1. You may be reading this blog because I have chosen to keep it a public blog. But it still remains a spot for me to journal the things that I need to process in writing. I understand that not all "processes-in-writing" are necessarily appropriate for public knowledge. But I do know that "nothing is new under the sun." This spot has always been a place for me to process. It has been a priviledge of mine that you choose to share in it. If you have something negative to say about me sharing my life in a public way, please do it privately. Or just don't follow me here on the blogosphere.
2. I will use terms in the following post that include words like "biological" and "step" and things like that. In my "normal" life, I do not refer to any of my family as "step" or "biological" or "real." I only use these terms to help others understand how some of the most important people in my life are related to me. My entire family, biological, step, adopted, in-lawed and everything else has always been, and remains the same thing to me: FAMILY.
for the story that I wish I could just get out of my head:
A couple of evenings ago, my step-mom called me to let me know that my step-sister and her boyfriend, who have a 4-month-old daughter together, were on their way to the University Hospital because their daughter was just transported by ambulance from her doctor appointment to there.
My niece had had a rough weekend with cold/flu-like symptoms that seemed to not get better by Monday morning. They called Monday morning for a doctor appointment. Doctors took xrays of the lungs. Looked like pneumonia. She was sent to the University Hospital.
My neices father had taken her to the appointment while my step sister was getting ready for night college classes. My step sister is 16 years younger than I. I feel like I could be her aunt.
At the university, they thought I was her mom.
When my step mom called, it was my understanding that my sister and her boyfriend did not know their way around to get to the hospital. I am half-way from where they live and the hospital. I have gotten to know the hospital a little more than I would have liked to with my own child in the last couple of months.
They met me at Casey's in my hometown and followed me to the hospital.
I showed them where to go.
Looking back on the story, I can see how God had me exactly where he wanted me to be to help my step sister and her boyfriend.
I was at their side when then needed me. In the background when I needed to be. But there.
We got the to the ER.
Escorted to her room which was full of doctors. We were told that they needed to intubate her to help her to breath. We were told that she was stable.
And we sat just outside where they told us to wait.
15-20 minutes later we were told she was critical.
We went to her room where a resident met us just outside the door.
Apparently, after intubation, her lungs collapsed. Air was escaping from her lungs to everywhere else. They had been doing CPR for 10 minutes.
We entered the room. My step sister held one of her daughter's hands. Her significant other, the baby's father, held the other....while doctors continued CPR.
At one point, the baby's father fell to the ground. I lifted him up to a chair that one of the nurses brought in so he could remain holding his daughter's hand.
After 24 minutes of CPR, doctors called the time of death.
It is a blur to me. Like a bad bad dream that I cannot seem to wake up from.
Fade in: to 3 chairs in the ER room. My step sister sat in the middle, holding her daughter. Her boyfriend sat to the left of her, leaning in and holding on. I sat to the right. And sometimes to the front. Assisting. Holding my sister so she could hold her baby. I have no idea how my sister will remember this time.
But I will always remember the Holy Spirit whispers that helped me to be there without "being there." To put my arm under my sister's arm while she was shaking and holding her baby's body.
How I could be there without "being there" to talk to social workers, nurses, doctors and medical examiners.
How much my heart beats for my family, even if we are not close in age, proximity or beliefs.
And how much that God must have wanted me there. And here. Even when it would be so much easier to just say "no."
Because now I cannot sleep. Even though I know in my mind and in my heart that this sweet baby girl is with her maker and mine, I can't get the image of the hospital room/after-life out of my dreams and out of my wakefullness.
And I am worried about my step sister and her boyfriend. They are so much younger than me. And they are not really communicating with me. It goes without saying that they are obviously not doing well.
How do I fit in now, Lord?
How do I help them?
I won't even ask you How I am supposed to understand...
...I cannot imagine that I could possibly understand on this side of heaven.
Please send comfort.
To all involved.
And please continue to use me
if you can
to bring comfort
in the middle of this nightmare.
And if I can
I pray for a light
The proverbial light
at the end of the
some sort of understanding.