On Saturday morning, I sat down to meditate for the first time in a long time and for the first time in an even longer time, I wanted to sit down and write.
Since Molly’s surgery for scoliosis on February 22, there has been a lot of doing, but not a lot of “sitting,” thinking, writing or anything else really. I have been “in the moment,” instead of worrying about it. And in that way, almost a month had flown by and I found myself wondering where it had gone.
It seems like it just went.
It went into the maze-like halls of the hospital with its fluorescent lighting, and the beeps, whirs and humming sounds that create an otherworldly time and space.
It went into hours of doing simple things that under normal circumstances take only minutes, things like showering, or eating a meal, or going to bed (by which I mean how one spends the night-time hours, not that you actually stay in bed).
It went into days on end of holding hands with a child, who was trying to lose herself in mindless TV, so she wouldn’t have to be present to the pain and anxiety that was present in her body.
It went into afternoons of reading out loud, coloring pictures, telling family stories, listening to music, or imagining the adventure we will go on when all this was over – somewhere warm and sunny and on the water.
In other words, this last month went by just loving Molly Grace.
But finally last Saturday morning, I sat alone, quietly and gratefully, for a full thirty minutes. The house was still asleep; there were no pills to organize, or meals to prepare. There was no place to be. There was just me and a Divine invitation to “be still.”
I sank into my favorite chair with a cup of coffee. From years of habit, my sacred phrase welled up from deep within.
“I am Yours,” my heart sighed and along with it came the reminder, “So is she.”
That was the phrase that came to me, during the long days and nights in the hospital, when I could not stop Molly’s pain, her vomiting, her hot flashes, or her tears. There was no time for formal meditation, but I would find myself sitting at her bedside, breathing deeply and intentionally.
Without a conscious thought, “I am Yours” became “She is Yours.” I would inhale and exhale those words, over and over again: “She is Yours. She is Yours. She is Yours,” a rhythmic prayer of Love and surrender, belonging and grace.
She is not (just) mine. She is not (in any way) alone. She belongs to God and God was holding her more closely in Love than I ever could. But in that prayer of letting go, I also recognized how intimately I was getting to hold on.
My hands were the ones washing her face, spooning her ice chips, adjusting her pillows. My lips were the ones kissing her forehead as she slept. My voice was the one lulling her to sleep, telling her it was all going to be okay. My heart was the one beating next to hers. What a privilege it was to just be there, Loving her, however the need manifested itself. Though sometimes tired, or scared, or frustrated, my overwhelming emotion was deep, deep gratitude.
We would walk the halls and see children who would be there for weeks and months on end, whose injuries and illnesses were not some temporary disruption from their normal life; it was their normal life. I was grateful we were in the right place for a while and that soon enough, the right place would be home. I was grateful we had such compassionate, gentle nurses there with us and such loving and generous friends and family supporting us nearby.
I can’t tell you how many people were praying for Molly, but I can tell you how much we felt the power of their prayers. We might not have gotten what they asked, or hoped for, but we got exactly what we needed. We felt loved; we felt brave; we had the energy to face the challenges of each day and when we didn’t, we had a soft place to land and a shoulder to cry on. Though we saw only a handful of people in those weeks, we were never alone.
At a difficult time in my life, “I am Yours,” began as a plea to God to not forget me, but it has become a reminder to myself of who and whose I am. When distractions and difficulties arise during my sit (or in my life), “I am Yours” sets me free to return my attention to what I was made for – what we are all made for –to be in Loving relationship.¹ “She is Yours” became my prayer for Molly this past month, but “We are Yours” is my prayer for all of us, not because God has forgotten, but because we have.
While I was finishing this blog, I heard about the attack in London and it brought to mind the wise words of Mother Theresa: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
We are Yours, God, and we are each other’s. Help us to remember.
- My favorite book about the Trinity and how the Divine relationship is the model for all relationship is The Divine Dance by Richard Rohr and Mike Morrell. It’s insightful, accessible and I highly recommend it!