The best place to hide something is right under someone’s nose.
God hides His work in our day-to-day lives. It can be difficult to see changes in ourselves or our loved ones. Until…
A road trip.
The organizing, planning, packing, loading, let alone the trip itself can reveal changes that we hadn’t seen.
A couple months ago, my sister, Mary, called from Vermont to tell me that our92-year-old mom wasn’t doing very well. She has congestive heart failure and had been in and out of the hospital, but her spirits were low. One of the things Mom was worried about was that Mary might not be able to finish her last courses for her Associate’s Degree while taking care of her. Also, one of my brothers was going through a particularly difficult transition.
I wanted to go help right away, but didn’t see a way to do that since my husband, Dan, had an important doctor appointment scheduled for the following week.
Dan came to me with a great idea. Since another one of my brothers was going to be driving back to Vermont right away, maybe I could go with him. Then he and Hannah could come after his doctor appointment.
Hannah would never go for that. She has never liked it when I’m not home.
People have had a hard time understanding the difference between Hannah going somewhere and being okay and yet not being okay with me going somewhere.
The difference has to do with routine. People with autism feel a sense of security in routine. When there is a drastic change in their routine, it brings a drastic change in their sense of security.
When Hannah goes somewhere, like to camp, I’m not a part of that routine, so it doesn’t bother her. But when she is home, I am a major part of her routine. So to be home without me really shakes her to her core.
When Hannah got home later that day, I told her the news and Dan’s idea. I asked what she thought about it.
I was speechless and just stared at her.
“Mom, Nana needs you. I love her and want her to have your help and support.”
“Wow, Hannah! That’s not at all what I expected you to say. I thought you’d really have a problem with me leaving a week before you and your dad.”
“We’ll be fine. You need to go!”
“Okay then. I will. You really surprised me!”
“Let’s just be sure to text and call each other lots every day.”
Wow, Lord, You have been working and I haven’t noticed. I see it now and I am so thankful!
After we were all in Vermont, Mom was admitted to the hospital again. She had another bout with congestive heart failure as well as pneumonia.
Hannah, like everyone else, was very worried. Day after day, she went to the hospital with me to see her Nana. She wanted to be sure she was receiving the care she needed.
One afternoon, the doctor said she was ordering a breathing treatment to be given to her at 7:00. Later, I was out in the hallway talking to one of my brothers when my phone went off. It was a text message from Hannah who was in the room with her Nana.
“My Nana was supposed to have her breathing treatment at 7:00. It’s now 7:08. What are they doing? They aren’t taking good care of her.”
I assured her they would be there soon. I turned to my brother and told him how much Hannah loves her and she definitely has her back!
She’s gonna make a great advocate one day.
On one particular day, Hannah had several things planned and wasn’t sure if she would be able to go to the hospital.
Her eyes filled with tears and her lip began to quiver.
“I’m trying so hard to be strong for you, mom.”
I hugged her tightly.
“Oh, sweet girl, it’s gonna be okay. You don’t have to be strong for me. I totally understand your emotions.”
She began to sob.
“But I don’t want a day to go by without seeing her, because I’m afraid I won’t get to see her again.”
Now we were both crying.
“Oh my goodness, hun! I really think she’s gonna be okay.”
“But how do you know?”
“All I can tell you is that as I’ve prayed, I’ve had a very real peace about it. That’s why I think God’s gonna get her through this.”
She began to dry her tears.
Hannah was able to go to her activities and enjoy her day. This is huge for someone with autism, because their anxiety tends to be very intense.
God, You are so good! Once again, I am amazed at all You have done in and for Hannah!
When Mom came home from the hospital, no one was happier than Hannah! We had another week or so with her before it was time for us to head home. The night before we left, Hannah was in tears at the thought of saying goodbye to her Nana. I snuggled with her and assured her that her feelings were very normal.
Inwardly, I was surprised that she wasn’t having a full-blown meltdown.
What about when we say goodbye in the morning? Will she have a meltdown then?
Morning came and before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye. Of course, everyone cried, but there was no meltdown.
Amazing. Thank You, Lord! You always manage to amaze me with Your success in my sweet Hannah!