Medora is the only resort town in North Dakota and anybody who's anybody in this town goes to the annual retreat - Lutheran, Baptist, Assembly of God, Catholic. And I - the outsider- the Texan - got invited to join them. I was so excited. I was excited for the opportunity to get to know some of the gals I've only had brief conversations with. I was even planning my blog all about it. I had planned to tell you all about Corrine (the P.A. from the clinic), and Claudia ( the Christmas Angel) and Kim (my neighbor in the yellow house) and Kristie (a published author) and Heidi (the cute Canadian hairdresser/Avon Lady/ older mom), and Deb (from the bank) and Louise (Deb's mom from the drug store) and Lila (recent widow) and Sally (the mom - not Salli the daughter) and Mary Ellen (the church pianist) and Suzi (our - well - his diabetes counselor) and Marilyn (from Minot). Those are just the one's I knew were going. I have a running list of people I've met with a note beside their name to help me remember.
But then - the day of departure - I got sick. I lost my voice. I felt rotten. I prayed for healing. I went to the clinic. I got a prescription. I still planned to go.
At the clinic, the nurse talked to me about the wreck out on crazy oil field traffic filled Hwy. 2 that morning. Her husband drove the ambulance. One man died. He was from Florida - up here just trying to make a living. The other was my husband's coworker. Don has sat at my hundred year old dining table, always being gracious about my cooking. He likes my house. Then the doctor said he had just came from the ER and said that Don was going to recover. He only had broken bones - a lot of broken bones. Don's recovery will be long.
I came home with a prescription and looked at my packed bags and finally decided that I shouldn't go. I spent the next couple of days with my head tucked under my wing pouting through the chills and choking coughs.
Later, I went into the furniture store to pay for the new floor in the laundry room and visited a bit with Judy. Judy very wisely said, "Now, Renee, I know you are disappointed that you didn't get to go, but sometimes these things happen for a reason. You can always go next year." Oh, Lord, I hope it's not because the bus is going to crash and I'll be the only one spared. Surround that bus with your angels.
For three days I have croaked and coughed and choked. They would have quarantined me if I had gone. Or sent me back home...
Yes I was disappointed. But Don is disappointed that his life is interrupted, that his career is on hold, that his body may never be the same and that someone else will have to take care of him for too many weeks. Someone in Florida is disappointed that the husband, father, son won't be coming home, that life will never be the same without him. My missing the retreat is a small thing.
Tomorrow I go to Texas to take care of stuff there, to help with the kids, and for Nana Camp. Now that's what's really important.
I've heard my daughter say this to her kids. I do believe I hear God saying it to me:
Don't sweat the small stuff, Renee.