The real spirit of the Christmas season is often hard to find amongst all the commercial blinking and gimmicky things, but this year, I've already felt the true meaning of Christmas by being a little bit wobbly.
A year ago, I had a successful heart ablation to treat A-flutter, but since then, I've been on different medications to control A-fib. (bless your healthy heart if you said, "but she's so young!). Anyway, I'm doing fine, but the medications have given me some side effects that make me woozy. My grandmother would say I was "swimmy-headed."
I've learned that when I feel a spell of swooning coming on, I have two choices. #1. Embarrass myself and immediately lay down flat to get blood to my head, or #2. Fight the feeling and experience a violent face-plant. Since my orthodontist has retired, I feel the need to protect my teeth, so I usually opt for laying down as fast as possible on my own.
A few weeks ago, I was signing my new book at the Fall Festival at St. Frances at the Point Anglican Church in Point Clear, AL (there's the subtle plug for my book you were waiting for). It was a gorgeous day, but I felt a little weak. Sure enough, just as things were gearing up, I felt sick. Most people say they "black out" but I always kind of "grey out." My vision closes in and I know I have to hit the ground - on my own, and not wait to crash in a heap. Since my staff, who usually carries around my fainting couch, had the day off, I removed my puffy vest and placed it under my head (always protect the hair, even when you think you are dying), and right there in the church yard, behind my table, stretched out on the ground.
The busy volunteers, halted their tasks and rushed to my aid. They brought me so many water bottles, I looked like a hurricane relief center. Interestingly, my hearing is always sharper when I'm woozy like this, and I could hear the tiniest of birds overhead, and also one person say, "she has on her pearls," which I thought was such a funny Southern thing to say, and served to cheer me up because I knew if they had to roll me into a casket, I'd be ready.
Attentively patting my hand, they were wonderful, and my humiliation soon melted into deep gratefulness. Leona took me into the pastor's office to cool off, because someone else said, "She's sweating," which assured me I was indeed dying, since even when I do yard work in humid August, I only glisten a bit. I was worried the pastor would be upset to find a sweaty woman sprawled on his office floor, but then discovered Leona was the pastor's wife, so she knew it was okay for me to kick the bucket in his office -- and may have even been a little prank on her husband. I also learned Leona was a nurse, which explained her understanding and gentle nature, as well as the professional death grip she had on my arm when she walked me inside.
The unconditional outpouring of kindness and concern was refreshingly sweet. Like the baby sent to take away our pain and shame, God's love can sooth the most troubled of hearts.
The congregation of St. Frances at the Point put the love of Christ into action and cared for a stranger at a time when they were busy. These people made me feel loved and not embarrassed at all. And now, my medications are adjusted specifically for a delicate princess heart, and all is well.
The gift of kindness and love towards a stranger is indeed a reflection of the true Christmas story. A baby sent to save a troubled world, an act of unselfish compassion, and a lifeline of help when all around us seems to swirl in confusion. The members of St. Frances at the Point kick-started my holiday season and soothed my troubled heart with undeserved love.
Contact Leslie Anne at: email@example.com or find details on her new book, "The Majorettes are Back In Town," at her blog: http://leslieannetarabella.com....Read more