“Come lay down beside me.” She patted the blanket by her side where pillows surrounded her, creating a nest. I laid down in the nest. “Here, hold my hand,” she said about the hands that are so much like my sister’s. I placed my hand on top of her soft skin to hold her arm steady, the tremors stopped.
“This is my favorite,” she said as she snuggled closer. I thought of the nursery rhyme about two bugs snug in a rug. She tucked her halo of blonde curls under my chin. “That doctor scared me. He was so gruff. I’m afraid of infection now.” This was the response of the brave girl whose smile had lit up the room in spite of him.
“You asked him great questions. Either you have done your research or you are the smartest person I know. Or both. He was impressed. I don’t think he knew the answers though. That’s why he was short with you.
I didn’t feel my words soothed her, and I agreed with her. He was very gruff. I had tried to make him laugh. So had Taylor, but he wanted no part of it.
“Maybe he’s going through something hard…” she pondered.
My sister, Joan, had told me the night before her daughter was admitted, Taylor had shared her fears about the twelve day hospital stay. There are so many unanswered questions. What’s unknown is often harder than what’s known. So, they began to pray together for all the people at their church, one at a time, one after another, and Taylor’s tremors had stopped.
She hasn’t been able to attend the prayer meetings she regularly attends before the Sunday services, which she loves. In place of being there, she wrote a prayer and sent it to the Pastor to share at the meeting. He one upped her though, and read it to the congregation to conclude his sermon.
Afterwards, people followed up with her to say it had felt as though her prayer was directed to them personally. How great is our God. She had been struggling with her debilitation and wondering how He could use her illness for His good. His response had been prompt.
It’s always amazing to me how God knows each of our hearts and what our needs are. He will supply them if we turn to Him. How many times have I experienced that? How many times have I doubted that?
“Come on let’s pray,” I said then. “Let’s talk to Jesus.” And so we began. I don’t really know how long we prayed, time has a way of ceasing when we still ourselves before God.
And then it happened again. The tremors stopped. Her breath grew as calm as a baby’s in a deep sleep. I was ready to shift positions but I didn’t want to wake her. She shifted. “I’m ready for bed,” Taylor said. “I don’t want to fall asleep until they give me the second round of meds because then I can’t fall back to sleep.”
I made up my little bed beside the window that looked out over a Tucson landscape. We told each other stories. So much is stored up in a heart. How does it hold it all?
The last round of meds arrived and there were no more interruptions during the night. There were no tremors. We both slept like two bugs snuggled in a rug till morning.
That evening, I was puttering about the room when Taylor said, “Auntie Debbie, I just want to tell the nurses I love them. But I worry it will be too much for them.”
“I know what you mean,” I said. Sometimes it is too much, I thought. But I go ahead and say it anyway. “Their response can be, ‘Yeah, see you tomorrow.’ Say it if that’s how you feel.”
The day shift nurses came into the room to say their shift was over and they were heading home for the night. My niece responded, tears rolling down her cheeks, “I know this might be too much, but I love you guys and everything you’ve done to take care of me.”
The nurse Teresa came running over to her side, “I love you too, Taylor.” And then both nurses embraced her.
And sometimes it’s not too much.