December 30, 2015
I know God is always with me. But rarely do I truly listen to his voice and feel his presence. The past 2 days God has made it so obvious, I could not ignore his presence. I will start with yesterday. Yesterday morning I was off on an adventure. I was driving to Whitwell, Tennessee for the first time ever. It’s not far, but in a different time zone and just someplace I have never been. I was on my way to see my friend Tonya, her beautiful and amazing daughter, Amber entered God’s Kingdom the night before and I just needed to see her privately. We have had a lot of rain in this area recently with flooding and I knew the Tennessee River was very close to my destination, so I allowed plenty of time. Rarely, do I take a leisurely drive anywhere. I considered my drive leisurely because I was not driving over the speed limit the whole way. I stopped at at rest stop just prior to where I was exiting the interstate - as I left this rest stop, I engaged the GPS on my phone. All was good, I made my left turn as instructed and then things got interesting. I was on a pretty narrow road, some of it was flooded, so I was dodging the deeper water and admiring the beautiful cows I was passing. I love cows. A beautiful red bird flew in front of my vehicle, I smiled and thought, it’s going to be a good day. I continued to follow directions and when it said I had arrived at my destination I knew it was wrong. I drove a few hundred more yards, crossed the hwy and parked in the Sequatchie Market’s parking lot. At this point, I have no idea how to find Tonya’s house. I texted, Rodney, her fiance and told him where I was. He texted back, “stay there.” I told him what I was driving. I expected to see him, but in less than 5 minutes this big white pick up truck pulls up with an American Flag flying and I immediately recognize Amber’s brother, Zach. We have never met before yesterday. I followed him to their house. I was early, but I think it was okay. Rodney was coming out of the front door and talked to me and told me they needed to go the cemetary and ask if I would drive them. I went in briefly. I hugged Tonya tight and then we got in my car and headed to the cemetary. Zach went to, but he was still in his truck with this cute pup riding shot gun. Teena Casseday, the Principal of Whitwell High School and a lady I have come to admire tremendously met us at the cemetary. Tonya and Zach picked out the place that Amber will come to rest. We were standing there while the man from the cemetary was doing something. I look up in the sky and I see this amazing light. I started seeing these lights after Christian died. It looks like a rainbow off to the side of the sun. I have learned this light is called a “sun dog.” I have sent pictures of these to Tonya. I took her arm and showed her the light through my tears. Zac saw the light too, it looked like a small rainbow off to the side of the sun. I told Tonya, That’s Amber, telling you, “Mama, I am good.” As we stood there the light got brighter and the colors bolder before beginning to fad. This is the first time I have ever seen this light in the middle of the day. It is normally seen late in the day, close to sunset. We spent some time in the cemetary. We visited the grave of a beautiful warrior, Kennedy Griffith. It was interesting to watch and listen to Amber’s brother, Zach. He has definate opinions and voiced them. I respect that and honor that. I remember, that Bailey had very firm opinions at a very young age and I respected her opinions and they have all proved to be the right choicea for us. So the day continues and we go to the funeral home and the necessary things are done there. While at the funeral home, I decide I am going to take the “locals” route back to Chattanooga. I ask opinions, but once again, Zach’s opinion was strong. He just told me not to drive too slow. I took the scenic route back to Chattanooga over Suck Creek Mountain. It was an easy drive and beautiful and I maintained a good speed and no one was riding my bumper. I stopped atWhole Foods and grabbed a few things and then hopped back on the interstate. At this point, it’s 4:30 pm in Chattanooga. I am guarenteed to hit traffic. I made it to my next destination (Costco in Georgia) without slowing down for traffic. At that time of day, that has nevery happened before. Then while on my fast fun through Costco, I run into someone that I need to talk to about something to do with money The Christian Bryant Foundation donated. I leave and arrive home and am ready to prepare a good meal for my family.
Today was a work day for me. When I arrived at work I had some mandatory things to do before the year end. I finally accomplished all that right after lunch. I was thinking about Tonya so much and Amber’s visitation. She was just on my heart all day. But after lunch today, I decided maybe it’s time for me to ease back into patient care. The Emergency Department was crazy busy and triage was backed up. I grabbed my scissors, stethoscope (I actually used it) and pen and went out to triage. I helped for several hours. I was slow, but it’s the first time I have done that in 4 plus years. It felt good to be touching patients again and it also made me realize I have not lost my “gut” instincts. A side note, the primary triage nurse today was the only nurse who has been a nurse longer than I have and we are both, most likely, the only Diploma nurses left working at Hamilton Medical Center. We are both proud graduates of Georgia Baptist Hospital School of Nursing. So, I know God was everywhere yesterday and he was with me today when I decided to go out and truly try to help triage patient’s in the Emergency Department that I love. Did I make a difference yesterday or today? I am not sure, but it’s not about me. Please continue to pray for Amber Slatton’s family and all those who love her. - Robyn