By Sandra Mann
“Your husband has been in an accident at work and you need to go to him now.” These words came to me from the white faced supervisor who had received the phone call were I worked at the campus library. “I don’t know what has happened they just said he’s been hurt and they need you over there now,” he answered the look of shock and confusion on my face.
I was running towards the cafeteria were my husband worked without a backwards glance. I must have grabbed my coat because it was half on by the time I reached the building and was up a flight of stairs. “What’s wrong? What happened?” kept racing through my mind. Running to the back of the room where the serving area was I found a group of people standing around my husband who lay on the floor half under a stainless steal serving counter. He was covering his face with his hands and calling for me and saying “I hurt. I hurt.” I dropped to my knees among broken plates and tried to comfort him. “He just fell over and smashed his face on the counter,” said one of his co-workers through tears. “Has he ever fainted or had a seizure before?” ask another person who was sitting next to him also. “Yes,” I informed them, “he has epilepsy.”
This is what you could call a “bad” day. He came home from the hospital with a black eye that would impress any nine-year old boy, a head-ache the size of Montana and orders to stay down for a couple of days. I came home with orders to watch him closely for any sings of concussion or additional seizures, the dread of paying a hospital bill and that my husband might lose his job, and wondering if it was alright now for me to break down and cry. We had been married four months, were both working part-time on campus, going to school full time and living on a shoestring budget. Now what was going to happen? Our paychecks would be less due to missed work, our studies would suffer from missed classes, my husband had lost a week of memory due to the seizure so had to reread books and notes just to catch up and crying only gave me a head-ache and puffy eyes. The only thing I could think to do was pray–so I did. This turned out to be the best action to take.
Within three weeks of returning to school our lives were blessed in unforeseen ways. All of our professors were willing to work with us to make up assignments and did not dock points in mandatory attendance classes. The fire chief came and inspected the accident scene and said that it was too hot and should have fans installed to reduce physical stress on the staff. This allowed the work insurance to cover the accident due to an unhealthy environment so we didn’t have to pay the hospital bills. My husband’s supervisor told us that he was over a scholarship program that awarded students free meals at the cafeteria. He gave both of us scholarships for two meals a day Monday through Friday and two meals each weekend for the rest of the semester and for the next semester as well. This helped us get through that year of school without the need for a student loan. My faith skyrocketed as I saw the Lord bless us though so many more acts of kindness from concerned friends, family and co-workers. My prayers were answered in ways I would never have dreamed. From one very “bad” day came feelings of humility, gratitude and hope. I still look back and am amazed at how much more “good” seemed to come to us during and after this challenging time.