This is one of the strangest thing that has EVER happened to us, and could ONLY be a “GOD thing”!
In the account of “our move to France” I told briefly how Malgwyn got the job that moved us out here. Once having received the job offer, he had to give his notice at the bank. But he of course wouldn’t do that until he had something written from the new company. We prayed that that would happen quickly so that there would be no delays. It did.
There was a small fish badge incident before this, but I’ll relate that in the Fish Badge part 2!
On 29th December I was at home when a telegram arrived!! (The year was 1982. Those were the days before mobile phones, texts, home computers!!) I immediately phoned Malgwyn at his office. He wasn’t there so a colleague answered and said he would let him know I had called.
In fact another colleague was leaving that week, so there was a farewell drink for him in a local pub, so that’s where Malgwyn heard that I had rung. He called me back from the bar telephone and was excited to get the good news.
Before he had heard about my phone call, somebody had asked him what the fish badge was that he always wore in his lapel. He had explained that it was an early Christian symbol and it was a declaration of his faith in Jesus as Saviour. An interesting discussion had followed, then he went to call me. As he sat down again somebody said “Your badge has disappeared!!” Malgwyn returned to the telephone, but there was no sign of the badge. Interesting!
Early in January I went shopping to the nearest Christian bookshop, and I bought him a new badge. That evening he came in from work and very quickly went out again to a church council meeting. I waited for his return to give him the new badge. He went through to the cloakroom where he had just hung his jacket and returned to where I was in the kitchen. He looked at me very strangely and then literally slid down the wall onto the floor! I shouted, and went to undo his tie and do the very basic things I knew about first aid.
My mother who was staying with us at the time (that was a God thing!) came running. Malgwyn hadn’t passed out, he was very much awake, but couldn’t speak, except with a very croaky distant voice. I called emergency services and an ambulance was at our door very quickly. It was decided to take him to hospital because the first aid guys thought he had had a mild stroke.
He left and I followed in the car leaving my mother to care for the children.
I was sitting in the waiting room of emergency services when a friend from our village arrived! (Was that a God thing?) He had been passing our house when he saw the ambulance so had gone home to pick up his wife and come straight back to our house to see if they could help!
Fred was a “special policeman” with a badge that allowed him into places others couldn’t go, so he could go further into emergency and ask questions I couldn’t, as well as see Malgwyn. (That WAS a God thing!) All seemed to be well according to his report, but because the hospital staff thought he had had a stroke they wouldn’t let him come home again until they were sure all was well.
Fred’s wife Rosemary had stayed sitting with my mum who was a bit shocked and worried by what had happened. (That too was a God thing)
All that happened on a Tuesday evening. In fact Malgwyn had gone through to the cloakroom to put the badge in his lapel. As he pinned the two sides together he got what he can only describe as an electric shock. He often got small shocks with his work on computers. His automatic reaction had been to throw the two parts onto the floor. He then picked them up again knowing that there is no way anyone could get an electric shock via anything plastic. He came through to the kitchen to tell me what had happened. That’s when he found he couldn’t speak, consequently slid down the wall and the story continued…
On Wednesday the doctor said they would keep Malgwyn in for a few days to be sure that all was well. On Friday morning at 8 o’clock the phone rang and a voice said “Good morning Mrs. Elmer, you don’t know me, but I am Malgwyn’s new boss for the Paris job. Is he there?” I just responded with an apology that he wasn’t at home, not wanting to give away what had happened! The boss continued “Oh dear, I was hoping to catch him before he left for the office. The fact is that at midday today the big chief of the company will be passing through Manchester airport (about an hour’s drive from our home). If it was at all possible for Malgwyn to meet him there he could sign the contract and speed up the paperwork.”
I assured this unknown gentleman that I would transmit the message and took the flight details saying I was sure Malgwyn would do his best to be there. I then phoned the hospital ward.
The sister in charge was very nice, but firm that Malgwyn was not coming out until he had seen the doctor that afternoon. The doctor couldn’t possibly see him this morning because he was seeing outpatients in his clinic in another part of the hospital. I was insistent that I was coming to pick him up and would bring him back to see the doctor later in the day.
I arrived in the hospital ward with Malgwyn’s clothes in a bag at my side. (Nobody kept anything personal when they were in hospital in those days, and there were about 36 people in long wards). The sister met me with a surprised “The doctor is with him now!”
Was that a God thing? It certainly was!
The doctor had had a cancellation in his clinic and had just had the idea to come and sign Malgwyn out because they couldn’t find anything wrong with him.
I waited a few minutes and then Malgwyn came down the ward to call me from the public telephone. He was very surprised to see me waiting. “What are you doing here?”
I threw the bag of clothes to him and said “Get dressed quickly I’ll explain in the car!”
Well of course we arrived at the airport just as the plane touched down, he signed the contract and started the job on the 1st February. That was a God thing.
But it didn’t end there and you can read part 2 separately.