Thursday, April 7 started out as an ordinary spring day. I was at my computer working on my book “Our way of life.” Ruth told me “I’m going to take Amy and Ken’s anniversary card over to their house,” at a little after 3:00 PM. I kissed her, never thinking that it could have been our very last kiss. Dan came home a little later and told me “Thee’s another bad accident on Hwy 23 several miles west of our home. The car in the ditch looks like mothers car, There was too much commotion to see the car well enough to know for sure. The ambulance, squad cars, firemen and those sweeping glass and metal off the highway didn’t leave enough space to stop and get a closer look.”

“Does the back window have FCG music on it?” I asked. “The windows are all missing.” He said. I told him “Mother went to deliver Amy’s and Ken’s anniversary card”. I called Amy to see if she was there. “No, I haven’t seen her.” I told her about the accident, and she said “Ken had just come home and told me it was quite a mess, looked like a head on crash with a large delivery truck.” Ken and Dan went back to see what they could find out, and if it was mother. Panic set in-big time. Dan called the sheriff’s Dept, the Mt Calvary Ambulance service and the Fond du Lac Hospital, but they were all tight lipped about any specifics. Dan heard from someone that the injured person did not have life threatening injuries. We knew that mother was missing because we called every Place we could think of that she could possibly be. Nobody had seen her.

We went to the hospital to find out if she was the victim involved in the crash. When I saw her, I feared that she had died. My life may as well be over too; “Lord” I prayed, “I can’t imagine life without Ruth at my side.” We were told her injuries were so severe that they needed to call Flight For Life to take her to Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee where they could hopefully help her. She is still alive! Where there’s life, there’s hope! Please stay with her, Lord, and protect her! When they took her to the helicopter she was unresponsive. I was devastated, but knew she was in the arms of The Lord and prayed that He would save her or take her to Heaven quickly.”

She was in intensive care for the next three days, where she had numerous devices attached to her, intervenes, and blood transfusions were administered. There were numerous doctors and nurses in the hall next to her room, each looking at computer screens, monitoring what was going on in her body. We were told that her collar bone and shoulder were broken; a tube was inserted in her side removing the blood caused by her internal bleeding from her liver and kidney injuries. In addition she had 5 fractured ribs and a punctured lung. I was in shock and depressed. My world was turned upside-down.”Thank You, Lord, for allowing her to live despite everything she had to endure, I prayed!”

Our kids were told that she may not survive till tomorrow. The fight for life crew didn’t think they would arrive at the hospital in time to save her. Thankfully, I was spared that bad news that night.

April 8; the next morning we were not allowed to see her but the second morning April 9 we allowed to see her but, she was still unresponsive. Where there’s life there’s hope! Guide all the nurses and doctors and others diligently caring for her ‘Thank You, Precious Lord!

April 10 and 11 each day she improved a little more. Ruth was not out of the woods, the nurses and doctors told us not to get our hopes up too high. Every one of the kids and some grand and great grandkids waited for their turn to see her, no more than 2 or three at a time. Walking the halls; from lunch rooms to family rooms and to visit Mother for the next days, were extremely difficult for me, even with my walker. I felt totally exhausted. The long drives each day from home to Froedert and back were tedious. Dan and Amy did most of the driving. There’s absolutely no way, that I could drive in all the traffic. We are so grateful for their time and energy.

On April 12, the smiling head nurse told me “You will be very happy to see Ruth today”. I was ecstatic to see her smile and hear her voice. I told the nurse “Ruth is a tough farmer gal who trusts The Lord!” She told me” You can see that her strong faith is sustaining her.” I told her “Either Angels or The Lord was there in the car with her. She could not survive without the Heavenly presence.” The Bible and prayer sustained me through my personal trauma and helplessness I was feeling for the entire time. I read the Bible and our meditations to Ruth, and we began reading the Bible and praying together as we have done over the years.
Ruth received numerous get well cards and prayers from friends and relatives; I answered phone calls from many friends after getting home each evening. I fell into our lonely bed, many times with the clothing I wore to town. Chris’s son, Steve stayed with me and helped as well as he could until Ruth came home from the Lutheran home. Meals were prepared by her Baker Cheese friends; so much that I had to freeze portions for extra meals and for Ruth when she finally comes home. Ruth said “I never knew I had so many friends.”
She had remarkable improvement each following day. We were told that she could leave as soon as the tube in her side could be removed, and the blood on her brain and internal bleeding subsides. Her adviser told us she would need a month of more extensive therapy before she could come home and said that the Fond du Lutheran Home is a place they recommend. I was pleased about the choice. I am a lay minister at the home and am acquainted with some of the folks who work there.

On Thursday April 14 her tube was removed and her vital signs were good enough for her to leave Froedert. She was admitted to the Lutheran Home. I was told that “Ruth is our miracle gal.” What a joyful day that was. Nobody expected that she would be able to be discharged that soon. Praise The Lord! My depression and anxiety were replaced with thankfulness and rejoice!

