While catching up with an old friend over lunch, I recanted a very traumatic event that had taken place within the past couple years. As I told the story, all the emotion and drama resurfaced and felt just as fresh as the day it happened. Later that day, my thoughts were repeatedly drawn back to the event. I remembered how desperately I wanted to be told at the time, “It’s all right,” and no one would voice those words in the situation.
The morning after my lunch date, as I was swimming laps for some early morning exercise, it hit me right between the eyes. The beautiful sunrise coming up from behind a mountain was blinding. “Here comes the sun”, was immediately playing loudly in my mind and I knew it was going to be a good day. I also knew what my blog post would be about this week. Here’s my story.
It was our anniversary, also Easter weekend that year. My husband and I were packing for a weekend getaway celebration. One of our adult children was scheduled for a minor out patient surgical procedure the morning we were supposed to leave. It was only going to be a ten minute procedure and family members would be at their side. I was not going to be there, but for some reason I was feeling an urgency to go to the hospital. I decided I would just go to give hugs before the surgery got underway.
I arrived at the hospital, talked to the nurses and my parents, hugged my child and walked my parents to the waiting room. The nurse said someone would be out in ten to fifteen minutes to let us know that the procedure was finished. I decided since it would be over with so quickly, I would just wait. I’m a mom. I wanted to hear those words, “It’s all right”.
Fifteen minutes passed. Thirty minutes passed, then sixty. No one was coming to tell me, “It’s all right.” Where were they? What was happening? We had noticed several teams of medical staff walking quickly through the hall going into the OR. We thought something must be happening, but didn’t consider it had anything to do with our family member. After all, it was just a simple procedure. At the same time, I began to have thoughts that I didn’t want to speak out loud.
I finally approached the desk and a phone call was made to the surgical department. I was hearing the attendant repeat words, “admit”, “ICU”. Tears are even beginning to well up, even now as I type. After what seemed like forever, the attendant hung up and said, “A surgeon will be out to speak with you.”
Another “forever” moment passed before a surgeon came out. As I sat in the waiting room and heard my name called, the doctor walked up, bent down and held the arms of the chair on each side of me. About eight inches from my face, he looked me in the eye and described the problem they had encountered. The surgery had become complicated and they were going to have to take a different approach. My child had lost a lot of blood, but they had two trauma teams working to get the bleeding stopped. They were doing everything they could. They expected the surgery to take another hour and a half and he would be out again with an update.
It is so wild, what happens in your mind when you experience something like that. You know it is happening, but it is so hard to really believe and grasp. We started making phone calls to family members and friends. We needed to be doing something besides just sitting, waiting, wondering.
Almost four hours after what was supposed to be a minor procedure had begun, a doctor came out, called my name and motioned for us to follow. As we were ushered to a room, the words, “This is critical,” were spoken. We sat and were surrounded by part of the surgical team that had been in the OR. Each person described their role in the ordeal. The head of the surgical department had taken over the surgery. We heard sentences like, “We can’t get the bleeding stopped”. “We’ve done everything we can.” No one was saying, “It’s all right.” My child was on a ventilator, being taken to Intensive Care and listed in guarded condition. They were going to leave the incision open and packed for the next 24 hours. They hoped to be able to complete the surgery the next day.
The head of surgery allowed me to ride in the elevator with my child from OR to ICU. Crowded in the elevator with the surgical team, the gurney and all of the equipment was one ride I will never forget. Seeing your ashen faced child laying there, battered and bruised from the ordeal, blood still on the sheets, tubes and wires everywhere, someone manually pumping air into their lungs… and yet I was still struggling with the reality of what was happening… Was I going to lose my child? Could this really be happening?
The next 24 hours were long and excruciating. An ICU nurse sat in my child’s room, constantly monitoring all of the equipment. We were allowed very brief visits and spent long hours in the waiting room wondering what was happening, praying for life to continue.
Over those long hours, I had to think about some very uncomfortable, unpleasant things. Where was God in all of this? Why was this happening? What if I lost my child? People have to deal with loss all around us everyday. People pray, but the reality is that some don’t make it. Would mine be one that made it and if so, why? If not, why?
I didn’t have answers to all of those questions, but I did know that no matter what, I had to continue to hold on to my faith. No matter what happened, I knew that eventually, I would hear the words, “It’s all right.” Even when it did not feel alright, even if the outcome was not one that I would consider to be all right, I would still trust. I’ve learned from experience, my God has been able to make every wrong situation, right, somehow. He has done it time and time again and no matter what the outcome, this time would be no different.
I am happy to say, the surgery was successfully completed the next day. The bleeding had stopped. The following morning was Easter and the sun rose to a new day. Twelve pints of blood later, the danger was past. I was finally able to hear someone say, “It’s all right”.
Why did I share this story? The sun rose on a new day today. No matter what you and I are going to experience today, I know I can say, “We are going to make it through”, not alone but with each other and with the help of a powerful, big God. I can confidently say, “It’s all right!”
And now, on Easter morning of 2015, I relive this story once again. I see the sun rising on another new day as we speak. My daughter is healthy and still breathing the air of this earth. Not everything is perfect in my world. There are on going situations around me that look hopeless, that I don’t have answers for, that I am powerless to fix. But this I do know. God’s mercies are new every morning. His grace still abounds and his faithfulness is great. I have peace in my heart and I know it’s going to be a good day. It’s going to be alright.