Not to spoil the ending for you…..
but everything is going to be okay.
I love this! I just saw this saying on another blog, and wow…it just really hit home. It’s not like I’m going through a hard time right now or anything like that. But I can just remember back to a time when I was at my lowest, at my most saddest and most vulnerable time…and I felt his message clearly in my heart.
This was back in 1997 when my daughter was brain injured in a car accident and I felt that life would never be happy for me ever again. I was beside myself with grief and worry: would she wake from the coma? if she did, what would be left of her brain function? what kind of life will she have? would she have memories of her old self? would she be severely handicapped? will she be able to think, smile, or laugh? will she know me? what kind of future will she have?
I remember having all those thoughts as I sat there by her bedside in the PICU just a week or so after her accident. I was holding her hand looking up at her swollen face, her swollen head all wrapped in white gauze. Tubes were sticking out from all over her body. Monitors were making clicking sounds, beeping sounds, and of course the “whoosh, whoosh, whoosh” of the machine that was breathing for her. I was alone in the room, just me and my daughter, and I thought, “This is my child. How could this be? She was just fine a few days ago: laughing, running, going to preschool, learning to tie her shoes and write her name. She had just celebrated her 4th birthday a few days before….how could she be here now? Like this?” At that moment, I was the saddest that I had ever been before in my life. I remember it so clearly.
I remember looking over at the table next to me. There on the table were a few items that had accumulated during the week: the journal that I had been writing in, a pen, a tissue box, a few cards and stuffed animals from people. And then I noticed a small box. It was clear and I could see some beads of some sort inside. Rose-colored beads. I reached over to see what it was…and saw that it was a Rosary. I took it out and held it to my nose. It had the sweetest smell….like roses. And then I remembered where it had come from. My mom’s best friend had just come back from The Holy Land and had brought a few of these Rosaries home with her. When she had heard what happened to Audriana, she brought one to the hospital for me to have.
Now, being raised Catholic, I of course knew what a Rosary was, and I had prayed the Rosary quite a few times at funerals or various other times when I was with a large group of people at church. But I had never prayed the Rosary by myself. Never. I didn’t even know if I would remember how. But at that moment, I wanted more than anything to pray the Rosary for my daughter. So I held it in my hands and ….. I just began. It was like all the years since my childhood, all the times I’ve seen and heard it done, just flooded into me and I just knew every prayer and the order that they went and everything. And I got such a peace over me, as I prayed the prayers of the Rosary. I have never felt such a peace before. Just complete calmness … and there was not one speck of sadness in my heart at that time. I remember it moved me to tears, the feeling I was experiencing. I got a very strong, unmistakable message at that moment: Everything is going to be okay. Don’t worry….everything is going to be okay. I didn’t hear those words, but I felt them. I felt them!
The next day was the day when Audriana began sticking up one finger or two fingers to communicate with us. We knew at that time that she was still “in there” and that she would come back to us. And she did. It took an incredibly long time, but she did. Everything is going to be okay, I was told. And I believed it. And it came to be.
This, to me, is an example of why my husband and I want to raise our children in the Catholic faith. It will give them such an important foundation. See, at the time of our accident, we really weren’t going to church much. We didn’t read the Bible or pray together, but would go to Sunday mass every now and then, and of course on Christmas and Easter. I was, afterall, an adult and didn’t have to go to church if I didn’t want to. Not like when I was little, when I had to go to church every Sunday with my mom, my grandma and my little sister. We were raised Catholic, and church on Sundays was a constant in our family. I knew the mass word for word because I went almost every single Sunday. Then, once I married and moved out of my mother’s house….I was FREE! I could sleep in on Sundays if I wanted to. I began only going to church on Christmas and Easter. I was still Catholic, of course…but not really involved in the church at all.
But then….when the accident happened, and my life was turned upside down — where did I turn? My upbringing in the Catholic faith gave me a firm foundation to stand on when my life was shaking and falling apart. It all just flooded back to me and comforted me. It started with praying that Rosary on that one day when I was at my lowest point, when I had almost lost faith and hope.
I have learned that if you raise your children in a faith — any faith — and you make it a constant in your family life, then that gives your children a foundation to build their lives on. Even if they stray away from it for a time….when life happens and they really need something to count on, they will be able to turn to their faith. It will have become a part of who they are, and it will be there for them when they need it.
Sometimes my kids will complain when I wake them up early for church on Sundays, and then there are times when I am tempted to sleep in, too. But I just think back to the way I was raised, and how our Catholic faith was a constant in our family life, and how my mom made sure we were at mass every Sunday…and I know that it benefitted me so much. And I want that for my kids, too.