Before I get flooded with hate mail, I have permission from my sweet friend Tammy to share this hilarious story.
They say that some people only come in your life for a season. I met Tammy at church. She had recently moved from West Virginia to South Carolina. My first memory of her is of her throwing her crutches down and literally jumping the steps up to the pulpit platform. On one leg. Her only leg. Not a partial leg. One leg. She sang a song. I can’t tell you what song she sang because, 1) singing lips do not move the same as talking lips and therefore I couldn’t read her lips and 2) I couldn’t get past what I just saw with this larger than life Wonder Woman.
Tammy became my friend. I LOVE hearing Tammy stories. She’s hilarious. She’ll share stories about a day in the life of someone who has never seen herself as handicapped. She can run circles around me and 99% of all bi-legged people any day!
I had invited Tammy to volunteer with me at local Food pantry. After meeting and helping clients all morning, several of us were taking a break. Somehow we got on the subject of her leg, or lack therof.
She shared that she had given birth to not 1. Not 2. Not 3. Not 4. Not 5. But 6. Yes, SIX children!!! Before I even realized what I was saying, I blurted out “What are you, Catholic??!” (We all attended a southern baptist church at this time)
She deadpans, “why, yes I was”. At this point I’m horrified that I had the nerve to ask that. She busted out laughing at the horrified expression on my face. She still laughs at me to this day.
Not long after this conversation, our lives turned upside down with Preston’s aneurysm and subsequent months in hospital. Preston was in ICU in a part of the hospital that I saw more people come out in body bags than what went in. Tammy and her 2 kids, Harley and Sammy made the long drive to the hospital knowing they wouldn’t be allowed to see Preston. His situation was too grave. Do you know why they came? To bring me a beautiful wreath to put on his door that would add some hope in such a dark place. She even put lights in it so that when Preston woke up from his coma, he would see it, and his favorite scripture. “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”
I can’t count the nights I spent sitting by Preston’s side rubbing his limp hand and just staring at the wreath and reading that verse over and over. I remember one particularly rough day when the neurologist had came in told me that Preston was not responding. I remember collapsing in chair and just looking up and seeing that verse. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. It was one of many messages from God that I would receive during this trial.
If my memory serves me correct, Sammy stood at Preston’s doorway and prayed for him. Little Sammy, who was only around 8, took it upon himself to become one of Preston’s most faithful prayer warriors. We were told that Sammy went down to the altar, Sunday after Sunday, month after month, praying on Preston’s behalf. That’s powerful. And very, very humbling. During Preston’s first Sunday back in church, many months later, who comes and pushes Preston down the aisle and prays for Preston’s continued recovery and Thanking God for him listening to his prayers? Sammy.
Of all the things missing now with Preston’s short term memory, he remembers his buddy Sammy. And sheds a tear when he thinks of him.
My friend and her family recently had to move back to West VIrginia. We miss her and her family. I believe that sometimes God sends people into our lives only for a season. Tammy is a one legged angel.
Wonder Woman can’t hold a candle next to Tammy!