Just Be Still And Do Nothing

That's what they tell me as they wheel me into the room and bustle about getting me "settled."  Lie on the right side. No sitting. No bathroom. And really, no hands, as they are given to tubes and needles. Just be still.

But I can't do nothing. I've never been able to do nothing. So, I do something.

I pray--begging, pleading, and trying to still my thoughts and know that He is God.

I listen to the steady, rhythmic thump that assures me that my precious child is alive and safe within me for this moment in time.

I hear the words of the priest--of annointing, of absolution, of the gift of grace--real and present within me.

I smile at the generosity of a visitor who overcomes her own ghosts of hospitals past to bring me a bag of treats and the encouragement of someone who knows well the journey we are undertaking.

I imagine the cries of my toddler who, in my absence,  searches in vain for familiar comfort and who will never nurse again--and I weep.

I send an army of angels and saints to the three "big kids" at home who valiantly, cheerfully, and prayerfully care for their little siblings.

I laugh with friends in Louisiana and Florida who call to read me assurances of prayers and who insist they can organize volunteers from near and far. And they do.

I am astonished by reports of competent, holy women who sweep into my house and run it better than I do.

And I wait  for him. Because when he walks through the door, I feel safe. When he is with me, my whole world looks different. This baby is his. And so are the other eight he is so mightily supporting. And so am I. I saw the brief look of fear when I came to him, blood-stained and scared. And I know how hard he is working to never, ever let it cross his face again. I see him, exhausted and torn in a million directions. But he doesn't bow under the weight. Instead, he stands taller. He is here.

(Nearly) perfect love, come to cast out fear. I want so desperately to come alongside and help in this crisis as I have in every other. By doing. By holding and touching and connecting. And I can't. Because I am still. And only still.  We talk. We laugh. We hope. And in the night, when I cannot sleep, I pray. I pray for the strength and grace he will need.

We will need.