Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Saw A Miracle Today


I saw a miracle today. The last ten days I’ve had a front row seat to a heart wrenching, but beautiful love story. For anyone who says romance isn’t alive--for anyone who says romance is silly, or insignificant, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. I’m also here to tell you that miracles do exist. As a matter of fact, after what I’ve seen, I’ll argue the fact with you until the cows come home.

Jody Payne is one of my critique partners, if you remember, I mentioned her in my post about Chocolate Martinis. She’s the colonel’s wife, the one with more life experience, but still looks too darn good in her jeans. She’s spunky, she’s spry and she’s probably the most stubborn woman I know when it comes to accepting someone’s help. Can you imagine this women with a broken shoulder, wearing a brace to keep her from moving her right arm, and telling me she can buckle her own seatbelt? And how did she get this broken shoulder? Well, it depends on who you ask. When she called me and asked if I would post on the loop that she wasn’t able to type, and therefore would be lurking, I was more than happy to do so. I posted what she asked me to, and then told the group that she had broken her shoulder by having wild, kinky sex with her husband. Since she couldn’t type, everyone had no choice but to believe me. And if you ever saw Jody and John together, that would give my story more believability. They love each other. It was apparent in how they teased and looked at one another. And when I saw John that Saturday afternoon, he was laughing about the post.

Now the truth of how she broke her shoulder is she was run over by a horse. I don’t think it was the same horse that kicked her in the head, giving her a concussion a while back, or the one who broke her ribs and caused her lung to collapse. And of course, none of these incidents were the horse’s fault; accidents just happen when you deal with big animals. But the fact that she still works the horses blows my mind. I’d have thrown in the towel at the concussion stage. But not Jody. Yup, she has an independent streak in her. But these last ten days, I’ve also learned something else about Jody Payne.

She’s probably the most courageous woman I know. This isn’t to say she wasn’t scared, or even worried, but her smile, her ability to focus on the positive, even when there seemed to be so little positive to grasp, well, it was downright amazing.

You see, Jody’s husband, John Payne, a retired Colonel, now a teacher at a college who still found time to work with the horses that stable, had suddenly started acting incoherent. Fearing he was having a stroke, she managed to get him in the car, and she drove him, with a broken shoulder, to the hospital. It wasn’t a stroke. They shortly diagnosed John of having encephalitis.

Within a few hours, John was unconscious. Within a few days, this man who was so much like Jody, a man who never slowed down, was on ventilator and a feeding tube. The doctor’s prognosis was not hopeful. But Jody’s hope never wavered. “I’m asking for a miracle,” she said. “And isn’t this what romance writers do? Write about miracles, believe in miracles?”

I visited Jody most everyday, I watched her lean over the hospital rail, over the man whom she had walked through life with for over fifty years, and say, “I’m here, John. I’m here. You are not alone.” I think she said it to him two or three times each time I would visit. My heart would clutch at the love you could see in her eyes and hear in her voice. That, I thought, is romance. That is love. And each time I went home, I hugged my husband a little tighter.

Well, today I went up to see her. They had removed his breathing tube because he seemed to breathing well on his own. Amazingly, the night before he had even woken up, had spoken but hadn’t seemed extremely coherent. But while I stood in the CCU room with Jody, she did what she’d done all those days. She leaned over that bed and said, “John, I’m here. You are not alone. I’m here.” And that’s when the miracle occurred.

John opened his eyes, he focused on her and said, “I know.”

She started talking to him. She made a joke, and when she did, he smiled. A few minutes later, the doctor came in and John responded to all his commands. The doctor was simply amazed. He looked at Jody and said, “This man is going to walk out of this hospital.”

We know John still has a long way to go before he’s completely out of the woods. But the woods we can face, because today, we saw a miracle. Today I saw the power of love.

I hope reading this blog and knowing Jody’s story will encourage you to hug the ones in your life, to never take for granted the time you have with each other. I hope it will remind you that miracles do sometimes happen. I hope you’ll send all the positive thoughts John and Jody’s way.

CC

31 comments:

Brandie Nickerson said...

Oh Christy, I'm crying...that was beautiful! Please tell JOdy that she and her husband are in my thoughts and prayers.

That is why we write what we write and no, it's not always make-believe :)

Brandie

Jaye Garland said...

Hi Christie, thanks for blogging about our dear friends Jody and John. We continue to pray for John's complete and speedy recovery...and for Jody's recovery, too. If that broken shoulder has slowed her down any, she doesn't show it.
Jaye

jbrayweber said...

What can I say other than it is a true honor to know such an exceptional lady.
They both remain in my prayers.

Judythe said...

Thanks for sharing John and Jody's amazing story. It's such a living example of faith and true love. I know there's going to be a happy ending.

Terri Molina said...

