Those two crazy kids up there? Those are my parents circa 1970-ish. They’ve been sweethearts since they were 5…five! Last week was their 42nd anniversary…the anniversary of the day my family began. Last week I witnessed a love between two people that was strong…yet fragile. Last week the backbone and foundation of my entire world was viciously and brutally attacked right before my eyes…and all I could do was watch as it happened. A bystander. Last week. My mother. Had not one…Not two… But three...3! Heart attacks. It’s still unreal to me…unimaginable. Hard to say…Heart. Attack. Three of them. My mother. My young, tiny, healthy, not-your-typical-heart-patient mother. Almost died. And there was nothing I could do to prevent it…to stop her pain.
During the third (and worst) heart attack I was able to see her immediately before the nurses wheeled her out of ICU and into surgery. Just in time. She smiled and looked at me…deeply and directly in the eye…never breaking her gaze…as if she were looking at me for the last time, not wanting “it” to come. I hugged her, kissed her, said I love you, and traced a cross on her forehead…then sobbed as they took her away. Thinking, too, that this was…IT. The last time I would see my mother alive…hear her voice. See her smile.
And so I prayed. I
begged God to take her pain away. Give
it to me. I naively thought myself
invincible…like a super hero swooping in to save the day. I’m tough.
Strong. I’ve got this…please God
make her better. I can handle the pain. Please don’t let her hurt anymore! I would have done anything. AN-Y-THING.
But it was all I could do. All I
needed to do. I never felt
helpless. Never felt alone. As scared as I was, I did just as my mom had taught
me…I handed it over to God. All my
fears, my panic, my worry. And I knew it
would be okay, for as I left the hospital the next morning, the first thing I saw...was a
…and he made her better.
My mother has been home for almost a week…and those 16 days of hell become more distant with each passing day. She’s tired and extremely busy...resting, healing. There’s a new sparkle in her eye...as if she’s seeing the world for the first time…and realizing how glorious and beautiful it is. All of it.
And I am thankful. For my faith. For God. Thankful that we got to say all the things we might not have had the courage to say before. Thankful for the gift of life…ALL life. Thankful that I can be close to her and help her recover. Thankful that my prayers were answered. Thankful for the miracles I witnessed. Thankful for my mother. My father. My husband. My kids. And for all of our friends and family who couldn’t be with us in person but were with us in spirit.
“This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” (Psalms 118:23)
I love you, Momma...with ALL my heart! xoxo -Tef