I met my mother, son, and sister for lunch today at Panera Bread. It's a treat I don't get to do very often, so I reveled in spending time with my son during the day when I'm on a lunch break from work. I usually like to look around and people watch whenever we are out. It's the military brat in me too-knowing where everyone is, where the closest exit is, and taking in my surroundings.
Today I noticed a few familiar faces at the table next to me, and smiled. My mother greeted them as well, so I figured they were from our church. I also noticed another woman, eating solo, at the next table over. She was focused on praying over her food, with her hands folded at the table. It was touching! It was a glimpse of God's work even at a busy lunch.
After we made our way through our meal and almost through, my son started sucking on the very oversized ice cubes in his cup. I've told him many a time..not to suck on ice, unless it's Sonic ice, because it's a choking hazard. The ice at Panera would be a choking hazard for an adult, let alone a four year old. They really shouldn't serve ice that big. After warning him to spit it out, which he did, the next thing I noticed was him popping another piece in his mouth. I told him to spit it out immediately, and then he sucked it too hard which resulted in it being lodged in his airway.
He was across the table from me, and he face was turning bright red. He couldn't breathe, so my first reaction was to put my finger in his mouth to sweep the airway clear. There was nothing to pull out. Then I pulled him forward to bring his abdomen toward the table top, to try pushing anything lodged up and out. That didn't work, so I did the next thing and yelled for anyone who may know CPR.
The dutiful prayer warrior, from a couple tables over, ran over grabbed my son and leaned over him to preform the Heimlich. He thankfully had a minorly obstructed airway, which allowed a minute amount of air through. That was probably due to the ice melting. He still had a little air to breathe. The ice cube never came up, so it must have made it's way down. Whatever she did helped and I thank God she was there. He suffered from the fright of it all, and spit up some from the pressure on his abdomen, but otherwise bounced back really quickly.
Our Guardian Angel left Panera without incident. I was so focused on trying to calm my child into knowing that he was okay, I didn't even get to thank that wonderful woman who saved him. First and foremost...Thank you to God for putting a qualified person with in feet of us, when we needed help. Thank you to my mystery angel who reacted quickly and saved my son. And thank all of you out there that help those in distress every day.
A side note the table next to us, that held two familiar faces, were from my church. It was actually my pastor's wife and daughter. I didn't recognize them outside the church...out of the area where I would expect them to be. The reason I found out was because my social son, after calming down and bouncing back, went right over to them first thing to explain to them what had just happened. He wanted to give them a blow by blow detailed account of his experience. That's my boy...wanting to connect with the human race...just like his momma!
Although I had a few minutes of fright, it was just a warm reminder of God's love. It was as if He was telling me that He's always there. The Christian woman, praying for her meal, saves my son. The pastor's family at the table right next to us. And then EMSA arriving for a lunch break after it was all over. It was clear that He was sending me a clear message that He was in control and protecting us. Some days I wish I could give Him a big hug, just like I gave my son. One day I'm sure I will.
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