My parents are amazing. For so many reasons but one is because when my sister and I each turned 16 they let us choose a trip (within reason I am sure). I chose NYC and that's another story...it was amazing and I loved every minute of that with Mom and Dad. My sister, much more adventuresome than I (and my mother), chose the Grand Canyon, and so my dad was the one to take her. It was amazing and a wonderful opportunity for them to bond especially at that fun and awkward age of 16. Of course we both thought we knew everything then.
Fast forward...Friday, August 28th 2009, Dad and Aleene flew out to complete the 2nd leg of their trip with Oars through the Grand Canyon. My sister, in great shape but now 37 and has two young boys...Dad, now 66 and although he prepared with exercise and practices hikes...well the years add another dimension to the trip. They had an AMAZING TIME, and we cannot wait to see all 500+ of their photos.
But 6 days into their 10 day excursion, Dad slipped and fell and broke his left arm. The bonding which took place and their stories are incredible. Dad mentioned "so many angels along the way" including my sister who actually pulled a string from her shorts and found a stick to make a splint. My sister had to leave dad after getting him settled, run back 1.5 miles to get help, then 1.5 miles back to Dad, then walk with Dad another 1.5 to a place where the helicopter could finally land and airlift them out of the canyon.
So, 1 helicopter ride, 2 ambulance trips, a 2:30am hospital room arrival, many doctors and nurses, 1 surgery, 1 metal plate, 9 screws, 2 airline flight changes, and 1 safe trip home....WHEW!...cannot even imagine. Despite all of this, we are all beyond grateful and know it could have been something much worse.
Among the many blessings:
*it was a broken bone and not his head or eyes, etc.
*it was his left arm (he is right handed)
*my sister was with him! (she had been on a hike without him the day before!)
*there are only a few places where helicopters can land in the canyon and they were only 1.5-2 miles away!
*they had amazing aerial views and photographs from the helicopter they never would have had
* they let my sister get on the helicopter (at first they said NO)
*the surgeon in Flagstaff and the hospital was the best within a 3 state radius)
*my sister had time lots of waiting in the hospital and used it to journal while it was fresh on her mind
*easy flight change thanks to Mom and safe travel home
*long lunch today hearing it all and praising God
*and the bonding that occurred between them was...well....priceless!
NOW go and tell someone you love why you love them and do it today! Every day is a gift!
Let our love for one another be GRAND, and DEEP and WIDE...
as GRAND and as DEEP and as WIDE as the Grand Canyon.
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and how long and how deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.