This past weekend I had the distinct pleasure of transporting my youngest daughter to her volleyball tournament in Dallas, Texas.
These weekends are epic for many reasons. We get three days of travel, watching her play ball (or sometimes keeping the bench warm while others play) hanging out with new friends and their moms, and exploring new places to dine. Tournament weekends are non-stop mama-daughter magic. I know these days are limited so we make the most of them.
While we were away one of the other parents found a trendy, locally owned burger place that had everything we were looking for. Good reviews, not too far away, it wouldn’t break the bank and it was super cute. The girls had been playing ball since early that morning so they were ravenous and ready for nourishment.
Once the burgers were ordered, it was time to wait. The younger girls sat at one end of the table and laughed nonstop about the various follies from the game, videos found online and all of the things that teen girls giggle about. The other end of the table held the moms. Our area of the table carried a more serious tone. We talked about the brackets for the next day’s game, the lack of funding for public schools, budgets for dress shopping and all the things that moms complain about.
A sudden hush fell upon all of us as our lunch arrived. We were all starving by this point. As the server passed out plates of burgers and bowls of fries it grew quieter and quieter.
Until….. my daughter had an audible nervous laugh. All of the girls kept asking her if something was wrong and she wouldn’t answer them. She just kept looking at me. At first I thought maybe her hamburger was undercooked or she found a bug in her food. The longer she gazed into my eyes I saw the panic. Her mouth was laughing but her eyes said she needed me.
I got up from my seat and was making my way around the table and she never lost her gaze with me. I knew she was in trouble so I asked, “Are you choking?” and she nodded in the affirmative. While I was walking I was praying under my breath.
When I made it to her, I was in full mama bear mode. Mama bear who knew how to administer the Heimlich Maneuver. I stood behind her, rubbed her back and asked was she ready. I softly said the name of Jesus, and was about to go to work when she said, “It moved!”.
Mama bear stood down and began thanking Jesus under my breath. Immediately Kat’s friends became irate with her and told her the universal sign for choking was not laughing. This was no laughing matter. They firmly told her that the next time this happens, place both hands near your throat so others will know you are choking. This also gave me a chance to remind her to chew her food completely before she swallows. In this particular instance there was a slice of bacon that was half way down her throat and would not move.
Crisis could have been averted with the proper amount of chewing.
It truly was scary for a brief moment but I knew every time I call on the name of the Lord he always comes through for me. He has never let me down and I know he never will. His word promises he will never leave or forsake us. Life can change in an instant, but he is a faithful friend who is always there.
“Call upon me in the day of trouble, I shall rescue you, and you will honor me.” – Psalm 50:15