Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Being "Handled"

It's 10 a.m. I don't know where my children are.

It's been 17 days and I only recently have known where my children are. This is mainly due to this fine woman:

Let me introduce you to my main "handler"... with an "M" for mountain, immovable and persistent...the fabulous and feisty Michelle!! (pictured above holding home made bribes snacks for James' nurses)

From my Dec 31 2012 post:
 I call my mom and James' mom and his stepmom. I say three more times into the phone what I've been told.  I'm missing calls from my friend Michelle, who stepped into our lives and directed all the initial cleanup and support after our house flooded in 2010.
I cannot fully explain what it is like to be personally "managed." Having someone taking over your life, your schedule, your children, thinking before you, what and who and how. What it's called is THE BODY OF CHRIST IN ACTION.

Remember A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle? Meg has battled IT, and is being recuperated in the arms of a thing Meg calls Aunt Beast.
The movement of the tentacles was as rhythmic and flowing as the dance of an undersea plant, and lying there, cradled in the four strange arms, Meg, despite herself, felt a sense of security that was deeper than anything she had known since the days when she lay in her mother's arms in the old rocking chair and was sung to sleep. With her father's help she had been able to resist IT. Now she could hold out no longer. She leaned her head against the beast's chest, and realized that the gray body was covered with the softest, most delicate fur imaginable, and the fur had the same beautiful odor as the air.
I hope I don't smell awful to it, she thought. But then she knew with a deep sense of comfort that even if she did smell awful the beasts would forgive her. As the tall figure cradled her she could feel the frigid stiffness of her body relaxing against it. ... She sighed deeply, like a very small child, and suddenly she was asleep.

Suddenly I had an escort personal assistant with me all day. I had someone taking notes when DRs and nurses talked to me. I repeated what they had said to me and they repeated it back to me. They thought of questions I hadn't. They answered the phone for me. They caught my phone when I threw it at them and dialed numbers and spoke to people they didn't know and relayed the latest updates to people when I couldn't repeat it again. They drove me from place to place, they fed me and watered me and brought my baby to me. They watched and loved and fed my children, and I trusted them to answer the questions the way I would. They protected my kids and circled the wagons around my family. I came home to grab a new shirt and my house had been scoured. Carseats appeared from no where, everything was taken care of.

And behind the seamless transitions and magically appearing solutions was a mountain named Michelle. She was designed by God to run things and trouble shoot and think 5 steps ahead. And man did he bless her to do that well.

Plenty of times my "handler" would answer her phone and start answering questions about my care... Michelle quality controlling my time. There were times that I would want to go home and release my handler to go home early. Every time, they would nervously cut their eyes to the side, searching for the hidden cameras or voice recorders, and then shakily say, "ah, well, no, I'll just wait." One time I forced my assistant to go and soon enough I was hearing back "why did they leave you?!" The long arm of Michelle stretches into all regions of my life now.

Of course my handlers are there to grab coffee or catch a flying cell phone or take notes. But it became clear that when a breakdown came all of my handlers were ready to rub a shoulder, pass the tissues, and pray or comfort me. They were even willing to suffer the bitter Texas winter wind to take pictures of a helicopter for me.

Amy/ Kristi

You can see that under Michelle are two people: a church contact and a homeschool group contact. Then under them are the three women who kept the 4 big kids. Under them is the rest of my church and homeschool family.

For ten days I was managed and then we went to Brackenridge and I was alone for the first time. Literally TEN DAYS I was never left alone to fend for myself or cry alone. How is that possible in this day and age?

Now in week 2+ my handling has morphed into a new phase. Food is coming to my home each night. You know, I've had food brought after a baby was born. But that is a joyful time, and it's a treat. Food when you are dealing with an illness or the injury of a loved one is u.n.b.e.l.i.e.v.a.b.l.e. It takes such a weight off your shoulders, clears your proverbial plate just that one bit more.

Michelle is able to finally see her family again (ch-ching) but is still calling and updating me on stuff I don't know about, would never think about, or could care less about. She's still plotting and planning and kicking butt on the phone and taking names. Probably she'll never really stop, since she's reporting dreaming about me and James now.

1/21/13 UPDATE:

Michelle finally got to see James when he was awake. He had heartfelt thanks for her watching over us when he was unconscious, and she was so glad to talk to him, awake.


  1. I have tears in my eyes; thank you so much for sharing. God is miraculous. Christ in action. Lori Benoit

  2. Tears for me too ... all I can say is ... you are beautiful Tracy! Inside and out! Thank you for your faith & your unconditional love - what an inspiration you are! Amy Feser

  3. Awesome recalling of Gods Grace though His body. What a witness to the world you have contact with. “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34, 35 HCSB) 1Peter 4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

  4. It's a a blessing to read and see on these pages the body of Christ in action. Grateful he has placed so many in James and your life to care for you all.