I have been thinking of you all today and pray this finds you well. It has been a week.
All of a sudden, as the saying goes, I realized that I am really lucky. Blessed some would say but I’ll go for lucky right now. Why? Why? I hear you ask… because I have had the experience of the presence of God with me in ways that are completely real.
Betsy was having surgery on her strabismus when she was 11 months old. We found a wonderful, wonderful doctor named Elizabeth Sowa. We had taken Betsy in and she said, “Well you are just a darling beauty of a little girl, lets get those eyes so they work together.”. And she tickled Betsy’s toes. I said, “Ok, You can do the surgery on my daughter.”
As the time came for the surgery we could either come in the morning it was done or spend the night before in the hospital. We lived over an hour to the hospital and we had to be in really early so she and I spent the night. The real trick was that I couldn’t nurse Betsy after midnight and keeping her from getting upset about that might have been tricky. The crib had really high bars on the side and I had a rocking chair, thank God. Betsy got a little fussy so I took her out of the crib and rocked her… the rest of the night as I prayed and prayed and prayed.
The room we shared with a little boy whose mother gave him Dr. Pepper and he was not quiet. The little boy had his surgery the day before but was supposed to be still. They brought his breakfast and that made Betsy really hungry so I took her out. The Doctor came in to see the little boy and saw him jumping. “You can’t let him do that,” he admonished the mother, “we talked about this” . I said as I passed ‘Well, it might be the Dr. Pepper she gave him when he woke up”. The doctor glanced at me and pointed to the can by the bed.
Betsy and I found an outdoor patio and it was really peaceful out there. I just held her and walked and walked and walked and walked and talked to her and tried to distract her from wanting to nurse. We were out there for an hour.
As the time grew closer for her surgery I really got anxious. Then to my mind came this gift, Bobbie, your mom and dad are praying and they are in Virginia, your aunt and uncle in Chicago are praying, your cousins spread out all over, your church members are praying…
and as if ribboned streamers were drifting into the area from all directions, I felt overwhelmed with peace. It was like the prayers were visible. I felt them. Anxiousness left. (Add deep sigh).
I went inside and John had arrived and it was about time for her surgery. The gentle nurse came to take her and I handed her to John to hand over to the nurse. No give her back her eyes are ok I was saying in my head.
We went down to wait. Hours passed. Hours Hours Hours.. Well really it was just about one hour but time was skewed. The Doctor came out ..big smile on her face, “ It went really well. We had trouble starting an iv. but she was asleep when we were poking her for that. I am really pleased.”
We went down to the door outside recovery. We could hear her crying, well screaming, and we weren’t allowed in. Finally a nurse came out and ask for McGarey’s. They said one of you can go in and perhaps that will calm her.
John went. I waited, immediately her crying stopped.
They brought her out and though she was still some groggy she was as ready to nurse as I was to nurse her. Again we settled in the rocking chair. A few hours later the Dr. came in to check her out and we went home.
I’ve tried to share that sense of this Godly presence so many times. That real palpable feeling of peace that just rushed in and washed over me. I’m lucky. I can remember that time and the peace returns. Yes I am lucky, blessed.
Bobbie Giltz McGarey
August 17, 2018