Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Mom's Story, Part Seven

Click here to read Part One
Click here to read Part Two
Click here to read Part Three
Click here to read Part Four
Click here to read Part Five
Click here to read Part Six

Part Seven:

Alone now in the waiting room, my husband and I were emotionally nearing the end of our strength. As the hours passed, we prayed together, then sat silently, waiting.

At last Vicki’s doctor appeared, looking tired, but triumphant. “We’ve done all we can,” he smiled. “Everything looks good.”

It seemed no human response to such news was adequate. My heart wanted to burst with joy and thanksgiving, yet all I could do was cry. “Thank You, Lord,” I whispered, but I knew so much more was needed. I would be thanking Him for a lifetime.

That night, as my husband and I drove the long road back to our home, I remembered my fear of that morning, when I had wondered if Vicki would be alive as we drove back home. The faces of the parents we met at the hospital, whose daughter died that day, rose as specters in my mind. They were instead feeling the agony I had dreaded, as they made their way home, without their little girl.

I spent every day after that at the hospital with Vicki. She recovered amazingly fast, and her spirits were high. She looked forward to going home, but being in the hospital didn’t upset her. The nurses were kind, and she looked forward to my arrival each morning, when I’d have a little present for her.

Her head and face were nearly covered by bandages, yet she smiled and laughed. During the extensive surgery, her scalp had been cut from ear to ear, allowing the surgeons access to the interior of her face. Her eye sockets had been moved closer together, false eyelashes had been sewn to her eyelids, and the beginnings of a nose had been fashioned. Many more surgeries would be required in the future, but this was all that could be done for now. Though she must have been in pain, she didn’t complain.

Every night, after work, my husband joined me at the hospital for time with Vicki. Then we went home to spend the evening with our four-year-old son. A few of the other mothers of children staying at the hospital chided me for not spending the nights with my child, as they did. But as the days wore on, I saw that the mothers who spent 24/7 with their children grew bone-weary, impatient, and irritable. I noticed their children became more and more demanding with each passing day, more unreasonable, and they cried a lot. Vicki, on the other hand, was happy to see me each morning, and we spent our days playing and resting together.

One night, as I tucked her in before leaving, I asked if it bothered her that I didn’t stay with her overnight. She smiled and sweetly declared, “No. Jesus and the angels are with me.” I marveled at her serenity and calm acceptance of her situation. Even at two and a half years old, she already experienced the presence of the Lord. That made it easier for me to leave her each night, secure in the knowledge that the Lord was there to comfort her.



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