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Monday, September 15, 2008

Southern Girls Living Fearlessly - Day 25

Accept that bad things will happen.

When my oldest son was 3 and my second son was 1 and I was pregnant with their younger brother, the oldest child stood on the side of a shopping cart and pulled it over on himself, slamming his head to the asphalt parking lot. As I lifted his body, his eyes rolled back in his head and he lost consciousness. At that moment my maternal instincts kicked in. I scooped his limp body into one arm and grabbed the baby in the other arm then ran to the front of the store, shouting at a woman headed in the same direction to call 911. I know the voice that came out of me must have sounded like that of an animal.

Miraculously, my son recovered without even a hospital stay, and for the most part appeared unscathed by the entire incident. I. on the other hand, was profoundly changed. I couldn't even talk about it in the days following, until one morning I was on my hands and knees cleaning the floor under the kitchen table, a daily chore with two young boys, and had a revelation.

These are not my children. Never were. Not mine to cling to so desperately. I am their chosen earthly steward. We were selected for each other with the understanding that we supply what the other needs, AND that our creator can take either of us back when it please Him.

This experience prepared me for the day, a little over two years later when my daughter, only one week old, spiked a very, very high fever. I will never forget the ambulance ride from our small county hospital to the MCG Children's Medical Center. Or the commotion that surrounded us in the emergency room. Or the tears that kept welling in my eyes, quietly trickling down my face, and my fruitless efforts to fight them back. Or standing in the hall listening to the pitiful wale of my tiny infant as residents whisked her away to a small room to perform a spinal tap. And I will always remember the prayer I said, standing there alone, time completely stopped:

Lord, I know she is yours and not mine. If you need her back, I will try to understand and I am so thankful for the week you gave us. But I also want you to know that I really would like to have more time with her, please. Amen.

I have tears in my eyes right now thinking about how he has given me seven years.

You might think that these experiences set me free to enjoy without fear the time I've been allotted with my family. But try as I might, I still held too tightly to my children. I tried to protect them from every threat to their happiness and health. I refused to go away on trips my husband, because I didn't want something to happen to us and our children to be orphans.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

What a great perspective to have. Great insight for any mother, espcecially one of a very rambunctious 2 year old like myself!