It was early the Saturday morning before Easter, 1966, when daddy woke up to unbelievable pain in his chest. He got up, thinking it would help him feel better, and collapsed to the floor. Mother called the ambulance.
My sister, Charm, was awakened by the dog barking in the garage. She got up to find daddy lying in the hall on a stretcher. She leaned over to kiss him, and he said weakly, "I don't feel very good." He was almost gone. The ambulance attendants shook their heads. They were sure he would not make it to the hospital.
My husband Alan and I received a call at home and our trip to the hospital is just a blur in my mind. I loved dad so much that I couldn't bear to think that anything could happen to him.
He was still alive although just barely, when he arrived at emergency where he was immediately put into Intensive Care. He told me later that the pain was so intense, and the pressure on his chest so great, he almost could not bear it. He experienced this pressure and agonizing pain for six or seven hours.
At the parsonage, my brother Ted woke up to find that his beloved father was very ill. Mother had come back from the hospital to care for the children. She and Ted went into the bedroom, and together, they knelt by the bed, praying for husband and father.
In Intensive Care, daddy suddenly felt something begin to go through his body. It started at the top of his head and progressed slowly down to his toes. This sensation lasted about thirty minutes.
He said later that it was like walking from a room filled with pain through a doorway into another room totally free from pain. When he opened his eyes, he felt completely well. He took off the oxygen tubes and sat up. The nurse came running in. He told her, "I want to go home! I'm well!" He got out of bed and said, "Where are my clothes?" More nurses came running. They thought he was going to die and had just one last surge of strength. They tried to get him back into bed. But he told them, "I have to go, I have to preach at my Easter services tomorrow!" they frantically called the doctor and he told daddy that he absolutely could not be released until they had tested him thoroughly!
That day was spent in tests of all kinds but they could find absolutely nothing wrong with him.
The doctor made him stay overnight on Saturday, but Sunday morning, Ted went to pick him up to bring him to the Easter morning service. The congregation was thrilled as their pastor walked onto the platform. Many of them had heard that he was near death just the day before. There was a standing ovation and applause to the Lord.
Daddy told me later that while preaching his message on the Resurrection, he happened to glance down at his wrist. The hospital band was still there. It almost overwhelmed him as he realized that on this Easter he, too, had experienced the resurrection power of Christ in his own body.
School was out for Easter vacation so the next day the church had a picnic. We knew for sure that God had touched dad, because for several hours he played softball with all of the young people, and he didn't even feel the effects of the exertion.