I’m still here.

Granted, there weren’t any of my stories, my column or photos in the paper two weeks back. The week prior to that Feb. 23 Osceola Edition, I actually prepared enough stuff to help with two weeks worth of papers. I thought I had a great plan. God had a different one.

Hubby and I headed downstate back on Feb. 18 on an overnight trip to visit two sons and a daughter, two grandgirls and two grandboys. We planned to spend just one night. We’d be back that the next day so I would have plenty of time to put my stuff together for the next week’s paper. Besides that, by coming home on Saturday, we’d beat the predicted snowstorm to Reed City. Good plan. Thought out. Discussed. And away we went.

Our plans included going to our 5-year-old granddaughter’s basketball game on Saturday morning. Then we’d just head back to the house, where my hubby and eldest son would spend time putting in a new hot water heater.

It was obvious that God’s plans for the day trumped our’s.

As my hubby appeared to stretch his way out of a nap, he suddenly then slumped into cardiac arrest.

My heart nearly stopped, too.

When the car came to an abrupt halt on the sidestreet leading to the house, my daughter bailed out with our little granddaughter and her car seat, and they headed home.

My son at first thought we’d head for a nearby med station, but called 911 instead. I couldn’t see Herb breathing. I could hardly breathe myself. I begged God for a miracle.

My son told me to grab my husband under the arms and pull him across the seat toward me, and as I did, he pushed on his hips, then ran around to my side of the car and began giving him CPR. All I could do was pray. Help was on the way.

Suddenly more than half a dozen emergency units surrounded us. He was breathing on his own by then and continued to improve on our way to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac.

When the ambulance pulled up to ER, my hubby was alert, knew me, talked to me, and I knew that those prayers on a side street I had been flinging at God were being answered.

Test after test began and the long wait for results and more questions and more speculation continued long into the night. He was admitted to ICU. And so it was from a Saturday morning until a Thursday afternoon.

Scary, yes. But trusting that God let him live because he has more to give? Absolutely. Wedon’t know the whys, but we do know the whose. Whose we are. Whose he is, and again, there He is and here he is, reporting for duty whatever and whenever and wherever God’s will takes us.

Sometimes it takes a wake up call to wake us up to realize how important life really is and living it is too.

The hot water heater didn’t get installed. Shopping trips and birthday celebrations must wait. Stories sometimes have to be put on hold. But God’s plans and His gifts are in His timing.

I am back. So is my hubby. And I am ever so grateful to God for the gifts we have been given. Life. Love. Second chances. Thankful to Him and him. Again. And again. And we are both ever so grateful to so many others who prayed with us and for us during such a scary and trying time. Love you, God. Love you, honey. Love you, family. Love you all. Thanks.

Just thanks so very much.