The next few weeks proved to be tense at work and at home. The threat of the hospital closing and my DIL’s shaky pregnancy was making life very stressful. It was all I could do to make it through the day with a modicum of sanity. I had to push myself to go in on Monday mornings when, formerly, I had sung, “I love my job!” as I drove down the mountain not too long before.
I’d pray and ask the Lord to take control but I’d still stew about it. Someone gave me a little credit card-sized piece of plastic with the following poem printed on it:
As children bring their broken toys, with tears, for me to mend
I brought my broken dreams to God because he was my friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone
I hung around and tried to help . . . with ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried, “How can You be so slow?”
“My child,” He said. “What could I do? You never did let go.”
~By Ben Hildner~
I read it over and over. It didn’t help that the atmosphere at work was so negative. No one believed we would survive. I couldn’t find one person who honestly thought we’d keep the doors open.
Then there was my DIL. She was having problems carrying the baby. Time after time, I’d get word that things weren’t going well. She’d go into the hospital where her labor would be stopped. She’d already had a cervical cerclage performed but premature labor wasn’t good for her OR the baby. It was important that the baby would be as developed as possible before coming into the world. She was already in jeopardy with the omphalocele.
After another episode, my DIL was ordered to bed rest. She visited the doctors more often than I did in my last weeks of my pregnancies but mine were so normal as to be rather boring. I could have welcomed boring at this point.
I was getting tired of the term “due diligence”. It took a lot of digging to get what any prospective management wanted to see. I could understand but that didn’t make the job any less tedious.
When I’d come home in the afternoon, I wanted to just eat and crawl into bed and that’s what I did more often than not. I had little to no energy even with the increased dosage of thyroid medicine. Knowing that stress can cause cancer would have made me unsurprised had something of that nature manifested itself.
DD had elected to stay at the college and work in the office during the summer months. There was an 800 number I could call now and then and talk to her but I didn’t want to abuse the privilege. If things got really bad, I’d call and unload on her. I doubt she welcomed the sound of my voice. It had taken on a whiny quality that didn’t make me proud.
The weeks and months crawled by with agonizing slowness. I wanted something—anything—to happen just so I’d know something for sure but it hadn’t. I sang “O Rest in the Lord” many times going to work.
Mother’s 97th birthday rolled around on August 17 and I took a week to go have some time with her. Usually, there would be a big celebration but this one was relatively quiet with just my sister and her husband, Mother and me. I hated to leave her when I drove out of the driveway and she stood in the doorway with tears rolling down her cheeks.
During one of the conversations with DD, she mentioned that she and merm had been to a conference where they’d met one of the officials from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He was looking for two young people to be interns in his office and they seemed to fill the bill. The thing that concerned me was they would be working in New York City. A couple they met lived in Connecticut and would welcome them to stay in their home during their internship. They would each have their own quarters and live rent free. They’d receive a small stipend to cover the bare necessities but the training they would get would be priceless. Being the first interns in that office, they weren’t quite sure what they would be doing but it was sure to be exciting.
Back at work, I got the news I’d been hoping for. One of the large hospital systems was taking us over. We would be grandfathered in as far as our seniority and vacation hours went. Our sick time would be rolled over up to a point but I’d end up losing some. I’d soon be eligible for a 403b.
There was a lot of dickering about what system we would use. I was all for keeping what we had and have it interface with theirs. In the end, I was overruled. Our beloved system would be taken out for the exiting owners to use to wind up their business and we would have the next one’s installed. We would have to run parallel systems until everything could be transferred. It was going to be a nightmare but it was also an answer to my prayers.
The flight to New York for DD and merm was leaving on September 23. Twelve days before, I was sitting in my office trying to sort through all the changes that were taking place. One of the people from the nursing home came in and said, “A plane has just hit one of the Twin Towers!” Then she said, “How on earth could that happen?” I said, “It could if it was on purpose.” She looked at me like I’d lost my mind. Being so closely related to a pilot, I knew what the minimum altitude was flying over a populated area and that flight had broken every rule.
I went to the main office door where I could see the TV in the lobby. Good Morning America was on and Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson were discussing the terrible event. The towers were in the background of the picture. There was smoke and flames coming up from the plane. As I was watching along with the others, another plane flew into the other tower. We were transfixed. No one could move. The unthinkable was happening right before our eyes.