Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Child in Me

I've been thinking about something I've discovered in myself....
About two years ago Mark had to have a colonoscopy. I had dropped him off early in the morning, and then I had to take my mom to the doctor while Mark was having the procedure done. I gave the nurse my cell phone number in case there was a problem, but since all of my siblings and their spouses work outside of the home, taking my parents to their appointments always falls on me. So I had my boys with me, and after I took my mom home, they called and said that Mark's procedure was over and I should come back. It had been over three hours, so I expected Mark to be all ready to go when we got there. However, when we arrived, Mark was still in his hospital gown and the "twilight" medication they had given him had not completely worn off. John, who was 12 at the time, was visibly upset. He kept stepping back away from Mark's bed and wanted to go out to the waiting room.
I was fighting the same impulses and I didn't know why.
It wasn't until later after we arrived back home and I had a few minutes to think about it that it hit me what was wrong with John....he didn't like seeing his dad in a situation where he was showing "weakness". Dad was supposed to be strong and in control of things; Dad was his protector. He felt vulnerable.
I realized that I was suffering the same type of feelings. I thought back to the times when my own dad had been in the hospital and he seemed so frail and vulnerable and I didn't like it. I always found myself wanting to sit as far away as possible. Even though I was an adult, I still found myself subconsciously thinking of my dad as my protector. It made me uncomfortable to see him in any other way.
I realized that day that I think about Mark in that way too.
The other night when I was afraid that Mark was having a heart attack, my first thought was "Lord! I'm not ready for this....I'm not ready to lose him." On the outside I was calm, but on the inside I was momentarily afraid. I immediately felt His presence telling me that He was with me. It would be all right.
Those comforting thoughts helped when I went outside to tell the boys that we had called 911 for their dad. Michael was immediately upset. He kept saying to me, "I don't want to lose Dad! I'm not ready." My same thoughts just minutes before. It was such a blessing to have family around because Mark's brother went in the house to stay with Mark and Beth, and I had a few minutes to talk to the boys; to try to reassure them before I had to leave. It's so amazing how people can react so differently...Michael was visibly upset and voiced it; John once again held back.

And the child in me understood.

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