Trauma In The House

Yesterday was by far the most traumatic day we've had in the Hasenbank House. We're all okay, but I learned a few lessons, so I thought it might be worth sharing with you today.

I was home as usual...working in my studio on a card for this inspiring woman. I had a sick child here with me...curled up under my desk with a pillow and a good book. We had our tea, and all was well.

My sweet housekeeper was here working her Wednesday magic, and Tamara (who I can't wait to tell you about another day) was here painting.

Everyone was working joyfully until...Tamara heard something upstairs. It was my housekeeper crying out for help. I raced down the stairs of my studio and up the stairs in the house to find her lying on the floor unable to move. Her arm was clearly broken and she was on her back in tears, speaking rapidly in Spanish (which after seven years of having in her in my home for 5-10 hours a week, I've learned to speak a little, but not rapidly).

My housekeeper was cleaning my shower (it was still running). Her feet were wet (she always works barefooted), the bath mat was in the washing machine, so when she stepped out of my bedroom onto the hardwoods in the hallway, she slipped and fell. In a bad way.

My heart was breaking as saw this tough but tender, joyful but hard working woman lying on my floor in pain. What do you do?

I'm sure most of you are more prepared than I was, but just in case you haven't had a situation like this in your home, here's what I learned:
1. If someone can't move, call 911 right away. Obvious to some, not to others. My husband says if the answer to "Are you OK?" is no, call 911. That simplifies things.
2. Ambulance transport is WORTH IT. My housekeeper's husband didn't want me to call an ambulance because of the cost. But there was no way I was going to move an immobile person crying out in pain. I'll pay the bill, and every penny will be worth the care she received. There's a reason why you shouldn't take yourself or someone else to the ER just to save money: you receive critical care (and needed pain medicine) on the scene and on the way...care you'd otherwise have to sit in the waiting room and WAIT to receive. You also get to enter through a different door...and get checked into a room more quickly. Worth it.
3. If you have a housekeeper, NOW is time to prepare for an emergency. Who does she want you to call? What hospital can she go to? Have her show you where she keeps her ID and insurance card (or "Gold Card" in my housekeeper's case). It's VERY stressful to try and search for things in the midst of an emergency...all the while hoping your housekeeper has these things at all.
And here's what I learned about myself:
1. Trauma care is not my gift. My adrenals ache and I'm battling a migraine.
2. But if I'm the one on the scene, I have a VERY big God who can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). I prayed lots...and asked a friend to pray, too.
3. I still have a lot of healing to do related to my own near-death trauma. I nearly died after giving birth to my second child and never really processed all that happened, mostly because I wasn't conscious to know what all happened. But let me tell you...the body remembers. Even as I write this, I feel a wave of intense heat and weakness wash over me. As I climbed into the ambulance yesterday, I was white as a ghost. As we neared the medical center, I had a deep ache in my body. All from that day seven and a half years ago.
Pray for sweet Elsa...for healing, but also for provision. My hope is that all of the families she works for will recognize her need and find joy in providing for her while she heals. Her husband is out of work, and she cleans two houses a day to take care of her family.

The honest truth is that I couldn't do what I do this time of year - or any time - without Elsa. I shudder to think what my house will look like without her for the next however many weeks. I'm in the peak of card season, so house cleaning just isn't going to happen. I'm sure there will be lessons learned in that, too. Letting go of perfection and order and cleanliness. Scary! Pray for me!

That's a whole lot of WORDS, my friends, so how about a few images of CLEAN HOUSES to sooth our eyes:

{Not organized enough to know the sources today,
but I'm sure at least one is from Cote de Texas.}

Blessings to you, Sweet Readers.
And thank you for letting me share.


  1. Linsey, what trauma! Your words are wise and a very good lesson on how to be prepared and how to handle an emergency.

    It is amazing how the body does remember. Just the adrenaline rush of having something traumatic happen feels like it stays with you.

    Poor Elsa and hubby. I hope she heals quickly and everyone understands.

    As for your home, I am in a similar situation where I am getting busier and need more help/support but also need to develop a blind eye to the mess. I hate to lower my expectations, but it may save my sanity!

    Your fonts and designs are so beautiful! Enjoy the process as you make your fabulous creations.

  2. Excellent advice. Thanks for sharing.
    So good to ask what you would do if... and mentally walk through a horrible scenario. It is what separates the "survivors" from the "almost survived".

  3. so, so sorry that you had such a traumatic day...will pray for Elsa and her family...also praying that God will be glorified through his provision.

  4. Ugh. I'm so sorry that happened to her and to you too. Prayers she recovers quickly.

    All I can think of seeing all that white is...Hurricane Ike.

  5. That must have been very upsetting. I know what you mean about wondering how the house is going to look without her around!! After a rough couple of years not only did I have to let my housekeeper go, I had to go back to work after 11 years home with my kids. It's been 3 months now and let's just say, it's not pretty! Off to check out more of your blog ;)

  6. Linsey am so sorry, it seems it is hard to be really prepared for something Traumatic!

    Come enter my new giveaway from Empress of the Eye!

    Art by Karena

  7. Wow Linsey~ what an overwhelming day for you all. I hope sweet Elsa is on the road to recovery!
    Happy weekend to you.

  8. I'm thinking Elsa is blessed. IF one has to fall, what better place than your haven? I will pray for complete healing!! Take good care of yourself as well.

  9. Oh, wow! Thank you for sharing your advice. I pray that Elsa has a speedy recovery! She is very blessed to have you in her life!

  10. Thank you for your kind words, sweet friends. I have learned of several families who are willing to keep paying Elsa while she heals. What a blessing. And as for my house, my husband and two young girls are "playing Elsa" while I work. So sweet!

    Happy weekend!

  11. Oh sweet friend, I am so glad you wrote this. I too have a darling housekeeper with very limited Emglish help me each week...and I should be more prepared. And those rooms, oh those rooms! Lovely pictures :)...I have really enjoyed "getting to know you" in blog land.

  12. Linsey, your concern for Elsa is very warm and nice to see. I am glad her clients are taking care of her.
    On another note...are you going to show us your finished dining room? I feel like I went the table shopping route with you only to miss the big buy. We'd love to see the room if you would be so kind.


"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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