Surgery Day

Driving to the hospital in the dark this morning, it felt as if I were living in a dream.  Words fail to describe the many emotions of a mother embarking upon invasive surgery for her child, while knowing full well that they do not grasp the gravity of what is about to happen.  

Each time I looked into Oliver’s beautiful eyes last week, I thought, ‘Everyone around you knows what you are about to go through, but I wonder if you have any idea…’ For although I talked to him, explained it to him, I honestly don’t know how much he understands. But what I do know, is that he seems to have a unique ability to live in the present. He does not seem to have dwellings on the past nor worries for the future and that is a blessing not bestowed upon many.  

As I laid awake every hour of last night, he slept soundly, unconcerned with what the dawn would bring. This morning, as my mind toiled with its doubts and worries, desperately seeking any way out of what we were about to do, his took in the glowing lights of the city. And that is a beautiful thing.

As we sat in the dimly lit waiting room this morning and I breathed him in, thought about all the experiences we’ve shared.  I kissed him, let him play with my hospital badge and we exchanged sleepy smiles as we waited.

Bathing him with antiseptic wipes in the preparation room, I committed to memory the feel of his soft skin against mine.  

I held his hand in the operating room and he looked deep into my eyes, perhaps asking me, “Mom… what is happening here?”  I held back tears just long enough to lean close, gently kiss him and say, “I love you baby.  I’m here.  I’ll be here when you wake.”  As his eyes closed, mine broke loose and I walked away pushing his empty wheelchair down the corridor and whispered…  Please keep him safe. Please let him be ok.  

Moments like these force one to be fully and completely here and now.  Raw, cracked open yet again, overflowing with emotion, I am immersed in this experience and remain grateful for the truth it reveals to me.

This journey teaches me to ride the waves of feelings like these, staying afloat even as the swells of their intensity threaten.  And with each successful glide in, I become just a little more adept at the transmuting of the hardship into wonder, suffering into beauty, the darkness into light. This path calls us to become inner alchemists in earnest, opening ourselves to worlds upon worlds of awakening as we spiral down to our core and realize… that we wouldn’t trade this complex life for any other.  

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