Friday April 15, she was just settling in to her new environment. I was at Bible class, to tell the other members who have been praying for her about her unbelievable miraculous recovery. I was anxious to see how she was doing as soon as I could see her. A lady, from the church office came to me and whispered “We received a call from The Lutheran Home; “ They think your wife may have had a stroke. She was sent to Agnesion Hospital” I felt like somebody cut my heart out. As I was leaving, Pat, a gracious lady came outside with me and said “Get into in my car. You are in no condition to drive to the hospital.” She was right I would have had a terrible time driving with the emotions affecting my mind.

When I got to her room she could not speak. The nurse with her informed me that it was not a stroke, but a urinary infection that was causing her inability to speak clearly. After three days, on April 18, she was sent back to the Lutheran Home to begin rigorous speech therapy as well as all the physical therapy she had started.

Ruth was very frustrated that she could not say the words she was thinking. One time when she couldn’t spit out a word, she looked at me and said, “Don, you know what I am trying to say!”I didn’t have a clue.

Amy gave her one of her books and asked her if she could read it out loud. She really read quite well. We read our Bible together every day, but the print was too small for her. I brought an old large print King James Psalms and New Testament version that was her mother’s; she read without a stumble despite the KJV language. After a day or two she wanted to read our own Bible. We would alternate reading each chapter.

Every morning, either I called Ruth or she called me early, before I left home. We prayed our morning prayers together on the phone. When I arrived at her room, we read our meditation and our Bible together. And prayed our evening prayers before I left.
She learned to walk to the bath room and in the hallway with help and before long she was able to use the toilet on her own. After a few days she was given a walker with wheels and soon she was able to walk to the lunch room and walk the halls like a real trooper. I was very proud of her.

On May 1, Amy and Ken took Mother with her walker and me along to church with them. Some of our Bible class friends were surprised to see her there and were hoping to welcome her back to class. Her stay at the Lutheran home was very pleasant but Ruth said, “I can’t wait to get out of prison.” On May 7 she was released and told that it would be best if she slept in her recliner. Her therapy prepared her for ability tor do all of her household chores slowly but not to lift more than 10 pounds.

Amy brought all of her personal things and her many get well cards and letters home from the Lutheran home in her car and I brought Ruth home in our new used car. By the time we arrived home Amy was busy unpacking her things and putting them where they belong. As soon as we walked in the door, our dog and cat were very excited to see her; nearly as happy as I was having her back in our home sweet home. Ruth helped Amy and put her clothing away. Soon she was in the kitchen thinking about and preparing our first meal.

Ruth has gotten into all of her house chores and watering her flowers on the deck feeding her birds with grandson, Justin, picking strawberries and all kinds of other outdoor chores. I have to keep reminding her to take it easy, and not to overdo it. I only wish I was able to help her with a lot of it if only my legs and arms and equilibrium allowed me to. That evening after sitting in her recliner she laid on our bed and told me, “This is where I will be sleeping after spending all that time on hospital beds, our own bed is what I have been dreaming about.” I must be careful not to bump her sore ribs or shoulder. It is wonderful sleeping with her after all the lonely nights sleeping alone.

Therapists came to our home to provide the care she still needed. She made several trips to Froedert where she was examined to make sure that everything is going well, and finally on June 17, was told she doesn’t need to return. June 30 was last day of her therapy.

“I can drive again. Whoopy!” she said
I went along while she was driving
Life will soon be back to normal, praise the lord!
Sometimes God Sends Angels
Sometimes God sends angels to help in times of need;
He knows when we can’t help ourselves in either word or deed.
Those times when answers seem to hide, though right before our eyes;
We wish that we could jar our mind, when answers it belies.
I do believe in angels, they’re part of god’s creation;
They intervene from time to time in what may be our station.
I believe that God directs whatever part they play;
And if it is His will, they’ll guide our earthly way.
He sent the angels long ago proclaiming Jesus’ birth.;
That proclamation still resounds everywhere on earth.
It’s part of what we celebrate every Christmas Day;
The songs and Bible verses we loved to sing and say.
Be careful when you meet someone who leaves you struck with awe;
It could be an angel, sent by God, is who you met and saw.
I sometimes feel their presence, walking among us all;
To set us straight, to pick us up, whenever we stumble or fall.

We do not know the reason that angels, or for that matter, any of us exist; God in His wisdom and for His own reason created all of us. We feel the presence, however, many times of someone, or something seemingly helping God. Guiding our lives, particularly in times of duress or struggle. Just thinking of the awesomeness of God; the wonder of his presence, the greatness of this power It’s impossible to truly understand, and really pointless to try. When it comes to such matters, we must trust our faith, knowing from what we’ve read and learn from God’s own word that he is ultimately in control of everything. We can’t help asking him from time to time, how can it be that so much wickedness prevails in this world? But God gives us the responsibility of making choices which affect our life and the lives of others. Then there is a matter of Satan, that fallen angel, who tries is very best to help us make detestable decisions with terrible consequences. We are taught in the bible of the sorrows brought upon ourselves and others by following Satan and his ways. Life is filled with choices both good and evil. I believe God provides us with both kinds of angels who can guide and direct our lives in many ways. It is up to us is to seek God’s guidance and choosing to do His will.

Hebrews 13: 2
Do not forget to entertain strangers; for thereby some have
entertained angels unawares.

From the book:
“From The Heart of an Old Farmer”

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