Last week, I went to Mom’s for our monthly visit and her first round of annual doctor follow-ups. The appointments were chock-full of good news–her blood count is stable and her eyes haven’t gotten worse. She got her cortisone shots so she could walk relatively painlessly. But those shots always rev her energy level. By Thursday, while I was ready to spend the day in bed with a book, she was looking for more things for us to do.
We’d already been to three doctors in two days, got her car inspected after waiting what seemed to be forever at what will be her new mechanic’s place of business, prepped her taxes to take to the CPA. Really, what else could she possibly want to do?
Well, she wanted to get Sweetheart (her 1997 vivid-red Crown Victoria) washed (meaning she wanted me to go down and get it done), and her dentist appointment was set for a week before my trip to Bryan later this month, so she wanted to see if there was an opening for her that very day. I didn’t think it was possible (actually kinda hoping it wasn’t so we could stay in and rest a bit), so I started by asking the receptionist if there were any openings during the week I’d be back. No. Of course not. Then I asked if there was an opening for that day.
One of the lessons Mom always tries to teach me is to recognize God’s hand in the little things. I used to think it was . . . I don’t know, “silly” maybe, that she’d thank Him for good parking places. Still, she always managed to get a great one. Now that she’s handicapped, her prayers for good parking places really pay off.
She always says God is interested in the smallest details of our lives, and I always feel like they’re too small to bother Him with, because, well, you know, He has a world to run and all. I’m still learning to recognize His hand in things, but she’s an old pro at it. So when the receptionist at the dentist office said, “Sure, we have an opening at 1:00,” I shouldn’t have been surprised. Mom certainly wasn’t.
The dentist told her she has a small cavity and wanted her to set up another appointment. Come to find out, they didn’t have an opening with the hygienist for the week I’d be back, but they did have an opening with the dentist that week. Now we could hit up the final round of doctors plus the dentist the next time I go. Great timing! It’s a God thing.
I’m not too crazy about taking the car down to get it washed. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the wait. Maybe it’s the smell. Maybe it’s because there’s so much more I’d rather be doing. But next on the list was for me to take the car down, so I was going to drop Mom off at the house before heading down for the interminable wait at the car wash. Problem was, when we got to the car in the dentist’s parking lot, Mom couldn’t get her door open. Someone had hit the car (and, of course, left without saying a word) and ripped up the decorative strip on the side just enough to prevent her door from opening without me pressing it down.
I couldn’t take the car to the car wash because the machine would rip the strip right off the car, but I couldn’t celebrate not going to the car wash because now I had something else to do that I hate doing–going to a mechanic. Well, in this case it was the body shop, but who cares? I hate it either way. And when it was fixed, I’d still have to go to the car wash. And all this was going to take time, and I was supposed to be going home Friday morning, but they’d keep the car overnight and then I’d have to go to the car wash, and I wouldn’t be able to get home before the afternoon school buses clogged the highways.
But I adjusted my mind. That’s the way it works for me. Mom gets the “little things” she wants because God’s on her side, and I get the extra hassles because, like I said, God’s on her side.
I realize this makes me look terrible. I’m not really. I love Mom and always enjoy visiting her. She’s fun and funny, and she’s so dadburned proud of me she embarrasses me on a regular basis. “This is my daughter. She’s an author and an editor! Tell them about your book, honey.” I’ve managed to whip out something short, yet appealing, to the doctors, nurses, and patients in the waiting room, the mechanics, the folks in line at the grocery store–you name it, I’ve pitched to them. Not that I’ve seen a particular rise in sales, but, well, there ya go.
Still, by the time it’s time to go home, I’m like a horse heading for the stall. I want to get there. Deep down inside, I’m an awful homebody, and after I’ve spent a week away, I’m ready to get back. So you can imagine how I felt watching my departure time drift later and later during the day Friday because the guy at the body shop who promised he’d call never did. Finally I called him after lunch.
I always leave after lunch anyway–always have lunch with Mom before going home, so that was okay, but after the car was fixed, I still had to get it washed. Usually if I absolutely must do the car wash thing myself, I get there super early so I can be in and out with minimum wasted time. But on Friday, I expected the line to wrap around the block a couple of times before I’d even smell car wax. My estimated departure time dropped to around three pm, getting me home at 5:30, so not only would I be dealing with school buses on the road, but Friday night five o’clock traffic here. Double whine.
Imagine my surprise when, around 12:30, I get to the body shop, expecting to see the car fixed but filthy, and they’d washed the car for me. They had washed the car for me!
Mom is so right. I love discovering God’s hand in the little things.