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Friday, December 25, 2009

The Gift


Merry Christmas!
A few days ago, Linda Swift shared a personal story with Delle Jacobs on her blog. I was so moved by what I read, I requested permission to post it today. Linda and Delle Jacobs have kindly granted permission. I can’t think of a more appropriate time to count our blessings than Christmas Day. And with no further ado, here’s Linda.

The Gift

All of my family is musical except me. And it was after a performance of her husband's band at a casino in Tunica, that my daughter had an almost fatal accident. While standing on the sidewalk in the wee hours of morning as he loaded his equipment, she was run down by a casino employee, high on drugs, thrown onto the windshield of his car, which hit a wall and caught fire. She was helicoptered to a trauma hospital in Memphis with multiple injuries. Her dad and I arrived from Kentucky and after an all-day wait, she had hours of surgery. Our first miracle was that she lived.

We stayed in a motel for a month, taking turns with her husband, sitting at her bedside, so that she was never alone for a moment. When word spread that she was injured, fans of her band and her husband's filled her room with flowers. There were so many and the scent was so heavy that one physician who entered remarked "Why, this is like a funeral home." A very inappropriate remark in my opinion!

Still too weak to travel to her home in Nashville, she was moved after a few weeks to a rehab center nearby. And when she was finally given permission to travel, my husband and I went ahead to prepare her condo for an invalid. Both bedrooms were upstairs and not wheelchair accessible so we had to buy a bed for the living room. Her dishwasher didn't work and neither did the stove oven. Remember, she and her husband traveled with their respective bands and domestic life did not have priority. But since I was responsible for cooking nutritious meals, I needed proper equipment.

After a couple of days of frantic shopping for appliances, a bed, and groceries, then a frenzy of cleaning as we had been warned of her wounds getting infected, we fell into bed for a few hours sleep before her homecoming.

Sometime after midnight, I was awakened by a loud noise like someone hitting a wall. I tried to ignore it but it only got louder. Muttering something unprintable, I staggered to the window and looked out. And there by the front steps was a lone figure doing something with wood and a hammer. At first, I couldn't figure it out, and then it dawned on me. A man was building a ramp over the concrete steps.
Something we had not even thought of!

I called my husband to wake up and join me. And together we determined that it was the young man next door. We had met him and his wife and son when we came two days ago and had heard our daughter and husband speak of them before. They had come to Nashville from New York City because he wanted a career in music. For the time being, they were both employed at the nearby mall, where he worked a late shift as a security officer. Since they had lived in a big city, they had no car and both walked the couple of miles to their jobs as they had no other mode of transportation. My daughter and husband had loaned them their car at times for buying groceries and other necessities.

The night was freezing cold and the guy was bundled up in a jacket, sock cap, and gloves as he determinedly hammered away at those boards until he had the ramp finished. And as I stood there watching with tears in my eyes, I felt such gratitude for this simple gift of kindness. It was truly more beautiful than the roomful of flowers I had tended every day. And even more special because I felt it had been a financial sacrifice to buy the lumber as well as a difficult task to build it in the middle of this frigid night.

My daughter came home, and after a fourth surgery and many more weeks of intensive therapy, she was able to walk again. And the much-used ramp was finally taken down. Now only a few scars remain to remind her and us of that almost fatal night. And this is the second miracle.

The neighbor couple went back to New York City after a time because their family needed them there. And the full time career in music hasn't happened yet. But I remember them from time to time and make a wish that all their dreams may soon come true.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us today, Linda. Oliver and I wish you and your family a very blessed Christmas. Keep your loved ones near and dear to your heart! Wishing all a wonderful, safe and Happy Christmas!

To learn more about Delle Jacobs, visit her blog:
http://dellejacobs.blogspot.com/

12 comments:

avagdro said...

Thank you for sharing.Wish you n all a joyful Merry Christmas today.

Keep Smiling!
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Sharon Donovan said...

Merry Christmas to one and all! Beautiful story of hope and inspiration, Linda. Thank you for sharing. Wishing all a Blessed Christmas.

Linda Swift said...

Good morning and Merry Christmas to all. Thank you for visiting and for your kind wishes, avagdro. And thank you, Sharon, for this early posting on Christmas morning. You are the most diligent blog keeper I know. And thanks to Hywela, too, for the beautiful graphics. I wish everyone a happy day with those they love. I know I am enjoying my family today because they are seldom able to spend the holidays here in Florida with us.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Sharon,
Hope you had a lovely Christmas, What a wonderful story from Linda,it brought tears to my eyes.

Regards
Margaret

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Margaret,
Yes, the perfect gift and I thank Linda for sharing such a beautiful and heart-warming story. Hope you had a beautiful Christmas.
Sharon

Linda Swift said...

Thanks so much for your comments, Margaret. I still get all choked up myself when I remember that young man's kindness to my daughter and our family. The world is a better place because of people like him. Happy Holidays.

Linda LaRoque said...

What a beautiful story, Linda, and an inspiring one. It is amazing the generosity and love people can show by doing for others.

Merry Christmas to you and your family there in sunny Florida.

Thank you, Sharon, for sharing Linda's story.

Linda Swift said...

Hi Linda. Thank you for stopping and for your kind words. It is a story that I am happy to share because it could have ended so differently. A bit nippy here in sunny Florida today. (The locals would call it a cold wave with a high of only 66d.) Happy holiday week. Linda, too.

Mary Ricksen said...

There are wonderful people out there. I live to meet them.
What a great memory Linda!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Linda

What a touching and inspiring story.I hope you had a lovely Christmas with your family and I'm so glad you liked the graphics.,

Sharon Donovan said...

Thank you all for dropping by to read and share in Linda's miracle and perfect gift. God is good and good people still exist in this world. Thank you for sharing your gift with us this Christmas, Linda. Wishing you and yours a wonderful, safe and healthy holiday season.
Until next time, may the luck of the Irish be with you as you travel through life.
Love and Blessings,
Sharon

Linda Swift said...

Thank you, Mary, Hywela, and Sharon for your kind words re the story I shared this Christmas. It was good to remember it again and be thankful for God's blessings. And I consider knowing each of you one of God's blessings, too.
Happy holiday week and I wish you all a wonderful new year.