I was a young mother with three sons, ages five, three, and eleven months. We lived in a small community near Ft. Knox, Kentucky. This was our experiment in country living. The lots were large, around two acres, so the houses were not close. My nearest neighbors worked all day, so were never home during the week.
One spring afternoon, I left my two oldest boys playing on the swings, while I went to the house to get something. I took the baby with me. At eleven months, he wasn’t quite walking, but he could get around very well, and tended to get into trouble quicker than you could blink an eye. Inside the house, I clicked the lock on the storm door, set the baby down near his toys, then trotted to the bathroom to get what I needed. I was only there a couple of minutes when I heard the baby crying. I headed back to the kitchen (mere steps away) and realized the crying was outside.
How had he been able to unlock that door? It wasn’t easy–I could barely unlock it. I knew before I looked, he’d fallen off the porch. Our back porch was high, nearly three-and-a-half feet. And the rails weren’t close enough to deter a wiggly eleven-month-old. He’d tumbled through and landed face first.
I found him standing up, screaming, with bright, red blood streaming from his nose. I grabbed him and held him against me as panic set in. I was alone, out in the sticks–no car–and an injured toddler. No nearby emergency rooms, and we didn’t even have a doctor out there, since we’d so recently moved.
These were pre-everybody-has-a-cellphone days. So I picked up the land-line and dialed the pastor of the tiny Baptist Church nearby. We hadn’t been attending long, but they had welcomed us. I spoke through my tears as I explained what had happened. A few minutes later, he knocked on the door. “I’ve called Ella,” he said. Ella was one of the deacon’s wives and my other boys’ Sunday School teacher. She’d dropped everything and headed over to take me to her doctor, just a few minutes down the road.
The pastor put the other two boys in his car, headed back to his house until we returned.
Ella took one look at me, covered in blood, and floored it. We got to the doctor’s office in a matter of minutes. Since it was an emergency, they took us right in. The doctor cleaned my son’s injuries and examined the inside of his nose. Because of the large amount of blood, the doctor believed there was probably some internal injury. “Emergency Room,” is all I heard.
We arrived home just as my husband was returning from work.
Ella helped us get everything we needed for the trip into town to the emergency room. “I’ll pick up the other boys,” she told us, “and take them home with me for the night. We’ll have a great time.” They loved her, so I knew I needn’t worry.
This woman had stopped in the middle of whatever she was doing to see that our needs were met. She fed and cared for our sons while we were at the emergency room. Our little boy had surgery to repair a couple of tears inside his nasal cavity. If we hadn’t taken him in, he could have hemorrhaged in his sleep. After several hours, we were able to take him home.
It was a great relief that we didn’t have to worry about anything when we arrived home. Our baby slept for hours and the other two were safe at Ella’s. She arrived late the next morning with our sons and a basket of food so I wouldn’t have to worry about cooking that day.
I nearly broke down and cried when I thought about what she had done for us. What a beautiful servant of God.
Betty Thomason Owens writes romantic comedy, historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She has contributed hundreds of articles and interviews to various blogs around the Internet and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group. She’s also a mentor, assisting other writers. She is a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers, and a contributing editor for the online magazine, Imaginate.
Annabelle’s Ruth, a 1950’s historical novel based on the Book of Ruth, is the first book in the Kinsman Redeemer Series (Write Integrity Press). Her 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy, Book 1, Legacy Series, released October, 2014 (Write Integrity Press). She also writes contemporary stories as a co-author of A Dozen Apologies and its sequels, The Love Boat Bachelor and Unlikely Merger. She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.
Betty still lives in Kentucky, though in a more urban setting, with her husband Bob, close to her grown-up sons, their wives, and seven precious grandchildren.
Annabelle’s Ruth (buy at Amazon)
“If you think you can come back here and throw yourself on my mercy, you are quite wrong.” –Jensen Wade, Annabelle’s Ruth.
After their husbands perish in a fishing boat accident, Connie Cross determines to follow her mother-in-law, Annabelle, from Southern California to Tennessee. Her misgivings begin as they cross the bridge over the muddy Mississippi River. In their new town, where living conditions are far below their previous expectations, they must set up a household and hunt for work to survive. Thanks to the kindness of Annabelle’s handsome, young cousin, life begins to settle down. But Connie has a secret that could change everything once again.
Inspired by the Book of Ruth, Annabelle’s Ruth is a 1950’s era “Ruth” story, set in western Tennessee. How will Connie adapt to her new life amid the cotton farms, racial tension, and culture shock?