we landed in Ohio.
She had a great idea for the 4 of us to spell out “OHIO” for our “kodak” moment. That was fun.
The facility that we were going to in this small rural town is ironically one we have been to before.
Back on 3/22/16 mission # 390 ( almost exactly 100 missions ago ) we transported a gentleman to this exact facility that his sister-in-law Kelli, helps run. We arrived safely thanks to our great ambulance crew. Believe it or not the same 2 gentlemen Andy and Ronnie whom had helped us with mission 390.
After placing Rita into her bed we joined together for prayer and hugged goodbye. Just prior to leaving Rita’s room Kelli walked through the door and the 2 of us threw our arms around one another.
She whispered in my ear, “I was hoping you would come.” It was such a sweet reunion as she showed me that she still has the cross we gave her family hanging on the wall in her office. No doubt Rita and her family are in great hands.
1 TIMOTHY 5:4
BUT IF A WIDOW HAS CHILDREN OR GRANDCHILDREN, THESE SHOULD LEARN FIRST OF ALL TO PUT THEIR RELIGION INTO PRACTICE BY CARING FOR THEIR OWN FAMILY AND SO REPAYING THEIR PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS, FOR THIS IS PLEASING TO GOD.
Thank you to Hal and Jason for sharing this mission with me.
Shelli Engle RN
PLANE FUN FACT: With Lindy knowing the town so well we asked her recommendation on a place to eat. She recommended the “Albany Cafe” which is one of the old schools and all of the food is home cooked. We took her up on her suggestion and oh my was she correct. Absolutely everything was made from scratch. It was such a neat environment being in an old school cafeteria brought back many memories. It so reminded you of when the entire family sat together at the dinner table to enjoy not only their food but one anothers company every night. (WOW how things have changed.
This is truly something that is being missed in today’s time and should be brought back.) We would highly recommend the Albany Cafe it you are ever that way, it is simply delicious. As an added bonus as we went to pay we were told that Lindy had called ahead and taken care of our tab. We called her immediately to thank her for her kindness and thoughtfulness. Maybe tonight you could have dinner together as a family and just enjoy conversation without cell phones.