I'd been lurking the loop but hadn't seen the whole story about John's illness. I'm so glad he's okay and I'll be keeping them both in my thoughts and prayers.
Jody is a real sweetheart and I love her to pieces. And, the girl knows how to party! If you ever see her at a national conference, stick with her...it'll be a blast! ;-)

Give Jody a hug for me when you see her again, Christie.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Amazing story! Thanks for sharing and sending healing prayers for John and Jody.

Edie Ramer said...

Gosh, you have me in tears. I'll pray for Jody and John. What an amazing story.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

You've moved me to tears, Christie. I absolutely love Jody, and she and John are both in my prayers.

It won't be a short journey, but there IS light at the end of it. I know. I'm a survivor, and I walked out of the hospital, too, with a spouse's and countless friends' support.
Colleen

Toni McGee Causey said...

Good grief, Chrisy, you had me in tears... so beautifully told. Jody and John are not only in my prayers, they have my thanks for showing such a shining light. It reminds me to hope.

TerriOsburn said...

Thanks for sharing this. I'm a firm believer in miracles and love to see/hear/read about them happening to others. And you're an angel for being there for your friend, never wavering.

Ruth said...

Christy, Jody and John are truly blessed with a miracle. And I believe in them with my whole heart. They are such wonderful people, always there when someone needs something, so I will keep praying for John and Jody. And yes the girl can party and I can't wait until John is recovered and we can have a celebration. You brought tears to my eyes (and I'm at work) as well as a smile at the description of John and Jody's love. Tell Jody I'm thinking of her
Ruth

Sandy said...

CC, I'm in a teary mood anyway, but this made me cry.

What a lovely romantic story. Jody and the colonel are in my prayers that he continues to get well.

Kim Lionetti said...

Keeping Jody and her husband in my prayers.

Faye Hughes said...

Christie,

What an inspiring story of hope and love. All my best to Jody and John.

Faye

Michelle (MG) Braden said...

What a beautiful story - I have tears in my eyes. I also will keep Jody and her Colonel in my prayers.

Suzan Harden said...

Dang, girl, you even made DH cry.

TJ Bennett said...

Thank you for reminding us, Christie, that love lives on. Romance CAN last, when the right two people give their hearts. I'll continue to pray for John and Jody, and bless you for staying by her side.

Take care,
TJB

MsHellion said...

Definitely sending thoughts and prayers John and Jody's way. Thank God for miracles.

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Wow, what a powerful story, Christie, thank you for sharing it with us. You have me in tears. Jody & John sound like an amazing couple. My prayers are with John for a full recovery. And I'd sure like to meet Jody one of these days. :-)

Anonymous said...

Many prayers to John and Jody...true love conquers all!! What an inspiration.

Tessy

Linda Warren said...

What a beautiful moving story. It's what romance novels are made of. You see this in movies and it's heartwarming to know it happens in real life.

Hugs and prayers for Jody and John.

God Bless,
Linda

Gillian Layne said...

Christie, thanks for the good/happy cry. What a wonderful story.

If you want to feel some love, go read the Plot Monkey's post today. :)

http://www.plotmonkeys.com/2010/02/23/show-some-love/

Tori Lennox said...

This brought tears to my eyes too. Hugs and prayers to Jody & John and their amazing love.

Jo Anne said...

Christie, miracles do happen - and while our prayers helped, I've no doubt that Jody's loving energy was the thread that pulled John through this. We know he's got a long road ahead - and we know he's not alone - Jody will be with him every step of the way.

Don't discount your own role in this miracle, for you've been there to lend your support to Jody every day since John got sick. You're the best, girl - helping little miracles of love grow to fruition, both in your stories and in real life.

I will continue to pray for Jody and John, and while I'm at it, I'll put in a good word for you, too. You deserve it. :-)

Christie Craig said...

Hi Guys!!

Thank you everyone who posted get well wishes for Jody and John. I'm going to print them out and take them to her. I know they will mean the world to her.

Meanwhile, let's all just keep believing in miracles, and loving the people in our lives. And don't forget that even during the difficult times to keep laughing. It will keep us sane.

CC

Ciara Gold said...

Okay, that brought tears to my eyes and I don't cry easily. But I know Jody and every word you've said here is so true. I only met John briefly when Jody graciously allowed me to sleep over when we had one of our RWA workshops. She's a rare individual. I'm so glad to hear that John is doing well.

dragonfly said...

Oooh! Christie you made me cry. I think the world of Jodie and admire her even more now. Keeping Jody and John in my prayers. I do believe in miracles~June

Carol said...

Christy, such a wonderous story of love and hope. What power love, hope and prayer holds. Sending prayers for Jody and John. Praying
for you also, her beautiful friend.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I wish both Jody and John speedy recoveries.

About six years ago, my BIL had encephalitis AND meningitis simultaneously (that is the doctor's best guess anyway) and they really thought he was going to die. He didn't. Then they said he'd never walk again. He did - he walked out of the hospital. It took him a long time and lot of work to regain his physical strength but he successfully climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro this January.

Miracles do happen, every day.

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