First Day of the Year of Faith and I’ve Swiped My Mother’s Wheel Chair

Today is the first day of the Year of Faith.

I began this auspicious year by swiping my 87-year-old mother’s wheel chair.

It all started when I ran out of Diet Coke. I was eating lunch. I drained my glass of Diet Coke. So, I picked up the empty Coke can and a bag of chips I wanted to put away and a glass I wanted to fill with more ice and a couple of other things I can’t remember now. I planned to get another can of Coke and come back to finish my lunch.

I stepped out onto the perilous carpet of my house. And my foot slid. I turned one ankle, tried to right myself, turned the other ankle and went down. Hard. I went down hard.

Chips were everywhere. It looked like a chip snowfall. But my major problem was my left foot. The top of it was all dented in and looking weird … and it hurt. It hurt enough that for the first time I kind of understood those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials.

I crawled — literally — to the refrigerator, opened the freezer door (we have a side-by-side fridge) and pulled out some of those freezer dealies you put in your lunch bag to keep your food cold. I put those on the foot and the pain moved back a bit.

Then, I called my husband. “I broke my foot,” I said. “You’ve got to come home and drive me to the hospital.”

And that is how I came to swipe my mother’s wheel chair.

I have two broken bones in my foot that are split and moved all over from where they should be. The hospital put me in a sort of cast and scheduled me for surgery for next Monday. Then they sent me home with pain pills and a dire warning not to stand on, bang or even jar my foot for fear of moving the bones further out of place and making my injuries worse.


I’m sleeping on the sofa (Two-story house; can’t get upstairs) and paddling around with my mother’s wheelchair. It’s not all that bad, unless I move the foot the wrong way, which I’ve learned NOT to do. Me and the ice pack? We’re best buds.

So what does this have to do with the Year of Faith?

Just this: I went to a Catholic hospital built by nuns in the last century to provide health care for anyone who needed it. This hospital has the distinction of not turning people away because they can’t pay for care. I’ve counseled women who were abortion-minded, and part of the reason was a fear of the costs of the medical care involved in having the baby. This hospital provided them with free care.

I remember a few years ago, doing an intake for a woman who had come in, wanting free medical care for her pregnancy. This woman had a rough past and was a confirmed, out-spoken, Catholic hater. The whole time I was filling out the forms and setting her up for free medical care from a Catholic hospital, she was railing at me about the Church. She threw off insults with every breath.

I didn’t rail back at her. I just filled out the forms and sent her along to have her baby with the care and love of a Church that she despises.

I’m talking about my Church; the Catholic Church. The Church that has built hospitals, schools, runs charities and helps people all over the world. In my work as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, I help a lot of desperate people. Oftentimes, the government has no agency or program that can help them. They just fall through the cracks. These are often the most needy people I see.

My first call when that happens is to the Catholic Church, to one of the many programs, agencies, charities the Church runs for people like these.

If I need shelter for a homeless woman, the Church will take her in. If I need to find medical care for the working poor, the Church is there. If some destitute soul needs free legal help, the Church can help. Counseling? Go to the Church.

That, my friends, is faith with legs. (No pun intended.)  It is faith that talks louder than words, that means more than good wishes. Look around you. Look at the universities, hospitals, charities; all built by the hands of Catholics, living their faith.

This is the first day of the Year of Faith. I got a good lesson in living faith yesterday by way of excellent medical care that was given to me by people who also took the time to explain, be gentle and go the extra mile to make things easier for me.

For that I thank them and the many generations of Catholics who went before them and made these things possible.

I am sitting here in my living room, propped up like the Lady of the Manor on my recliner with my ice packs, my laptop, ipad, cell phone, Kindle, pain pills and a thermos of ice water.  I have a remote on the chair arm and a big screen tv awaits my signal to start entertaining me. If you’ve gotta have a broken foot, this is how to do it.

I’m also relaxed. I know I have good doctors. But more importantly, I know that I am, as always, in God’s hands. There’s nothing to fear when you’re on the Jesus, Joseph and Mary team. Whatever happens, be it good or bad, I am safe in His plan.

Make the most of this Year of Faith, my friends. Grow in grace.

