Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What's Different Now

There is nothing like parenting to bring you face-to-face with the reality that you are not in control. Sometimes, it's the ordinary things, like sleep issues or potty training. But when your child is ill, especially extraordinarily ill, your utter lack of control hits like a blast of icy water. My daughter is in pain. And there is nothing I can do to relieve it.

Early this morning, I took Princess to the Emergency Room. It's not the first visit for her. She had a ruptured cyst at 3 months, and an abdominal mass at 19 months. We've spent our share of time in Children's ER.

She woke me about 5 AM in extreme pain, crying and writhing, worsening when I tried to touch her belly. I called the pediatrician's exchange and spoke with a nurse. She continued to cry out in pain. I woke DH and got dressed. Princess couldn't walk, so I carried her to the car and drove to the ER.

I prayed along the way. Hail Marys and Memorares kept me focused as I sped along the highway.

The first time we found ourselves here, five years ago, my faith was weak. I knew I needed God, but I didn't know how to get to Him. A Deacon from our parish prayed with us in the OR waiting room, but for my part, the prayer felt false and stilted.

The second time, four years ago, I was better at asking for the prayers of others. That felt more natural. But I still struggled to pray myself. I didn't have a solid relationship with God, and it felt hypocritical to beg for help now. Though, beg I did.

This time, I knew exactly where I needed to be: on my knees. As I dressed this morning, I grabbed my favorite rosary off the hook next to my bed and tucked it into my pocket. I began with the simplest prayers, "Please, God. Please," and moved on to the familiar, comforting ones.

We reached the ER and Princess was calm... calmer than she'd been in over an hour. She was perking up, and starting to seem more like herself again. The clamminess on her skin was gone. We checked in, and given her history and complaints, were whisked into a room. Within minutes, a doctor entered the room, spoke with her, asked me some questions and examined her belly. Her pain had dissipated. The doctor requested a urine sample, and very quickly, we had our answer: severe urinary tract infection. Relief flooded over me, and we were back in the car a short time later, prescription in my hand, cherry popsicle in Princess'.

Back at home, I got Princess settled with a cup of cranberry juice, a yogurt, and the latest episode of "Curious George" before I slipped away to my bedroom. Once there, I sank to my knees and began to sob. In relief. In gratitude. In recognition of all that He knows that I don't. In humble acceptance that I am not in control... not even close. But Someone is. And He will never fail me, even as I fail Him, again and again.

As the stress of the morning slipped out of my body, I paused to offer one more prayer. This time, in thanksgiving, for the gift of my faith and the difference my faith makes in my life ... on the completely ordinary mornings just as much as on the really difficult ones.

1 comment:

  1. I did the exact same thing honey. Thank you God. -DH