When things aren’t right – and the many blessings that followed



We continued to work on the house last week, yet it was evident that things weren’t right with my dad. He was having a hard time walking and moving around. I thought that he was pushing himself too hard. My mom suggested that he might need physical therapy.


Over the weekend, things started to go downhill fast. He was displaying significant weakness in his legs, experiencing headaches, and having trouble forming full sentences. Something was wrong with my dad. First thing Monday he called his doctor, but he could not be seen until Wednesday. After relaying his symptoms, the person at the hospital suggested that he go directly to the emergency room. Blessing number one.


Upon arriving at the ER, the same ER doctor that treated my dad when he had his fall after the ladder tipped over in May was on call. He was not supposed to be working that day, but they were short-staffed. Blessing number two. After seeing him, he could see how his condition had deteriorated since May. They ran several tests on him and wanted to order a MRI, but because the radiologist had quit earlier in the day, they needed to seek permission from Boston. Once completed, the MRI was sent to Boston to be read by the head of neurological radiology. Blessing number three. My dad had a subdural hematoma and needed to be sent to Boston by ambulance right away for surgery first thing Tuesday morning.


My mom headed home from the hospital to pack a few things and meet up with my sister and me. We were able to accompany her to Boston. Blessing number four. Although it did mean answering the same question all week… No, we’re not twins!


It was hard finding a hotel on Monday night at 9:30 p.m. in the Boston area. Most were either booked, way too expensive, or ones that we wouldn’t have wanted to stay at. We ended up staying about an hour outside the city. Thanks to my uber frugal sister, we used a coupon and got a great deal. It was after 11 p.m. when we finally checked in. At 12:02 a.m. my mom was ironing her shirt for the morning, and by 4:55 a.m. we were on the road. I hate driving in Boston, but it was an easy drive, and we did not get lost! We were able to spend about an hour with my dad before they took him into surgery. Blessing number five


Obviously, we were very concerned since it was brain surgery. We knew that God would be with him and prayed for the doctors as they performed the surgery. About an hour later, the doctor reported that the surgery was successful! Praise God!!!! We were so overwhelmed with gratitude. Blessing number six.


As soon as we knew about the surgery, the prayer chains at my parent’s church and several others were activated. Both my sister and I posted on Facebook asking for prayers. There were so many people praying, and it gave us such an amazing sense of comfort. Blessing number seven. The doctor asked my dad if he had anything that he wanted to say prior to the surgery. He said that he had a strong faith in God, and that He was in control.


We got to see my dad about 20 minutes after surgery, and the difference was like night and day. Immediately after the pressure was released on his brain, his symptoms began to disappear. He was able to form complete thoughts and sentences, a lot of his strength came back, and his headache was gone. Let’s just say he is sporting a pretty unique haircut. His full head of white hair is no more. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t let me post a photo.


With the surgery behind us, our thoughts turned to our lodging for the night. A friend about an hour outside of Boston offered us a room, but we wanted to be close to my dad. We faced the same dilemma as Monday night. Most of the hotels in Boston were either several hundred dollars a night or booked. The hospital social worker referred us to the Fisher House, which is on the hospital campus. It is a “home away from home” for former or current military families who have loved ones in the hospital. It is completely free of charge. Not only is it a wonderful place to stay, there is a huge kitchen stocked with donated food. After spending the day at the hospital with my dad, we didn’t have to worry about going out to find dinner. On Wednesday night, the Dedham VFW Post 2017 put on a barbecue which included hamburgers, sausages, hot dogs, potato salad, and dessert. Blessing number eight.


It has been difficult for me as my dad had initially fallen while working on my house. I was feeling guilty. People were telling me it was not my fault, but it was so hard when things were so uncertain. My mom keeps telling me that if he was not working on my house, he would have been doing something else outdoors where he could have fallen. I’ve rarely thought of my house during the past few days, other than to think that it was the house that began this entire ordeal. Honestly, it’s the last thing on my mind. I keep telling my dad that he can walk me through the rest of the construction. It might take forever……


These last few days have been full of blessings for my family, but on Monday one of my good friend’s father died. It was so hard. I was very happy that my dad was doing well, but my heart is breaking for her. It’s hard to rejoice when she’s in so much pain.


My family has certainly seen God’s hand at work in all of this. We are so thankful for all those who have been praying, for God’s blessings, and His promise to never leave us or forsake us.  When some people would be asking why God would let something like this happen, we focus instead on all of His blessings.






Laura Reed

About Laura Reed

After 15 years in college athletics, the last seven as an assistant athletics director, I was burned out with 70-hour work weeks and extensive travel. I resigned my position and accepted a position in marketing at a small, vibrant college in my hometown of Unity, Maine. In the process I wanted to go back to my childhood where we raised polled Herefords, had a Christmas Tree Farm and spent many hours outside. I decided I wanted to build my own home on beautiful farmland that my family owns. With help from my Dad, the most talented person I’ve ever met, we are building my home together. I have decided to blog my experience – the ups and downs, the joys and frustrations. What was once an open field will one day be my home! The dream in my head is becoming reality. I can just see the lambs frolicking in the field, chickens in the barnyard and going running with my Alaskan Malamute!