The next morning was hard. Even though the girl and her husband had slept some, their minds and spirits had not been able to slow down. When it was time to go visit their son, the little king, the girl really didn’t want to go.
It wasn’t because she was fearful of what would be said. She was just tired. Spiritual battles are also physically exhausting. She had prayed, as Dr. Seuss would have said, “til her ‘pray-er’ was sore.” So when they arrived at the hospital, the girl told her husband to go into PICU without her. She would sit in the waiting room.
She didn’t get to sit for long.
In minutes her husband was there, by her side, beaming. ”You’ll never guess! The surgeon is ecstatic, and the cardiologist is almost doing cartwheels!”
She rushed back into PICU with her husband, only to see the two men chattering excitedly, laughing and beaming like her husband. ”We don’t understand it, but he’s done a 180 and he’s getting better!” Handshakes were shared between the girl’s husband and the doctors, after which they departed. The girl stood by the little king’s bed, breathing sighs of relief and whispering silent prayers of thanksgiving.
In her heart, she looked up at the sky growing more blue by the second. In her heart, two fatherly hands reached down and shoved back the walls of water. In her heart, heavenly winds pushed back the Red Sea until it completely disappeared. She crossed on dry land to a shore of bliss.
God had answered all their prayers: the girl’s prayers, her husband’s prayers, the grandparents’ prayers, and all their friends’ prayers.
Later after the trip home, they would find out that 17 churches in 7 different states had been praying that fateful night. But for now, the girl and her husband reveled in the knowledge that God had met their son in his darkest hour, and had carried him through. He had carried all of them through, for that matter.
When the husband and the girl met their parents later in the waiting room, the husband announced proudly, “The doctors couldn’t understand what caused the turn-around, but we understand! It was God!”
Yes, it was God. It had been God all the way through. And the girl knew, it would still be God, in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.
Four days later, the little king breathed for the first time on his own, without the respirator. It was his first birthday. Soon after that, he was released to the Pediatrics floor, where the girl and her mom tended to his every need.
Interesting things happened during those two weeks, which the girl pondered in her heart from that day on.
The first hiccup was a trip to radiology where the pumping volume of the little king’s heart was to be tested. The radiologist spoke very negative words over the little king, upsetting the girl. When the surgeon found out, however, he reminded her of how weak her son’s heart had been prior to the surgery. Comforted by his reminder, she was no longer upset by the negative words. Anything from this point on would be an improvement.
One night, while the girl’s mom was watching the NCAA basketball tournament on TV, the girl noticed her son was gazing at the TV intently. He was mesmerized by the motion on the screen, studying all that was going on. At one point, he lifted his right arm and pumped it up and down as if he were dribbling a basketball. In her heart, a still, small voice calmly said, “Remember this.”
Then, a couple of days before the little king was to be released, he suddenly became sick. The doctor determined it was a rotovirus. The girl ended up getting sick with it as well. So the trip home wasn’t as peaceful as it could have been, but they made it home. And they both were soon better, and ready for celebration! For the little king was going to have a proper birthday party, even though his actual birthday had been very eventful. The girl knew she would never forget that day, when their son breathed all on his own.
The king’s name means “determined” and he certainly showed that part of his personality that day in PICU.
There’s more to the story, but this is a good point for stopping and taking a breather. Your comments and thoughts are appreciated. And many thanks to all of you readers, even if you don’t comment. If you like the story, please pass it along to others.
Blessings to all.