The plan was for today to be a really nice day. We purchased our Christmas tree and some lights and decorations last night, so tonight is the night to “deck the halls.” The weather today is absolutely gorgeous – warm, sunny, and just about perfect. Even though I coughed most of the night, I felt fine this morning and was looking forward to a nice day in class with my kids.

I checked my email and had the weekly prayer list from our sending church. But, in the title line it also had my mother’s name. When I opened it up, the only line in the email said, “Madeline Ribble is hospitalized overnight for observation.”


At first, I tried to not let it bother me. But, then, it was all I could think about. I left my poor kids alone in the class after telling them what was going on and went to find my husband. He fairly jumped off the second floor of the house he’s building. He wrapped his arms around me and led me away, by this time, the tears had started and I could barely walk I was shaking so bad. We found one of the few actual phones on campus and took it down to our house. We had “accidentally” purchased an extra calling card last week – now we know why that happened.

After two attempts at getting the phone to work, we finally made it through to my father’s cell phone. Praise the Lord – she seems to be okay. Lots of heart pain had landed her in the hospital at 5am. My parents think it’s a reaction to new medication, but because the medicine the doctor was giving her in the hospital hadn’t started working after an hour, they decided to keep her 24 hours for observation.

I learned a couple of things today.

  1. I do not do well under immediate stress.
  2. No matter how much training you get, you’ll never be fully prepared to be far from family when the unexpected happens.
  3. I am not ready to lose my mom.
  4. We must always have calling cards handy.
  5. Email is fast, but sometimes not fast enough.
  6. We live a really, really, really long ways from family.

So, that’s my day today. Still going to finish out classes in 20 minutes, take a nap, go to a 7 year old’s birthday party, let someone make 3 more cakes in my oven for a wedding tomorrow, decorate my tree, and go to bed early. Life goes on, whether you want it to or not.