Beauty for Ashes on April 27…Part 1

I’m writing it down because it is good to remember.

My Dad called that morning…”Kelly, I’m headed home to have Mom take me to the ER.  I’m having chest pains and I feel nauseated.” I scolded him for waiting–he had been having pains since the night before.  And I knew if he was voluntarily going to the ER, it was serious.

(For the record, due to some tornadoes and storms that had passed through that morning doing a lot of damage, my mom was unable to get through to 911 when she first called.)

My Dad is not “old and feeble”. In fact, he hasn’t really changed his pace at all over the years.  He’s a farmer/construction worker.  He goes full speed ahead six days a week. He is never sick.

Dad is our family’s patriarch.  He’s the “well of wisdom”.  He answers our questions, gives advice, and is, in general, the rock that makes everything seem secure.  Since we live on their farm, we’re all the closer to my parents–feeling more like an extension at times.

So I threw on some clothes, grabbed Jax, and ran out to jump in the car with them as they left.

Ten minutes from the hospital, he began to fade. This cannot be happening. He started squirming, leaning over, and then back, grabbing the door handle, then the dashboard.  I told Mom she had to drive faster–run the red lights–pass the cars.  I called 911 to try to get them to meet us with an ambulance but we were driving there faster than they could meet us.

He couldn’t get out at the ER.  He was gray and barely able to talk.  I ran in to get someone.  We came out to the car and he looked at me and weakly said, “I love you”.

They took him back and wouldn’t let me come with the baby.  I paced the ER floor and prayed.  My mother came out almost hysterical: “He’s telling me he’s not going to make it!  He’s telling me goodbye! He said, ‘Don’t worry about me, I’ll be in a better place.’  Call the church and get them to pray!”

I almost fell down in the floor overcome with fear and grief.  I tried to call someone and couldn’t get anyone.  A lady in the ER offered to watch Jax.  I ran back to my Dad.

“I love you”, he said.  The feeling of helplessness is so raw and so distressing.  I couldn’t do anything.  I told the nurses, “Please do something, he’s dying!”

They took him back and left us waiting, wondering in the waiting room.  My mother had her hand over her mouth, crying, saying, “I can’t handle this…I can’t handle this.”  I mechanically spoke words that I knew I was supposed to say. “Mom, God is sovereign.  God has already ordained just the number of days in Dad’s life”. I said those words, but honestly, I was still just as terrified of losing him.

An older man walked in…“Someone called and said you needed a chaplain”. My mom looked up and cried with desperation, “Did he pass away?”  “Oh, no, he said. I’m just here to be with you.”

My husband and sisters came soon and my brother just cried on the phone, feeling even more helpless from Colorado.

Finally, the nightmare ended, and the doctor came out to tell us he would be OK.  They put a stint in an artery that was blocked 100%. They would have to do three more in a few days.

When I got home, I was emotionally drained.  I just sat down and stared ahead, taking in the dramatic morning, praising God for his mercy over my Dad and wanting nothing more than to simply rest.

But rest would not be found today….

Read Part 2


20 Responses to “Beauty for Ashes on April 27…Part 1”

  1. BlessedMom says:

    How terrifying! We’ll be praying for you all!

  2. Pam says:

    Thank you Kelly. For listening to God and posting as He prompts your heart. For ministering to us. For loving your dad like that, and for loving Jesus in front of us.

  3. Peggy Lorenz says:

    Kelly, thank you for ministering to all of us through your story. It would have been so easy for you to “pull back” and just be with your family at this time, but you have allowed God to use you in an awesome way. Blessings and love to all of you!

  4. I am thankful you are able process all of this and share it with us! I know there will be pain…reliving the hurt as you type. Praying for more comfort as you re-trace this past month.

  5. Leslie from Virginia says:

    I am sending a hug through the internet.
    Can you feel it?? 🙂

    Wow….what a testimony you will be sharing to your children’s children!

  6. 6 arrows says:

    I’m glad you’re writing this out for us to read, Kelly. I think documenting the journey is an important part of the healing process that God gives His people after experiencing traumatic life events. It also gives us (who are on the outside looking in) a more specific way to pray.

    Continuing in prayer, and looking forward to reading the next installment in the series!

  7. Christie P says:

    Thanks for writing – it makes me hold my children a little tighter and a little longer!

  8. Thanks for sharing your story with the rest of us, Kelly. I am looking forward to hearing the rest. We are all still praying for you AND voting for you!

    Many blessings…

  9. Donna Hebert says:

    Reading this, choking up, tears welling, Oh Kelly, may you feel His presence stronger than ever before in the days ahead as you walk this part of your journey. I will pray that your dad has a full recovery, His will be done. May you praise Him in this storm.

  10. Katy says:

    OK, my heart is back down in my chest from it’s fast trip into my throat as I read that. I just needed to read “he’s OK” or I would have been so upset, thank you for not stopping before those words. Praying for your family during this trial. I can’t even imagine.

  11. Natalie says:

    This made me cry…and to think it was only the beginning of that day. You have my vote/s on the faith blog thingy. You’re my fave! ; )

  12. Kim Ann says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and your life with all of us.
    I think there isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think of your family and all that you have gone through. I am praying for you guys and trust that the Lord has a plan way bigger than anyone can imagine through all of this. I will be looking forward to reading your continuing story. God bless you, dear sister.

  13. Jasmine says:


    I think of you often. I’ve been reading your posts as often as I can to stay posted of your situation.

    My prayers are with you and your family.

    Phil 1:3

  14. Courtney says:

    Wow. I didn’t realize your dad’s heart attack was this serious! To have both trials in such a short amount of time, I can only imagine how you are counting your blessings now! Thanks for sharing from your heart.

  15. Chelsey says:

    Kelly… all I can say is thank you for telling HIS story in your life.

  16. […] to her “Beauty for Ashes” series as of today, and it looks like more is coming.   Part One   Part Two   Part […]

  17. […] Beauty for Ashes on April 27 Part 1 (The Story) […]

  18. Katie says:

    I have just found your blog….and started reading your story, and even though I know ( or think I know ) the ending, I am still in tears reading it. I really don’t know what else to say, but thank you for sharing with me how God is really watching over us…over the next couple of day I will be catching up on the whole story, but for now I can only handle this….

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