  • Arkenaten

    Nice story. Hope your foot gets better soon.

  • Rebecca Hamilton

    Thank you Douglas.

  • neenergyobserver

    Yep, best hospitals there are, are the Catholic ones. My regional here is one, and in truth my Mom died in surgery in one back in Indiana. Absolutely the best, people , care, support, you name it. Simply the best.

    Good luck with the foot, everybody will hear you coming once you progress to a cast! :-)

  • Elaine

    Great story Rebecca :) Thanks for sharing… but more importantly, thanks for reminding all of us about the great things that the Catholic Church does but no one hears about. There is way too much negative media these days.
    One more thanks… for being public… especially given the work you do.
    Prayers for speedy healing!

  • Karyl

    I agree. I was in a Catholic hospital for surgury many years ago and had wonderful care, and I might add, as a single lady at the time, and a small insurance policy, they were more than generous in knocking down my bill. Why it is then, that my Humana plan does not allow me to choose St. Francis hospital, close to me with superior reputation? In fact, I can’t be admitted to St. Vincents either, or if I had a child, to the Peyton Manning children’s wing. Nancy Pelosi says she is a Catholic (practicing, I don’t know) but she sure handed down lots of legislation that is counter productive to Catholics and really, all religious.\

  • Karyl

    well, I forgot to send sympathy regarding your foot. I am sorry. And, I will pray for you. I have a friend who is recovering from a broken heel and it has not been easy.

  • Linda

    Great post!
    I am not Catholic (but I did marry a wonderful catholic man) but have a special place in my heart for the catholic church. About two years ago I lost my baby in a tragic miscarriage. Because I was so early in my pregnancy I feared that no cemetery would allow me to bury my baby as they would consider it only a “fetus”. But the catholic church really came through for me. I was able to bury my sweet baby at a catholic cemetery. This allowed for a lot of healing and peace of mine, knowing that my sweet little one’s remains were safe and well taken care of. I hope with this new year that God blesses the Catholic Church with a sweet renewal of grace. They do so many good works for the world around us.
    God Bless the Catholic Church!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Linda! Beautiful comment.

  • Ted Seeber

    I’m in a much more diverse area- our top 6 hospitals are Catholic, Lutheran, Adventist, Shriner’s, government, and I’m not sure what Doernbecher is.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I’ve never heard of Doernbecher! Tell me if you find out what it is.

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  • Indy

    I’m praying for the fast healing of your foot. God bless you.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Indy.

  • Lily

    Thank you for posting this. I hope you get better soon! “Grow in grace” is what I am trying to do this year! God bless you and keep you safe.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Lily — my grandmother’s name, btw.

  • Particia Pledger

    I am so sorry to hear about your foot, Rebecca, and will pray for your quick and uneventful healing. I am glad that your experience with the hospital and Dr.s was a good one, it is encouraging to know! God bless you!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Patricia. I’m already tired of being gimpy, and I haven’t even had the surgery yet! Turns out I’m a lousy patient.:-)

  • FW Ken

    Bless you, Rebecca. I’ve never broken a bone, but had carpal tunnel surgery on my dominant hand last month, and its no fun to lose function.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      No it isn’t Ken. I am having a dickens of a time getting around the house in this wheelchair. After surgery Monday, I’m hoping things will get better.

  • Virginia

    Praying successful, uneventful surgery and a speedy, complete recovery. I hope this period of enforced rest will also help with the fatigue you have been suffering. Next time, just go to bed earlier.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Lol!! Great advice Virginia!
      ” Next time, just go to bed earlier.”

  • Virginia

    Yikes, it left off the grin I put at the end!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I got it!

  • Barbara Arndt

    Praying that your foot will quickly heal. I am sure that this imposed down time will result in some amazing things being done in your life, even though right now it doesn’t look that way. Perhaps even to catching up some much needed rest and a better chance to make some wiser food choices. ;-) I agree, Catholic hospitals are great. We go to Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center and have always received excellant care.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Barbara, it’s certainly made me aware of how hard it is, hauling all this weight around in a wheelchair. Phew! It’s also given me more time to pray, which I need badly.

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