Tag Archive | family

Another Woman’s Child – Part 2

(From AWC-Part 1) “…He knew she was praying. He just didn’t know how her prayers were about to change their lives.”

Sarai was unable to bare children for Abram. As Sarah read her story in Genesis she knew how Sarai must have felt. The intense longing to give birth to a child, a bit of their husband, a bit of themselves, a bit of their families; all blended together into a whole new human being. A little person who would grow and develop their own personality, their own unique self.

Sarah was glad she didn’t feel the pressure Sarai must have felt. No one thought she had to have a baby but she longed for one. Perhaps, like Sarai she should consider her and Kevin using a surrogate mother.

Reading the story of Sarai, Abram and Hager Sarah felt a deep awareness that this was not the avenue for them to become parents. “How then Lord? How? Is it not Your will for us to be parents?”

“Trust me my Daughter. You will be a mother. In my time. Trust me, it will be in my time.”

Not like Sarah and Abraham, Rebekah and Isaac, Rachel and Jacob, Hannah and Elkanah, or Elizabeth and Zechariah. Sarah knew in her heart God was telling her there was a way for her and Kevin to have a family but it would not be by opening her womb. She placed her hand on her flat stomach and it felt so empty, her heart felt hollow and she wasn’t sure she could bear the emptiness.

With a clarity that hurt so badly it felt as if actual knives were cutting up her insides Sarah remembered the miscarriages, three in all and she wept again for those precious babies she and Kevin would never know here on this side of eternity.

“Trust me my Daughter. You will be a mother. In my time. Trust me, it will be in my time.”

As she wept she felt God’s arms around her and she heard His voice assuring her He would make a way for her to be a mother, for Kevin to be a parent. He would do so, not by means of medical technology but by a way that would bring Him glory and honor. A way that would meet not just Sarah and Kevin’s needs but the needs of the children as well.

By the time Kevin had showered and dressed Sarah was downstairs cooking their breakfast. When Kevin reached for her hand to say grace Sarah held on just a little longer. Looking up she smiled as their eyes met.

It wasn’t just a smile she plastered on her face to help him feel better but a smile from her heart, lighting up her face, shining from her eyes. That and the words she said next actually caused his breath to catch.

“Kevin, God has promised me we will be parents. He didn’t tell me how or when just that He was going to make a way.” Sarah released his hand and her smile broke into giggles at the look on Kevin’s face, “Ah sweetheart, I’ve not gone around the bend, He is just asking us to have faith in Him.”

Kevin nodded and felt his own spirit relax within him. He’d have to make this as serious a cause for prayer as Sarah, Kevin knew that, but he also knew God had nudged his heart yesterday when they had left the doctor’s office with Dr. Moran’s news weighing on them like the world’s troubles. However it came to be, they wouldn’t be seeking a solution in a doctor’s office this they both knew for sure.

To be continued…

The Perception


There is almost a feeling of reverence to the hallways that are decorated with jungle scenes, splashes of bright colors, clean flowing curves and glass fronted doors where both curtains and blinds allow for privacy.  Behind every closed door is a patient and each one has a story.  These patients are children, from new babies up to nineteen years old.  This is an intensive care unit so many are in for a fight to live.

The nineteen year old we are leaving a lengthy visit with is my nephew and God has again blessed Alex so he beaten the odds. Again Alex has proved medical science to not be omnipotent and tomorrow he will return to the special needs home where he’s lived away from his family for seven years now.  It strikes me anew how terrible this is, a son, brother, nephew, uncle- separated from those who love him-because his day to day needs are best met in out-of-home placement.

Being realistic is a fault with me at times, it falls in line with the battle I have with being cynical. I know, in my head, how impossible it is for us to care for Alex at home. His body is nineteen, his development between a two to six month old. He has no control of his bodily functions, must eat through a feeding tube, wears diapers, can’t speak, see more than light and shadow and no one is certain of how well he hears although he does. He can’t bathe himself and a stroke earlier in life left him with hands that curl into fists. Alex also usually fights whatever is being done for him, not able to grasp why, or who, or what is being done. He has incredible strength for someone whose only exercise is the physical therapy he receives and his squirming all over his bed.

Yet Alex laughs when teased or tickled. He responds to the sound and touch of his mother and sisters. He even seemed to remember me. The doctor’s tell us this is involuntary responses, Alex can’t know us, the bit of brain stem he has doesn’t include the part we use for those functions. I say baloney! Just his sisters talking to him lowered his blood pressure twenty points a few days ago and today, he’d fallen asleep holding my hand with his older sister curled around him and the sleep was so deep the nurse came in to see if he was alright.

It had been such a good visit, Alex was so much better and out of pain. He was off IV medication and didn’t fight his oxygen tubes nose piece as much as usual. He’d basked in the attention of we five females, even blushing and grinning when I teased him about flirting with his nurses. We got some great pictures. It seemed so unfair to know we had no clue how long it would be before we were all together with Alex again.

Now though we have to leave and his sisters and cousin walk around me, his mother lingering for a private good-bye and a flash of intense anger fills me.  Gripping the arms of my wheelchair I fight a scream within me.  I want to ask God why and how these terrible and cruel things happen to children like Alex who was two weeks old when spinal meningitis ravaged his tiny body.

I know the medical explanations and I know the OBGYN to blame and I know that God has touched hundreds of lives through our little man.  I know death and disease entered the world when Eve and Adam sinned.  It just hits so hard when someone you love suffers.

