In all of my years of haircutting, I have never been more appreciative of God’s presence than I was on January 2, 2015.
We reopened, feeling refreshed after enjoying two days off to celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, to a standing-room-only crowd. I just knew we had cut everyone the week before Christmas and that this would be a slow, but steady day. I was wrong. By two that afternoon my back was screaming, “Sit down, please!” No chance of that as the mass of patrons kept coming.
God has always blessed my barber shop with loyal families who say that they would go nowhere else. This type of loyalty speaks volumes, pertaining to the level of friendly, competent service our clients feel we provide. We know most of our clients on a first-name basis, and this makes our work day feel less like work and more like a family reunion. As barber shops go, there are always funny stories being shared, and an overabundance of handshakes and hugs, and sometimes tears when we pause to pay our heartfelt condolences on behalf of a client’s family member who has passed into the more immediate presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The loss of pets are also heavily grieved, because they are God’s creations, too. It’s what our little community barber shop is all about: Sharing and Caring.
But on January 2, at approximately 3:00pm, time stopped, and so did the buzzing of our clippers.
I am comfortable cutting children’s hair, any size, any age. Experience brings confidence in handling little ones, especially when they grow impatient, using their body language to let you know that they are ready to be finished. It’s not uncommon for a child to suddenly start twitching—legs moving, shoulders scrunching up and down, head bobbing, etc., so when my little six-year-old buddy started his twitching, I calmly reminded him that I was “almost finished,” and to “hang on.”
Little did I know, or realize, that he was not having typical child wiggles.
My little buddy, Trent, was having a seizure!
At first I thought he had fallen asleep when he began to slide to the left side of my barber chair, which is not uncommon; I have had children fall asleep many times during a haircut. I caught him and repositioned him back to the center. When I did, his little head fell back and I was able to catch his head with my hands. Then, he began to slowly slide from the chair, head still cupped in my hands. This is when I yelled to his dad that I needed help. Now, Trent’s daddy is a big man, tall and very capable of handling his six-year-old son, but the terror of Trent’s situation showed evident in his dad’s face when Trent’s seizure began. I pulled the hair cape from Trent and, with his dad’s help, we laid him on his side on the floor away from the pile of his fallen hair. I am still cupping Trent’s head in my hands. Towels were placed under Trent’s head and 911 was called. With Trent’s dad and I kneeling at his side, we relayed Trent’s status back to another employee, speaking to the 911 operator. Trent was sweating. His pulse was weak. His breathing was shallow. We were scared. I rubbed a cool towel over Trent’s face in hopes that it might help. When Trent tried to get up we moved him to a more comfortable wicker love seat. I sat with Trent, held his hand, as his dad and another employee greeted EMS. Trent stared into nothingness.
Quickly, EMS evaluated Trent’s condition. They took his temperature; we were relieved when it showed a normal 98.6. His blood pressure was a little low and they immediately transported him to the hospital. Later that evening I received a text that Trent was fine and he would see a specialist, later. I was relieved for Trent and also for his family.
To my surprise, Trent, his daddy, and his sister came back to see us the next day! I grabbed him up and hugged him tight. “Trent! I’m so happy to see you,” I said. “Are you back for the rest of your haircut?” We laughed when his daddy handed us a box of Dunkin Doughnut holes.
“Thank you,” he said. “I’m glad we were here when Trent had his seizure. You guys are like family. I was scared,” he said.
“I know you were,” I said. “We were, too.”
Even though we may not understand why things, like Trent’s seizure, happen, we can always rely on God’s presence to bring us through the storm. I have thought a lot about Trent’s situation and how my staff worked together to remain calm and focused. And, I have thought about Trent’s daddy. What if he were driving, unaware of Trent’s sudden seizure? That scenario is too frightening to imagine.
We don’t always know and understand why things happen the way they do, but we can rest assured that God does, and he will be there to calm us and bring us through all of life’s storms.
Thank you for providing help and comfort to Trent and his daddy on what could have been a very different outcome.
Thank you for allowing my small community barber shop to be a safe haven, providing compassion and strength to a father who was afraid for his son.
Thank you for being the calm in our storm.