When I first created this blog last month, I had no idea what to call it. I wanted it to be about my personal journey towards Our Lord - my ups and downs, successes and failures, all journaled here for me to review and see my progress, and for inspiration for anyone else who cares to follow my journey. I finally decided Let Us Kneel best fit the feel for how I saw my journey going.
Little did I know how precise this title was to become for my life, for I am now continually on my knees before my God, praying for miracles.
On January 8th, my husband and the boys were outside preparing to process our meat chickens. This is usually a whole day affair, and I was preparing for the girls' and my work in the kitchen. Suddenly I heard a loud 'POP' and looked outside to see spots of our grass on fire. The pantry door flew open and my 15yo daughter screamed, "Fulton is on fire!" As she said this I looked further out the window and saw what no mother ever wants to see. My baby Fulton, only 4 years old, shirt and hair in flames, was slowly walking away from our burn barrel. I ran outside to find my husband already on top of him, smothering the flames that consumed Fulton's shirt, and yelled for me to call 911.
Time stood still for us all. My husband Jay carried Fulton into the house as I hung up with 911, and laid him on the kitchen floor. Such terror in his eyes, which I am sure matched my own, and such cries of anguish and fear coming from my little child. All I wanted to do was hold him close to me and tell him everything was going to be fine. But I could not touch him. Skin was hanging off of his wrists and fingers, and Lord forgive me - I lied to him and told him not to pull on it or worry about it, and that it was only pieces of his shirt. (Thank you, Mom, for saying it first - I was too speechless at that moment to think of what to say) He just kept looking at me straight into my eyes and crying, "I don't want to be on fire!" over and over again. His left thigh was not burned, so I placed my hand there and told him to focus on feeling my hand on his leg.
The ambulance arrived, who knows how much later, and I slowly pulled myself from him and let them take over. One look at his face told them that no hospital nearby could be able to help him. They called for a helicopter to take us to Hillcrest in Tulsa where, they assured me, an excellent burn unit team would care for him. I walked to my husband, also burned on his hands and arms, and tearfully kissed him goodbye. It took some time to get Fulton stable enough to drive to meet the helicopter, but thankfully when we arrived at the nearby schoolyard, our ride to Tulsa had already landed and was waiting for us.
By the grace of God, I was allowed to fly with Fulton (something the pilot never allows). I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries slowly, meditating on Our Lord's suffering in ways I had never done before, and was blessed with an unknown amount of graces. By the time I was finished, the hospital was in sight and I thanked Our Lady for preparing me for the long road of suffering ahead.
By the time we arrived, Fulton was still and silent - unrecognizable even to me. His face was so badly burned I could not even look at him when they finally allowed me into his room. So I looked at his foot. His precious, perfect little foot. And I kissed his toes, praying to Our Sorrowful Mother to stay beside me as I cling to this unbearable Cross I had been given.
It was soon apparent that even the Tulsa burn unit could not care for Fulton. Our only option to save him was the Shriner's burn unit in Galveston, Texas. Within the hour, 2 Shriners appeared and stood guard over my son and me, and arranged for us to be flown to Texas. They were so wonderful, and calmed my fears. It was humbling to be so much at their mercy, but I know it was part of God's plan to bring me among them. I am profoundly grateful, and will be praying fervently for them.
The plane came from Texas, and we rode by ambulance to the airport. I was met by a tall, silent man, nicely dressed, and wearing a long raincoat. He held his umbrella for me as we watched Fulton get loaded safely into the plane, and I prayed a prayer of thanks to my Guardian Angel for being so physically present with me, for I felt very much at peace in this man's presence.
We were in the air before I knew it, riding in a Lear jet, headed to a whole new world. Two medics rode with us and closely monitored Fulton on hsi gurney as we flew over 560 miles per hour towards Galveston. I prayed the entire 15 Mysteries of the Rosary during that time, and once again felt God's hand in all that was happening, and Our Blessed Mother's mantle wrapped lovingly around me. By the time we landed, and without having the slightest idea what was in store for us, I had completely resigned myself to God's will and placed all my trust in Him.
I was still shaken from the day's nightmarish events, but underneath it all, I was at peace. Peace. I can't explain it beyond the fact that I somehow knew without a doubt that no matter what the outcome would be, it was God's will, and all I had to do was be open to it.
I have now been in Galveston for 18 days. My dear sisters have arranged a CarePages page to track the daily updates on Fulton's progress, and while I will be writing here about my personal spiritual journey at the foot of the cross, the CarePages website give you more 'practical' information on how he is doing. (You do have to register to read the updates, but it is free) I invite you to follow his physical progress there, and my spiritual progress here.
Please pray for Fulton, my family, for those here at the hospital, and for myself! God is good - always!