The rage disappears as quickly as it comes.  I can still feel his hand in mine and the soft thickness of his brown short hair.  I can still see his smiles and his “I’m up to something smirk”!  We have regrets for him, but he has none. 

He doesn’t miss football or baseball, music or flying kites.  He doesn’t miss ice cream or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or chocolate milk.  His body isn’t addicted to caffeine and sugar highs.  He doesn’t know any of this exists.  The world he knows is complete.

My anger is replaced with wonder.  He is content with his basic needs met, the love of his family when they are there and rediscovering his ears everyday.  He is securely in the hand of God with no doubt, no fear and it never occurs to him to sin.

He is beautiful.  He is blessed.  He is a beacon of belief and hope in this ever darkening world.  This boy without a brain has far more than we who have all our gray matter between our ears can fathom.  It all depends on your perspective.

The suffering of the innocent will not stop until Jesus returns. The poor will always be with us. Human needs will always be unbalanced and impossible to completely meet. Because we are human and fail our failures will result in the pain of someone else, even doctors who use bad judgment and whose decision wrecks a life. It will never make complete sense until God can show us the much bigger picture. That doesn’t mean we stop trying to help and give hope to those who need it. Our help makes a difference to each one God reaches through us.

Meanwhile as we leave the parking deck and know soon Alex will leave in an ambulance to return to his care facility we feel the sadness of parting. We make plans for the future. We rejoice in every one of Alex’s smiles. Discuss possible care facility placements closer to home now that Alex is an adult. My perspective changes.

If Alex can be content and happy why can’t I? Sure, I agree Alex doesn’t know any other life than his, but so what? Our tendency as humans is to always look for greener pastures but not Alex, he doesn’t know they exist. Maybe there’s a part of Alex who really is more blessed than the rest of us. Maybe it’s all about perspective.


Pouring Out – Part 2

Samuel King stood 6’4 in his worn jeans, long-sleeved dark blue work shirt with his long weathered face crowned by a greasy black hair comb over, eyes as black as his hair and his 283 pounds was solid from years of manual labor.  His feet were planted a foot apart shod in cowboy boots caked in so much grease, mud and red Georgia clay that the color was hard pressed to be named.  He towered like an angry thundercloud in the front counter area of McDonald’s, totally out-of-place among the bright yellow, white and red decor.  Sam didn’t care.  He didn’t care that he didn’t fit in, he didn’t care that people were moving as far away from him as he could and he didn’t care that the 21-year-old red-haired frail looking manager was telling him that he had to leave.

“Shut up, I ain’t leavin’ ‘til Becca gits on home.”  The man shouted, blasting spittle on the managers head.

Kevin Engle was the youngest manager McDonald’s had in this restaurant and he was frantically wishing one of the other managers was on duty instead of him.  He was rightfully frightened by Sam King and suddenly aware of why Rebecca King worried when he switched her shifts or had her work late.  She had tried to explain that her father was difficult and didn’t understand she couldn’t always get off right on time or had to work a different shift than expected.  Kevin remembered her request to use the phone one more time during the last hour of her delayed departure and his own refusal to allow her.  Well, tomorrow, Kevin decided, tomorrow Rebecca’s difficult father wouldn’t be his issue anymore because he had all intentions of letting her go.

“Sir, you can’t act…” but that was as far as Kevin’s quaking voice got as tried to regain some of his authority.  Sam’s large baseball size hand reached out from the end of his leg sized arm, seized Kevin by the collar of his uniform and tossed him aside.  Before anyone could react he had swept over the front counter, uncaring of the displays he knocked down and landed beside the terrified cashiers.  “Becca!  Becca you best be gittin on out here girl ‘cause when I find you you are in for one more whoppin’!”

Kevin recovered enough to scramble to his feet and he shot out of the restaurant with a speed the coach would have admired as he ran for the fire station less than a football field away.  When he burst into the bay, panting and panicked the firemen had a hard time understanding what Kevin’s emergency was but once they heard the name of Sam King they knew it was trouble.  One of them called the police while three others went back with Kevin to McDonald’s.  Maybe they could calm Sam down although not one of them believed it possible.

Hanging back Kevin let the firemen go in first, feeling braver standing behind them than in the lead.  The customers had cleared out and so had the employees except for the ones Sam had either pushed down or knocked out.  One was laid out visible just beneath the swinging gate leading to the back of the counters, another midway down the aisle at the grill.  Sam could be heard still calling and threatening his daughter somewhere in the back, his curses loud and ugly.

One of the firemen used his walkie-talkie to request for paramedics and the other two went to help the victims.  Leaving the walkie-talkie fireman to also deal with Sam.  “Anything back there like a gun or knives?” he asked Kevin.

Kevin’s negative response helped the fireman quickly decide to wait for the police unless Sam became a threat to someone instead of property.  Already in the distance police sirens were heard.

Sam King slammed out of the McDonald’s back door and walked right into the path of Officer Macon who had his gun out and aimed.  He was subdued after only a little resistance and handcuffed before being left in the back of the patrol car.  His anger seethed within him and he added the weight of the last half hour’s events into Becca’s account.  Although some might think him to be illiterate he was shrewd.  He knew he could not afford to allow anger to pour from him now, he would wait until he had Becca in hand before venting that, but it was hard to pull himself back into control.

Twenty minutes later on the way to the police station Sam remembered that his wife was responsible for taking Becca to and from work today and he had the impression Martha had told him something about needing to stop at her mother’s to help her with something or the other.  That meant the reason Becca wasn’t home yet was because her mother had made that extra stop.  That was okay, Sam reasoned, then they would both pay.  They would both pay dearly.

To be continued…