My Day of Blessing started well before dawn, as I lifted Lydia out of her bed and buckled her into the car seat.
We headed to the surgery center, my 6-year-old in her monkey-print pajamas and I, her mother, sipping from a tall mug of strong, black coffee.
We arrived in time, and I signed off on paperwork confirming Lydia’s surgical procedure: Tube in right ear. Investigation of perforation in left ear. Removal of adenoids.
I handed all 40 pounds of my firstborn over to a complete stranger, and the two disappeared down a long hallway, retreating behind doors to an operating room. I would see Lydia on the other side of this “routine procedure” — routine for the doctors, but not for the moms who wait.
Thirty minutes later, another nurse led me to the recovery room, where my little girl — just waking up — wanted only one thing: to be held by her mom.
We sat there, mother and child, pressed together for two hours through cries, then whimpers, then sighs of contentment. Through IV pain medicine, then ice chips, and finally Jello. Through long periods of silence, where the only sound was our synchronized breathing. Finally, we arrived safely at giggles and spoken daydreams of pancakes.
“A Day of Blessing,” you may ask? Oh, let me count the ways.
Blessing came in the form of a friend who called at 6:30 a.m. to pray with Lydia over the cell phone. It came in the form of another friend who, conveniently, works overnight shifts at the surgical center and was just getting off work as Lydia’s surgery began. This friend sat with me as I waited, though her day of work was over.
Blessing came in the form of ice chips, syrupy pancakes and a teary call from Lydia to her little sister, because “I just want to tell her how much I love her.”
Blessing came in the reminder that I have a child to hold. While I fed Lydia Jello in the recovery room, I couldn’t help but think of the parents of dear Jessica in Minnesota. She, too, was 6.
“Lord, you alone know why their 6-year-old died in an accident at the lake, while my struggle came in the form of a simple adenoidectomy. God, I don’t understand why some are spared and others are taken so young, but I do know this: I would further compound the tragedy if I were to ignore the blessing I have been given. Lord, thank you for letting me comfort a girl who gets to go home with me before the day is even half over.”
For it was only six hours after the sun rose when she and I were headed back home. I pulled in the garage, parked the van and looked back at my daughter. She bore little proof of the way we started our day, save for the Bandaid covering her left hand.