When I fell backwards, I hit my hard head on the hardwood floor. It hurt. Badly. Thank God my husband was home and we soon learned it was bleeding. Badly.

My hubby called 911 and searched for my cochlear implant external devices so I could hear. He grabbed a towel and then another. So much blood. It was frightening to both of us.

The squad was at my side in mere minutes — God love them — doing what they could to stop the bleeding. I was completely cognizant and answered all the questions — birthdate, address, phone number, etc. Then I learned that head injuries always cause massive bleeding.

Once they got me to ER, the process began of registering, cleaning the site to see how bad the cut was, then the CT Scan and all the waiting in between. I was impressed at the calmness of the nurses, techs and doctors. Separated by cloth walls, we could hear some conversations in other areas but mostly we were quiet, waiting and praying to get us through this.

Then we heard it. Music over the PA that sounded like a lullaby. My husband and I looked at each other quizzically. Was that a cell phone? What?

Someone “next door” said, “A baby was just born!” and we smiled, big.

In the middle of blood, sweat and tears going on all around that ER, life was happening. New life.

God was present in ER and with that new baby. It calmed me more and I prayed again for the new life.

Four hours later, 7 staples in my scalp with a sheet covering my bloody shirt we arrived at home. I called my daughter, Mom (who had called while the squad was here) and Sonja who faithfully and lovingly watched our dog while we were at the hospital.

All is well. My head will heal. In the middle of the pain in my head we still heard a lullaby knowing new life was all around us.

And so was God.

Ruth Remembers…

Stories bring back memories of a more rural Grove City
This story was provided by Ruth Sawyer Jividen as told to Liz Thompson

Grove city news (Ohio)
Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My mother lived to 94. Here I am at 95 remembering her.

She was born Relieffe Gertrude Grant at Beulah Park, which was named after her Aunt Beulah Grant Campbell. Beulah Park belonged to Beulah’s grandfather, A.G. Grant.

During the summers, my mother visited her Uncle and Aunt Johnson who lived in Lisbon. The town was more a crossroads with a church, blacksmith shop and grocery store located between South Charleston and Springfield.

Mother’s aunt made her school clothes during these visits. Her uncle ran the blacksmith shop where my father, Clarence Wilbur Sawyer, learned the trade, as a young man. During one summer visit, my parents met. They corresponded, dated and married on July 6, 1914.

My father’s brother helped them get started farming but didn’t think my mother, a city girl, would make a good farmer’s wife. She really fooled them.

When they got married, the church and neighbors had a shower for them. They each brought a hen for the couple — a little different from wedding showers today.

I was born June 8, 1915. My grandmother died that year and my grandfather moved to California. Four years later, we moved into their home, which was quite neglected, and I still live in that home today.

My mother had a lot of work making it livable again as renters destroyed much of the house and used the kitchen as a grainery. My mother said the grain would forever come out behind the woodwork. She fought other problems left behind like bedbugs.

My Uncle Charlie helped my parents get horses, cows and pigs to farm. We farmed down to where Hayes Tech is now, on Haughn Road on both sides of the road west to Moore and Dudley and north to Richard Avenue. We had dairy cows we milked by hand. We had to cool the milk and set it out for the milk truck to pick up or we would separate the milk and sell it in five-gallon cans of cream.

We raised our own meat, which was butchered, rendered for lard, made into ground sausage, cured hams and we took the head and made all kinds of lunch meat. We used the whole hog one way or another.

We raised chickens; and produce from our large garden was canned and pickled and we made jelly and jam. We made hominy, cottage cheese, butter and buttermilk. We enjoyed dandelion greens, sassafras tea and in the winter we made snow ice cream.

Our wheat was ground into flour at the mill. We bought very few things at the store — sugar, coffee and salt — and traded eggs for groceries.

So much for not making it as a farmer’s wife! Thinking of my mother brings back many fond memories of hard work and simpler times. I realize her strength and love helped make me who I am today.

Ruth is the last descendent of the first settler in Grove City, Ohio. We did a series of columns together in 2007-2008.

Flying umbrella

Last night our patio table umbrella sailed over the covered deck roof and landed on our fence. In the process, it bent the wire holding our sugar snap peas in place.

Needless to say, it was storming — windy and raining furiously. The umbrella cloth was spent and had to be trashed. If only we had closed the umbrella when it started to rain…if only we had thought to take our dog out when we heard the thunder and before the deluge…if only.

Today everything is dripping with rain drops as the sun shines in a blue sky. What a difference from last night’s storm.

I love analogies so I can’t resist in this case.

The if only’s in life can wear us down and let us hang our heads in despair. Or we can learn from our mistakes. Next time the thunder starts, we will check if our soon-to-be new umbrella is closed. We’ll take our dog out to do his business and double-check anything that might fly through the air in the storm. Batten down, so to speak.

We need to do that with our lives in all respects. Make sure our lives have an anchor so in times of storms and rough seas, we have a port. We have a safe harbor. When we sail through a storm, like our umbrella, even if we are torn and battered, we know that God will be there for us. To protect and mend our bodies and souls.

Is that thunder I hear? Excuse me, I have some things to do.