At this time last week, we were in the emergency room with a beloved family member. She was dying. We were told she needed surgery immediately but there was still a chance that she wouldn't make it. I was there with her alone and I called Larry to tell him the news. He raced there to be with us, making it just in time to hold her and say goodbye.
When my arms were empty but I could still feel her warmth against me, I made calls. I put out a plea on Facebook. "If you believe in prayer, please pray or think positive thoughts." I emailed a friend from church and told her how empty we felt, how helpless. "Please pray," I asked.
At home we sat still. Larry tried to keep busy, as men do during times of crisis but I sat very still. I closed my eyes and I asked God to help guide the surgeon's hands. I imagined her healed and happy. I felt calm. I could feel prayers being said. We waited.
Later that afternoon we were told that we got her there just in time or she would have died. A few days later I would be asked over and over "How did you know she was sick?" "I just knew," I said. "I don't know how. I just knew."
In the Critical Care Unit, she rallied. The doctors fell in love with her and they were surprised by how well she was doing. I wasn't. I knew that that power of all that good energy was being sent to her, surrounding her like a protective bubble. We took her home on Sunday night and waited for the pathology results. We were told there was a 75% chance that she would die from this. We posted updates to Facebook and friends and family continued to pray for us and hold us in their thoughts.
Yesterday, we got the good news that she would be well for many years to come. What they thought would kill her wasn't there. I sobbed from the sheer relief of holding my breath for a week. I held her close to me and breathed in her smell. I had never been so grateful for a life before.
What I learned this past week is that when you are in times of trouble, don't go it alone. Call in your army of family and friends. Ask them to surround you with good energy and prayers. I don't remember much about the past 7 days. However, the one thing I do remember well is the way Larry's arms wrapped around me, protectively when the doctors gave us bad news. I remember the texts of support that said "I'm thinking of you, I love you guys," the hand-drawn cards from our neighbor's kids and the hundreds of Facebook messages.
Sometimes it's tempting to go it alone. You don't want to seem vulnerable, but vulnerable is OK. There are people who love you, let them.