Thursday brought hurricane force winds to our little part of the world. Trees were ripped from their homes pulling up the earth around them, shingles dislodged, fences toppled, and the general mayhem we've seen on T.V. but rarely seen for ourselves was suddenly right outside our doors.
Along with the physical damage of the landscape and our homes came the loss of power to much of Davis County and, at one point, the entire city of Bountiful. My mom and step-dad's home joined those without power for most of the day.
With the evening approaching they made the decision to purchase a new generator to keep their house and themselves warm. My sister and her four young kids had been visiting from Colorado and had been staying with my mom. They planned to spend the night there. You see, they had been told that the power would be restored by 5pm. Dave, my step-dad, thought he just might be able to get the generator running by 5pm as well. But by 6:30pm when there was no power from either source, corralling 4 cold, hungry kids in a dark house became quite challenging. So when I called to offer a hot dinner in a warm home that never lost power for an extended time during the day, Annie and the kids decided to change plans and spend the night at my house.
That was the first miracle.
Earlier in the day, Dave spent 9 hours using his chain saw helping neighbors remove trees that had either fallen or looked like they were on their way down. By the time he got the generator running, in an outside storage room that shared one wall with the house, at 7pm he was exhausted. Mom and Dave decided to head to bed shortly after the power came on at 11pm. Dave was experiencing dizzy spells now and again and mom felt more wiped out than usual. They attributed all of this to their busy, long, strenuous day. With Dave barley making it into his bed and mom not really knowing how to turn the generator off they decided they would let it run through the night to help continue warming up the house.
At some point the carbon monoxide detector got unplugged because it was thought to be malfunctioning due to the power outage.
They both went to sleep.
At 4:30am Dave woke up.
That was the second miracle.
Carbon monoxide had been seeping into the home through the shared wall with the storage unit since 7pm. Dave should not have woken up.
After waking up Dave realized he couldn't move well. He knew something was horribly wrong. Using what strength he had, which was already compromised from he long hours of clearing trees the day before, he woke mom up and explained they were in trouble. She found she also could not move well. Dave pushed mom off the bed and then threw his body to the floor.
From their room to the front door is only about 30 feet.
After hitting the floor, Dave made his way over to mom. With no ability to walk, together they began to scoot, slowly, toward the front door. Dave using any extra strength he had, after inching himself forward, to push mom even further ahead. They continued in this pattern for over an hour. Struggling to breath or move. Terrified of what would happen if they didn't. Hardly being able to think other than that they needed fresh air and that that air was outside.
At some point the front door opened.
Neither of them remember how that happened as the lock is higher then they had energy to reach let alone strength to push the door while turning the lock.
That was the third miracle.
During mom and Dave's long struggle to the door, Heather, a neighbor, had woken up early to meet her friend for a run while checking on the damage to her neighbors. Her friend wasn't there. She decided to continue with her plans and began her normal run route. Shortly she felt she should alter her route and run one street above. She had never run this way before. It was still in her ward boundaries so she new the street but she had never exercised along it.She said it was more than a random decision....something decided for her.
That was the fourth miracle.
One street above her normal run route two people were fighting for their lives.
As she ran along the new street, at about 6:10 am, she noticed mom and Dave's door open. Looking closer she saw my mom army crawling, with her hair in her face. I talked to Heather and she said my mom's face, a face of a person terrified and struggling for her life, will randomly flash through her mind and catch her off guard leaving nothing left to do but cry. Then Heather saw Dave behind mom also crawling on his belly. She ran to them and dragged mom out onto the porch landing. Then she dragged Dave as far as the door, but he didn't want to go much further because he was only in his garments.
Heather questioned them for a minute, but they were very dazed. She needed to get them warm. They were very hesitant to let her go in the house because of the danger. Heather told me she found out as much information regarding the location of Dave's robe, some socks, and a blanket as she could, held her breath, covered her mouth in the elbow of her arm and ran through the room gathering the items. She very much wanted me to document that Dave was VERY insistent that she get nothing for him. He only wanted mom taken care of. She said that he didn't want her to spend any energy or time on him, only on his wife.
On a lighter note for a moment, Heather shared with me that she had found mom a blanket and wanted to get one for Dave so she asked them where more blankets where. They both said, "We don't have any more blankets." She tried to reason with them that they probably did, but neither one would consent to that idea.
Realizing that mom and Dave needed more help then she had, and not having a phone with her, she ran four houses down to a friend who is also a nurse. The nurse friend came running, attended to mom and Dave and called 911. The ambulance arrived within 5 minutes.
The house tested at over 400 parts per million.To put that into perspective, a carbon monoxide detector goes off at 30 parts per million.
After 4 hours of oxygen treatment mom and Dave were released.
That was the fifth miracle.
They are tired, but they. are. alive!
Their house was tested 100% neg. for carbon monoxide shortly after their hospital release
When you stop and think just how close that came to ending differently, it becomes hard to breath.
If Annie had decided to stay and spend the night at mom and Dave's, her children.....I can't even finish the sentence.
If Dave had not been woken up.
I know he was woken up by the Holy Ghost. There is no other explanation. None. People with that level of carbon monoxide poisoning don't. wake. up. They just don't. We have a mortician friend and when he heard the story he said, "My only experience with carbon monoxide poisoning is if you are poisoned enough to be taken in an ambulance, you don't get better."
If the door had not been open when Heather passed.
If Heather had not listened to the promptings to take an alternate path.
If the oxygen treatment had not worked.
I am SO grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who is so mindful of us. I am grateful for miracles. I absolutely have no doubt that's what happened in this situation. I would venture to say this would even be a challenge for those who believe in only coincidences to explain.
Personally, I know, I know, none of it was a coincidence. I am so grateful to know who I can thank for allowing me and my family more time. I know because of what I believe.
The rest of this season will no longer have the same meaning as years before. The meaning will be deeper. I will teach my children the truth with more heart. And I will not sweat the small stuff. It's incredible how easy it is to simplify when faced with almost losing something of great value.
And lastly, if ever you, you reading this right now, doubt for a fraction of a second that a loving, living, Heavenly Father exists and knows you, please book mark this post or print it out and reread it. I promise He is there.
I promise He knows you.
He has great plans for you.
He still sends miracles.
Of this I have no doubt.