A moment in time can change everything. A cool September day, having just picked up my daughter Faith from working at the Morgan Horse Ranch in Grass Valley where she cleaned stalls and fed horses. A beautiful evening, the first fall rain having refreshed the air. Driving home, happily chattering, thinking how wonderful it was that for once I had no piano students, dinner was in the crockpot, and we had a leisurely evening. Then tragedy, as a truck came speeding around a curve on the wrong side of the road right for us. Slam on the brake to minimize the impact only to slide the backend of my Impala into the oncoming truck. A horrendous crash that slammed my head into the headrest. The pain, the ambulance, the hospital.
Fast forward four months to the beginning of a new semester at Sierra College where I was taking music classes before transferring to Chico State. Funny thing is they must have cleaned or coated the chalkboards. I couldn’t see the board to take notes. Three times I took my contact lenses to the optometrist to asked her to polish them because I wasn’t seeing clearly. Then the day we discovered that I had lost the top half of my vision in the right eye. A detached retina and immediate surgery on both eyes.
Panic and no one would listen. I didn’t want surgery; that wasn’t an option. I couldn’t even pray, and there was nobody with whom I could pray. At the hospital as they had just put me on the gurney to roll me into surgery and a man from my church called at that very moment to pray with me. Yes, please! It made all the difference. In that brief three minutes it was as if liquid love had poured over me, and I could reach out and touch it physically. All fear was instantly gone. I asked the orderlies if I could sing. “We don’t care what you do lady, as long as you stay on the gurney,” they said. Down the hall we went, me singing a happy tune in my Holy Spirit prayer language, not having a clue what I was singing.
Onto the surgery table they lifted me. Then the surgeon arrived. “Are you Jewish?,” he asked. No why? “Well the song you are singing is in Hebrew. I have heard my patients sing that very song before.” It is? How cool was that. A special gift to know I was being cared for. Surgery, recovery; it was all in Yahweh’s capable hands, guiding the surgeon’s capable hands. A team I could trust. Fast forward 30 years. Last week I’m working in my garden when I got pollen in both eyes. Within ten minutes the burning sensation began as if I had jalapeno pepper juice in my eye. The call to 911, the first responders, the ambulance to Colusa hospital. Full circle, my eyesight saved, I’m grateful to be in capable hands once again.■
— Loraine Joy is a small business owner and Arbuckle resident. Contact Loraine at firstname.lastname@example.org.