Church Family

My Sister Warned Me

“Steph – Steph,” I sobbed… I tenderly brushed her hair with my hand. What happened… I need to calm down and think.  

We were just giving each other a hug when she began backing up, smiling and talking nonsensical.  Was she joking with me as we so often do?  No. She’s not responding. There’s no movement!

I got to my feet and was going to fetch the cellphone back in my room at the other end of the apartment when I heard a soft, “What am I doing on the floor?”

I wondered what I should do? Continue on to get the phone and call 911 or hug and reassure my precious Stephanie that everything was okay?  I dropped to my knees and wrapped my arms around the angel pulling her into me and hugging maybe too tightly.

Stephanie seemed as confused as I was, “What happened,” I asked?

“I don’t know Dad?  I was giving you a hug but things turned all black on me.  Next thing I know here I am on the floor and you are standing above me.  Can you tell me what happened?”

“I don’t know either Steph?  I do know that I felt helpless as I watched you fall back and I couldn’t get to you to hold you up.  I watched as your head just missed the corner of the dresser. How are you feeling?”

“That was really crazy,” dazed Stephanie said.

“All I know is that you jumped off your bed and ran over to hug me.  Following the hug you began, in slow motion going back from me and looking distantly into space and saying some words that I couldn’t understand.  That was it – you passed out.  I began freaking out, praying out loud…Please, please, please bring her back to me.  Immediately I started asking myself what I should do?  When you woke up I was on my way to the bedroom to get my cellphone; I didn’t know where yours was or even how to get into it.   You sure you feel all right?”  

“Yeah Dad, I feel fine.”

“Well come on then and I will make you an omelette and toast and I’ll give you a sliced up orange (that’s why you passed out you know…not enough fruits and vegetables, a good time to slip that in.)  You aren’t getting the proper nutrients.”

Then I remembered reading somewhere that fainting is a sign of dehydration, so I had her drink a bottle of Dasani while waiting for her breakfast. I remarked about how great she was looking and acting.

“Can I still have my karate lesson today?”

“I guess if you are absolutely sure you’re feeling okay,” and I continued making her cheese omelette…..

A few hours later…”Okay now, you be sure to tell Phil about your passing out this morning and ask if he thinks karate would be all right for you today.  Take it easy if that’s possible in karate.  You can exercise your beautiful mind.”

Just as she walked in the door our good friends Mel & Joyce pulled up in their shiny, black new truck.  They had rescued us from this spot a while back when my car wouldn’t start and so they knew that Steph and I were here every Saturday.  Of course I told them what had happened to Steph earlier and that I planned to take her to a doctor after her lesson.

Joyce said, “Yeah, she is probably all right, but you should do that just to put your mind at ease.  It’s scary, I remember when it happened to my daughter.  Stephanie probably just got up too fast but get the doctor’s opinion.”  

Before we made the move to the “Show Me” State my sister tried to dissuade me from moving somewhere without family by saying, “What will you do if, heaven forbid, something should happen to either one of you? Who would you call?”

I do have family here; my church family.  And some will be here tonight to celebrate, Jesus’ Birth, together.

Just to let everybody know, the doctor concluded that Stephanie got up too fast.  The kid just has to slow it down a little.

We love you all and wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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