STUFF YOUR STOCKING BLOGFEST: LINDA SWIFT

PhotobucketAll members of my family are musical except me. And it was after a performance of her husband’s band at a casino in Mississippi that my daughter had an almost fatal accident. While standing on the sidewalk in the wee hours of morning as he loaded his equipment, she was run down by a casino employee (high on drugs), thrown onto the windshield of his car, which hit a wall and caught fire. She was helicoptered to a trauma hospital in Memphis with multiple injuries. Her dad and I made a hour-long drive in three from Kentucky when we were notified and after an all-day wait, she had hours of surgery. Our first miracle was that she lived.

We lived in a motel for a month, taking turns with her husband, sitting at her bedside, so that she was never alone. When word spread that she was injured, fans of her band and her husband’s filled her room with flowers. There were so many and the scent was so heavy that one physician who entered remarked “Why, this is like a funeral home.”

Too weak to travel to her home in Nashville, she was moved after a few weeks to a rehab center nearby. And when she was finally able to travel, my husband and I went ahead to prepare her condo for an invalid. Both bedrooms were upstairs and not wheelchair accessible so we had to buy a bed for the living room. A new stove and dishwasher were also needed if I was to prepare nutritious meals. After a couple of days of frantic shopping for appliances, a bed, and groceries, then a frenzy of cleaning as we had been warned of her wounds getting infected, we fell into bed for a few hours sleep before her homecoming.

Sometime after midnight, I was awakened by a loud noise like someone hitting a wall. I tried to ignore it but it only got louder. Muttering something unprintable, I staggered to the window and looked out. And there by the front steps was a lone figure doing something with wood and a hammer. At first, I couldn’t figure it out, and then it dawned on me. A man was building a ramp over the concrete steps.
Something we had not even thought of!

I called my husband to wake up and join me and together we determined that it was the young man next door. We had met him, his wife, and son when we came two days ago and had heard our daughter and husband speak of them before. They had come to Nashville from New York City because he wanted a career in music. For now, they were both employed at the nearby mall, where he worked a late shift as a security officer. Since they had lived in a big city, they had no car and both walked the couple of miles to their jobs as they had no other mode of transportation. My daughter and husband had loaned them their car at times for buying groceries and other necessities.

The night was freezing cold and the guy was bundled up in a jacket, sock cap, and gloves as he determinedly hammered away at those boards until he had the ramp finished. And as I stood there watching with tears in my eyes, I felt such gratitude for this simple gift of kindness. It was truly more beautiful than the roomful of flowers I had tended every day. And even more special because I felt it had been a financial sacrifice to buy the lumber as well as a difficult task to build it in the middle of this frigid night.

My daughter came home, and after a fourth surgery and many more weeks of intensive therapy, she was able to walk again. And the much-used ramp was finally taken down. Now only a few scars remain to remind her and us of that almost fatal night. And this is the second miracle.

The neighbor couple went back to New York City after a time because their family needed them there. But I will forever remember them with gratitude for this gift from their hearts that meant so much.

Linda is giving away a print copy of Mistress of Huntleigh Hall, her new release from Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery.
About the Author:

Linda Swift divides her time between her native state of Kentucky and Florida. She is an award winning author of published poetry, articles, short stories, and a TV play. Linda holds an Education Specialist Degree from Murray State University with post-graduate work from U. of Alabama and was a teacher, counselor, and psychometrist in the public schools in three states.
Linda’s first two books were published by Kensington. She currently has twelve e-books(also in print) and seven short stories available from six publishers. Additional books and short stories are scheduled for 2013. For more information, please visit her website at www.LindaSwift.net.

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