Births, Illnesses and 5K’s

What a crazy hectic week and weekend! Besides hosting our first-ever Annual Sadie Rose 5K, my mom, step-dad, Aunt Edie, Aunt Ruth had gone to Edisto Island with my sister, Amy, her husband, Michael, and their kids. Not having them with me to help coordinate the 5K was a big deal. They are always my most loyal Sadie Rose volunteers. (Check out The Sadie Rose Foundation.)

Things were looking good by Thursday as far as the 5K planning. I thought we had it all under control. Then, Friday morning, my brother-in-law, Michael, got sick. Very sick! The family was planning on returning from the beach Saturday, but headed home first thing Friday morning instead. They were 10 hours from home, but thought they could make it back to our area so he could go to our local hospital. With every passing mile, my sister grew more concerned.

Instead of last-minute race preparations Friday, I was texting and talking back and forth with the travelers hoping and praying that Michael was going to be okay. I knew that Michael’s condition was worsening by the minute and all I could think about was wishing they would just turn off the Interstate and get to the nearest emergency room. But I also understood how badly he wanted to be home.

The travelers got into town around 8 p.m. Friday evening. Michael’s condition was so threatening, they called ahead to RMH to have a stretcher waiting when they arrived. Amy and mom drove him straight to the emergency room and I went to Amy’s to be with the kids.

Her two boys ended up staying with some friends and her girls and I took some clothes and necessities to Amy at the hospital then went to Walmart to pick up last-minute items for the 5K. Oh yeah, that was still happening Saturday morning whether I slept Friday night or not. We didn’t sleep, just dozed here and there.

In the meantime, Michael’s fever spiked to 106.5. He had to be restrained to the bed (it took 10 people and he is a scrawny guy) and he was not responding to his name. In an effort to comfort the girls, we prayed and tried desperately to commit him to God. Then watched “The Princess Bride.” That proved to be a good diversion.

We pulled ourselves together just in time to get to Dayton for the 5K, but by that time, everyone was texting me asking if I had any updates on Michael and I was torn between focusing on the 5K and trying to update all the concerned. My race director finally told me I had to “PAY ATTENTION.” I don’t blame her. I was one big emotional mess and she needed me present ~ 100 percent at the race.

Although they had been up all night too, my family showed up in force! My mom left the hospital long enough to come to the 5K and then went back. She had traveled all day on Friday and had been in the hospital with Amy all night and still came out to walk the 1.5 mile alternative route. My sister, Stephanie, and her boys walked as well. My sister, Ethel, my sister-in-law, Jane, and Amy’s boys, Chandler and Harley, all raced the 3.1 mile route.(Lee’s mom and many other volunteers and participants were there too and we appreciate the ALL!)

But that’s how our family has always been. We are there for each other come hell or high water and this race was no different. It was a fundraiser for the Sadie Rose Foundation, the 501(c)3 my husband and I started in memory of our daughter, Sadie Rose. We offer support to others who have experienced the death of a child. Our family lost Sadie together and together we remember her.

Walking to the starting line

It was all I could do to take my mind off of Michael and Amy at the hospital, and yet somehow, I was so excited about the race I was able to “let them go” for the time being. Amy’s boys, Chandler (11 years old) and Harley (9), both took off with the runners and I wished them well, just hoping they would actually make the run without needing to be picked up. (They had been up a good bit of the night too.)

I’m not sure why I worried! Those kids are something else. They didn’t won awards for fastest runners in their elementary school this year for nothing. Chandler ran the 5K in 24 minutes. He won first place in his age group and 16th overall in a group of 67 runners. Harley ran it in 27 minutes. As I saw them running down the home stretch, I broke down and cried. How proud their mom and dad would be, how sad that they had to miss it.

The 5K was a huge success. What a tribute to ALL our children gone too soon! But I was immediately back to focusing on those in the hospital. I picked Eli and Elsie up from the babysitters and went back into the hospital where Michael remained in critical care. They still did not have answers for his condition.

Harley running the home stretch

Eli, Elsie and I finally made it home Saturday afternoon and I was able to rest for about an hour while the kids slept. By Saturday evening, Michael seemed to be doing some better. Then we got a text that our close friend (we call her our sister) was going to RMH to have her baby. (She had driven to a “check-point” in the 5K to cheer the runners on that morning.) Her water broke while they were in West Virginia and they drove across the mountain to have her baby here.

We celebrated with them Sunday morning after her long night of labor. Thank God for a perfect and healthy baby boy.

So now it is Monday. They moved Michael from critical care into a regular room this afternoon and hope that within a few days he will be home, the new baby is doing well, and the 5K is behind us for another year. It was a weekend with three memorable events in one. Now, I should be in bed instead of blogging about it.

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