Why I live in Switzerland County
To the Editor:
On December 3rd, 2010, my family and I came to a fork in the road when, after four days in the ICU, Andi became deathly ill. It w as one of those times when a person has to make that phone call telling a parents (my mother-in-law) to come to the hospital as quickly as possible because Andi had taken a turn for the worse. During her hospital stay there were at least three times, counting that morning of the 3d, when all seemed well and it appeared as if Andi would be coming home soon. However, each time another complication would happen to create a setback.
While all of this was going on with Andi, and during all of her setbacks, time would not stop to allow her to get better. In the harsh reality, life goes on, and for this family there is a lot of life. Just to give you an idea of how much life, let me start by saying we live on a 60-acre farm. We have two horses, three dogs, roughly 35 goats, a couple of chickens and a couple of rabbits. There are anywhere from four to six children living in our house, depending on the time of year. Each child, except for the baby, has at least one extracurricular activity throughout the year. Also, during this time of year, our house is heated by wood heat only. Even if we did not have the animals to take care of, someone would have to be here to keep the wood stove going to keep the water lines from freezing. Am I complaining? No, I am not, but I have said more than once since Andi has been sick that this is the time that I wish I lived in a condo. Then I could turn the heat down to 50 degrees and walk out the door and forget about it. But, what my family and I have in this county is better than any condo. We have family, friends, and neighbors that are second to none.
During the 12 days that Andi was in the intensive care I tried to spend every moment I could there for her and her needs. Andi’s parents and sister flew in from California on Saturday, December 4th, and they witnessed first hand what kind of a community we really have here.
First, I would like to thank Walt and Lorraine for all of their help during their trip out here. That was their daughter lying in that hospital bed and I am sure they wanted to be right there with her, also. However, they agreed to allow me to stay most of the time while they stayed more with the children. We had to prevent any possibility of bringing any colds or illness to the hospital. Walt also helped out at the house with some electrical work and general repairs that get neglected in a busy household.
Second, I want to thank Andi’s sister, Terrie, who turned out to be a natural farm girl. She helped out with chores on the farm, kept the fire going, bought groceries, chauffeured children to after school activities and doctor visits, watched the baby, and did unending loads of laundry.
Third, I want to thank Korah, Dakota, and Talen for working so hard to keep some semblance of normalcy. They kept the farm going while continuing to go to school. They did not know from one day to the next which relative they would stay with. Korah saw Andi when she was first admitted to the hospital. Talen saw Andi once in the hospital, but Dakota was ill and did not see her until she came home. It as very difficult for them but they were strong and courageous through it all. They helped their Aunt Terrie and Mema (Lorraine) and made things so much easier.
Next, I want to thank my family for all of their help. My mom drove Andi to the doctor and picked up Dakota at school one day when he was ill. I would like to thank my mom and my sister for helping watch the baby and the other three children, depending upon who was not ill at the time. It was important to me to know that all of the children were together. I want to thank my Uncle Denny and my brother for helping with the wood stove, chores, and cutting wood. I want to thank Darren for the long trip through the snowstorm to bring Andi home from the hospital (and two CVS stops.) I want to thank Grandma Caroline for the soups, corn bread, and cake that carried us through several meals. She drove Korah to a doctor’s appointment. Also, thank you for taking my mom to the hospital to visit Andi while I got some much needed sleep. I also want to thank Uncle Rick and Aunt Sherry for fixing the headlight on Andi’s car so that Lorraine could see on the back country roads at night.
Last, but not least, I want to thank everyone else who helped us. Brandon Arnoldy drove Andi to the doctor when she was unable to drive herself. Lisa Frisby drove Andi to the emergency room where Andi was immediately admitted into the ICU. Shane Armstrong brought a load of wood and Carla Armstrong brought soup and cookies for Andi’s first night home from the hospital. What a blessing that was. Carla drove the boys home from basketball practice several times. Larry and Sheila Gault made sure that the boys made it to and from basketball games. Sheila made cookies which were a welcome treat. Troy and Angie Phagen took the boys home with them so that Joey could pick them up when he got off work. Tom and Mary Jane Rodgers, their nephew, and their sons Josh and Jeremy brought a load of wood and a big bag filled with homemade bread, cookies, jam, pickles and home-canned treats. A few days later Mary Jane brought homemade cinnamon rolls. We thank Olive Branch Church for your support and prayers. Thank you to the local farmer for the meat.
Finally, we are so appreciative to all of you for your kind thoughts and many prayers.
Why I live in Switzerland County