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Of Mice and Men
Photo: I. Drazowa-fischer
All of us make plans. When we make plans, we hope they will go as desired. But that doesn’t always happen. If life throws us off course, how do we get back on track? Do we even dare? It feels like someone at the other end of our teeter-totter has jumped off!

Well, if there’s no one at the other end, don’t even try to get back on. New plans need to be laid—and that’s what sets the balance.

Recently, my husband and I decided to take on a more care-free life by returning to apartment living, after more than 50 years of home ownership. This proved to be a major undertaking that resulted in physical weariness that continued through getting the apartment in order; but we loved our new abode, our town and our church. We didn’t miss any of the “stuff” and we were settled in—or so we thought.

Then the unplanned-for happened. My husband almost died. A routine prostate biopsy resulted in septicemia and put him into sepsis shock. He was at death’s edge. After a race in the ambulance, I sat in the ER watching the medical personnel care for my husband. I have never felt so alone. Our friends, Herb and Judy, whom we’ve known most of our lives, had just left that same day for Prague—and our pastor had gone to Texas to be with his mother. They were part of the reason we chose this new town. I thought that we had no one else to call upon. I talked with Jesus, “It’s just the two of us right now, Lord.” And I felt a sense of peace.

The doctor came in and said they suspected a heart attack and were transferring him to another hospital. Another race to another hospital, sirens blaring and weaving through rush-hour traffic left me in a mental whirl.

Crash Nursing Course

One week in the hospital and three months of recuperation put our original plans on hold. After three middle-of-the-night ER runs, I was taught medical procedures to help my husband. A crash nursing course wasn’t a part of the original plans. But I found that old dogs can learn new tricks.

The beautiful part of all this was the brand new friends who entered our lives as a result of my husband's illness. They came to the hospital to visit. One man, Bob, said, “I didn’t know who I was coming to see but I heard your name announced at church.” We weren’t alone after all. New friend Trudi came daily and continued to visit us at home.

At first, the health crisis that came right after a move to a new area seemed nearly impossible to surmount, but like Kate DiCamillo states, “People who dare to do the impossible get the impossible done.” And we discovered a new plan that we call DARE. This plan has a formula:

Don’t despair, help is there.
Allow strangers into your life—fine new friends in the making.
Reconfigure the old plans.
Energize yourself through an even closer connection to Jesus.

After this stressful ordeal, we are thankful my husband has no cancer and the mild heart attack, brought on by the sepsis shock, didn’t damage his heart muscle. Amen.

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By Betty Kossick
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