A Flight for Life or Death?

The medical evac helicopter disappeared into the moonless night. I stood by our oldest son and his daughter who was named after the precious cargo on that helicopter, her grandma, and my wife of 52 years. I thought, “They call these helicopters ‘Flight for life.’ I sure hope this one is not flight-for-death.”

I looked down at our 10-year-old granddaughter holding tight to her doll with one hand and with the other holding on to her mother. “Grandma’s going to be fine,” I told her with a weak voice. She nodded indicating she was less than convinced.

“Was this her third or fourth stroke?” I wondered as the lights of the helicopter disappeared into the blackness, and the “chp chp chp” of the rotors fade away. Out loud I prayed, “O God, keep her safe. Bring her back home to me.”

We walked with a heavy gait back into the hospital reassuring each other that this was the right thing to do. “Come on, son. Let’s head to Denver to find out how your mother endured the flight.” We headed south – a short drive to Denver when you are going there to shop, or on business, or to meet friends, but a very long drive when it is a matter of life and death.

Most of the drive there my son and I were quiet as we privately contemplated what could happen. We knew the possibilities and did not want to face them. An hour later we walked into the hospital stroke center and the where Amy was. It was a private room with more equipment than I had ever before seen in a single hospital room. She was connected to a variety of tubes and wires and, surprisingly, she was sitting up in her bed with a smile on her face.

“Looks to me like you’re doing good!” I observed as we walked in. I don’t recall what she said, but I do remember what I felt – much more hopeful than I did as I watched the helicopter disappear in the sky an hour earlier.

“Thank you, Lord,” I whispered. “It was a flight-for-life.”

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