Usually, a Thanksgiving prayer or post goes up over here on Thursday.
Not this year. Not for lack of being grateful. I’m very grateful.
Just a little sidetracked.
Because right about the time I search for words, Thursday evening, I was sitting with my sweet husband in an emergency room in Victoria holding little bit’s hand.
I’m over ERs.
But I’m also incredibly grateful we have them.
Wednesday, we headed down to the ranch in South Texas to spend Thanksgiving with family. We laughed late into the night Wednesday morning but everyone was up bright and early Thursday. Bray had the boys hunting for their first deer. I was helping get breakfast ready for our Vincent family of 21.
The day was fun. Gray at times but full of family and food. All the kids had been out back playing baseball with the equivalent of a wood post hole digger since no bat was to be found.
In an incredibly heartbreaking turn of events, little bit got to close to the pole when the baby was swinging and it smacked her right in the right eye socket. Her eyelid was bleeding some, not nearly as much as we thought it might, but we couldn’t tell how much damage there was. And she was clearly in pain. As were both Bray and I. It took my stomach 24 hours to settle.
We weren’t in a town with a hospital so my sweet sister in law called a cousin from Victoria, 45 minutes from the ranch, whose dad is a doctor. She sent us to a women’s and children’s hospital. Bray flew there as I sat with little bit in the back holding an ice pack and singing songs with her to keep awake. Half way there, a police officer stopped us. As soon as he saw the situation he let us go, as well as offered to call an ambulance. But we just kept going.
We walked right in. Nearly constantly we had two nurses and a doctor. A miracle in an ER on Thanksgiving. At least it would have been in Houston. The CT scan showed a hairline fracture of her eye socket. Eye in tact. We couldn’t see her eye mind you, it was swollen shut, but the doctor was able to quickly get a look at her pupils (over her screams which nearly did us both in).
The verdict: the eye socket did exactly what God designed it to do. Protect her eye. And it could have been so much worse. No concussion. Eye appeared good from the scan. Cut put back together with glue instead of stitches.
Follow up with her pediatrician the next day. And then a pediatric ophthalmologist.
We woke up early from the ranch and got into the pediatrician Friday morning. He told us what to keep an eye out for. We kept the ice pack on it. I guided her around and fed her and bathed her until she finally got her good eye open on Saturday. We cuddled a lot.
I scrolled through everyone’s family pictures at Thanksgiving. We’ve had them. This is us from two years ago.
But I didn’t feel a wee bit jealous. Bray or I didn’t appear in one picture on Thursday and the big family picture we take of all 21 of us didn’t happen because of the rushed trip to the ER.
We went from this…
It made me no less grateful. It maybe made me more grateful. I texted two of my best friends on the way to the ER to ask them to pray. One had texted back, “Not what any of you hoped for today… I am just so so sorry.”
To which I replied:
I am so grateful the worst missed her eye.
I’m grateful her nose isn’t broken.
I’m grateful Bray has a cousin from Victoria who told us what hospital to go to.
I’m grateful the ER wasn’t crowded and they got us back immediately.
I’m grateful Bray and I could take her together and leave the boys with family.
I’m grateful we missed the deer that just ran in front of our car as we drive back.
I’m really grateful tonight.
And so it goes.
I’m learning grateful looks different over the years. It defies expectations. And it shows up in unexpected circumstances and miracles large and small.
This Thanksgiving, I found myself grateful. Again. In the midst of the challenges in our day-to-day lives, a trip to the ER reminded me of how much we have to be grateful for.