grounded but grateful: the mysterious way we got stuck in santa fe

grandma's hand in hospital

This vacation photo may not be of a sunset or a pool or a beautiful meal, but I can guarantee it captures one of the most memorable moments of our girls’ weekend in Santa Fe. That’s right; we spent part of it in the hospital. Still can’t even believe it.

God works in mysterious ways - doodle artYou might have read here that I met my Mom and Nana in Santa Fe later than planned, after my little guy got super sick last week. Despite the rocky start, we’ve had a magical and meaningful time together. In fact, yesterday morning, some of you saw me post this image on Facebook; I was sitting on the hotel balcony with Nana, doodling one of her favorite sayings – God works in mysterious ways – as we chatted.

Not long after, we headed to the historic La Fonda hotel and restaurant for a beautiful breakfast…

Breakfast at La Fonda in Santa Fe

There she is…my¬†89-year-old Nana enjoying a latte, looking pretty darn happy and healthy. We’d already checked out of our hotel, so after breakfast, we decided to stroll around The Plaza – an open-air square with shops and a long sidewalk where local Native Americans sell their gorgeous, handmade jewelry. Nana wanted to buy me something for my upcoming birthday, so we all moved from one artist to the next, looking at their wares. She must have said a dozen times as we walked that she’d been having such a wonderful time, she didn’t want to go home.

But her back started to hurt, so she sat down on a cement block about the height of a bench and leaned up against a pole, saying she’d be fine. I brought over a turquoise ring to show her, holding out my hand, and noticed she couldn’t seem to see the ring on my finger. She put her hand on her head, said she just wasn’t feeling well and – boom! – she slumped over into my arms, suddenly slurring words, drooling and staring into space, then passed out. I yelled for my mom, a nearby policewoman called for help and I whispered into Nana’s ear: “Stay with me. Hold on. I love you.” Friends, I really thought we were going to lose her then and there.

I’m sure it took a short minute, but it felt like an eternity for the paramedics to arrive. One said it looked like she was having a stroke as they loaded her onto a gurney. But by the time we rolled away in the ambulance, Nana was answering questions and regaining some strength. Not long after getting hooked up to monitors and an IV at the hospital, she was joking with the nurses. A few hours later – after an exam, blood tests and x-rays – she was free to go (in a cab, I might add, since we all arrived by ambulance!).

Turns out it wasn’t a stroke (thank heavens), but likely caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure. We don’t know how or why yet, but we do know we feel so, so lucky. For the swift and kind work of paramedics and hospital staff. For our hotel – which is almost always sold out – extending our stay by a night. For the airline finding us three seats on a new flight today at no extra cost. Meanwhile, my hubby’s home for the boys, including taking Tru to his first day of preschool.

As we sat by Nana’s bed in the ER yesterday afternoon, we noted that our missed flight was taking off that moment and that we’d likely have to stay in Santa Fe another day – just as she’d wished. Without skipping a beat and with a twinkle in her eye, she said, “God works in mysterious ways.”

Ain’t that the truth.