In this post I share with you a talk I gave at a Dynamic Women of Faith conference in Toronto a few years ago. Yesterday, January 21st, marked the anniversary of my dad’s passing. You can read what I have learned through the mourning process in an earlier post titled, “Learning through Mourning.” As you continue reading you will see that this date now holds two significant memories. Grief and blessing mixed in one single date.
After three years of trying to conceive, we learned we were pregnant on March 25th, 2011. This date was significant for a few reasons. My father had just passed away on January 21st. 2011, and March 25th is his birthday, and it was also the feast day of the Annunciation!
My baby was born in mid November that year, and when he was 2 months old, he caught what we thought was just a bit of a cold. One night, on January 18th he developed a fever and his breathing was irregular. When we arrived at the hospital 5 minutes later he was cyanotic and lethargic. Thankfully the nurses in the emergency department acted quickly. They took us in to the resuscitation room.
My baby was unresponsive at first. As I held him and the oxygen mask to his face and the nurse’s attempted to insert an IV into his little arms. I felt the tears stream down my cheeks and began to pray.
At first, it wasn’t much of a prayer. I was talking to God and started by saying, “Would you really give him to us for such a short time and then take him away?”
Immediately I realized that God could do whatever he wanted and so I began to beg that He wouldn’t take him. I called on the saints, and especially asked Mother Mary for her strength. If God was going to take my baby that night, I would need her quiet strength and her faith since she to had to witness her son suffer and die.
Lastly, I prayed to my father, whom I have reason to believe is in heaven. I asked him to intercede for his grandson, since his birth brought us much consolation after my dad passed away.
In hindsight, that moment to me, was similar to Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son Isaac. At that moment, I had to come to terms with the fact that God was calling my son home to him. The looks of panic on the nurses and the doctor’s face, and my son’s condition told me that his life could end here. I felt myself preparing to deal with it, while still asking that this not be so.
My son had to receive an IO – Inter Osseous instead of an IV- Inter Venous. This meant they had to drill into his bone to give him the medicine he needed, because his veins kept collapsing.
An hour or so later, we were airlifted to Sick Children’s hospital. My son had contracted a common but serious illness called Respiratory Syncytial Virus. He had responded well to the treatment initiated at our local hospital, what followed was in effort to support and watch his progress. The pediatrician monitoring his care during recovery made it clear that the IO saved my baby’s life!
Our last night in the hospital, happened to fall on the one year anniversary of my father’s passing, in the very same hospital. I was anxious about having to stay at the hospital that night. I knew I would relive the painful memory of the last moments I spent with my father the year before. However, once again I was being called to trust that God had designed this.
It just so happened that I finished feeding him at 5:00 a.m. on January 21, 2012 which was around the exact time my father had passed away. While I held my baby, with tears streaming down my face, he was looking up and smiling at me.
I understood then, that God allowed me to share a new memory. While January 21st, marks the anniversary of my Dad’s death, it now also marks the day my son was sent home after his miraculous recovery.
I believe it is necessary for all of us to ponder how God is acting in our lives. That is what this story is about, God’s action and my call to hope and trust.