On Friday April 13, I had to call to see if I had jury duty. The recorded message stated that I had to report to the Orange County Courthouse in Goshen on Monday morning at 10am. Great I should know by Monday afternoon if I am picked for a jury and then I can plan the rest of my week. I had basically left my week open. I figured I may need to “tweak” the timing of errands with my mom or Wacky Wednesdays with the kids at church but no problem. Piece of cake.

The phone rang and I looked at the clock radio – 1:00 am. The voice on the phone asked for Ray and I said you have the wrong number. I got back in bed and my cell phone rang. I stumbled down the hall to answer it and the caller id said Northern Los Angeles,CA – weird but I answered. “This is dispatcher # whatever with Life Alert. May I speak to A.V.H” “Speaking” ” We have had a Life ALert activation from M.C. and have dispatched paramedics to her location” I call my mother and the police answer. My mom has fallen and they were transporting her to the hospital. I get dressed, wash my face, brush my teeth, shove the jury summons in my purse and drive the almost 30 miles to my childhood home. A phone call from my mom’s neighbor informs me she is at the emergency room with her. I thank her for being there and say I will be there in a few moments. I walk into the ER at around 2am.

My mom doesn’t know how she fell. Okay that is troublesome. “Mommy, why were you downstairs in the middle of the night.” She doesn’t know. Not good. After x-rays and a CAT scan, it is determined that she has broken her arm. The ER doctor wants her to be admitted for observation since she has a bump on her head and is confused. I am relieved that it is not worse. I am watching the clock because I have jury duty. I am not a big fan of hospitals. I never feel comfortable. I am always sure that I haven’t asked the right questions, or been concerned enough or seemed capable enough. It is like I am in a foreign country and I don’t know the language or the customs. I feel the same way about the court system so knowing I have jury duty is not helping. I leave the hospital around 5:30am so I can go home, take a shower, call my sister, and figure how am I going to get out of jury duty.

I don’t want to be a “no-show”. I realize I have a civic duty and I am mindful that they could issue a bench warrant for not showing up. Plus my sister is a judge and she is running for a new position and it would look bad in the newspaper if I am a “no-show”. This is how my brain works probably from watching too many courtroom dramas and a vivid imagination. Long story short – I am excused from jury duty because of my family emergency. They will postpone my service. My sister is impressed that I went. She comments “that most people would have been no shows” I share my bench warrant fear – not likely she says. I mention about not wanting to do anything that would look bad in the newspaper she thanks me and chuckles.

I learned a few of things during my “not an ordinary week”:

  • God is always in control. A friend emails me that she thought she saw me driving over the mountain around 6am as she was driving to work. She figured that wasn’t good so she prayed for me, my mom and my dad (he is in a nursing home).
  • The sweetest sound in the hospital are the chimes signaling a baby has been born.
  • Telling someone your name and offering to open their water bottle one day may lead to the privilege of praying for them the next day.
  • Saying thank you to the people who are caring for your loved one makes you grateful and them smile.
  • A china tea-cup,a beanie baby, a wash cloth and towel can make someone feel safe and cared for.
  • Just being there is the most important thing.

My mom spent 4 days in the hospital. She is now at a sub acute rehab facility. The problem is she walks with a walker and now has one useable arm. Next week will probably not be an ordinary week either and that’s okay because this week I heard the chimes of new life, I was humbled to pray with an elderly woman and I was reminded of God’s faithfulness.