Sunday, March 27, 2011

WW and the bug girl... When miracles happen

My brother had a very good friend when we were growing up. He had a lot of friends but this one in particular was someone whom my brother Joe adored. His name was Wayne but not unlike most of our friends, we never called him by his name but rather gave him a nickname. WW was what we called him because we all smoked a lot of pot back in the day but WW smoked it like it was his job so WW was short for Wasted Wayne.

Recently, WW passed away after a very long illness. After high school, I rarely saw him because our lives went in different directions so I never met his wife. I did send her my condolences when I heard of his passing. In talking with her on the phone, I learned that she was putting together a memorial gathering for WW and that led the conversation to the nicknames that we all had when we were kids. My brother Joe's nickname was Poge which was a Korean nickname that my uncle gave him after he returned from the war over there years ago. Mine was Speedy because I was always moving and talking. My other brother, Wild Bill gave it to me years ago based on the cartoon Speedy Gonzales.

In talking to WW's wife, I learned that her nickname was Bug Girl and it made me laugh. I asked her why and she told me that when she was a kid, she would spend hours gathering catapillars and keep them in coffee cans so she could watch them turn into butterflies and release them. She would also find eggs on milkweed plants and would watch them every day until they hatched and then collect them in her coffee cans and witness the miraculous transformation into the most beautiful butterflies she had ever seen. This is something I have never had the opportunity to witness in nature and she explained that in the transformation, there is a crysalis stage where the wings form and grow before the final stage of transformation. I was in awe and realized that although we may not witness it ourselves, miracles occur around us every minute of every day. Just because we do not bear witness to it, miracles do happen.

As most of you know, Bear and I have spent the last 25 days watching a miracle occur and some of you were not only witness to it through my Facebook and Twitter posts but actually took part in it by offering up enough prayer that God himself could not ignore the growing whispers of hope.Our daughter Jennifer was admitted to the hospital ICU after a strep infection went into pneumonia and the doctors were forced to put her on a ventilator and induce a coma so that she could breathe until the antibiotics could kick in and clear the pneumonia from her lungs. We sat in that room next to her bed day in and day out praying for a miracle while we watched her struggle to breathe. Her lifeline was a single central line in her neck that branched out to 16 I.V. lines of medication and monitors that measured her blood pressure, heart rate and finally the ventilator itself that forced air into her lungs through a tube that first went down her throat and later into a trach tube in her neck.

We faced the very real possibility that our daughter could die. Here was this woman telling me a story of how, as a young girl, she was taunted by other children because she only wanted to appreciate and witness the miracle of her butterflies, something that occurs naturally on a daily basis and we were praying along with all of our dear friends for God to show us a miracle in saving our daughter. Talking to her showed me that miracles are all around us and we have to be open to the possibilities in order to see them. We have to have faith when we find it most difficult to have faith and when all hope seems lost.

Bug Girl lost her husband after struggling to keep him alive for months but she still believes in miracles because she has witnessed them since she was a child in the transformation of her butterflies. Jennifer is not so unlike one of those butterflies in that her healing presents itself in stages. From the safe coccoon of that hospital bed surrounded by the humming of the machines that kept her alive to waking from her coma in the middle of the night and uttering the word "mom" to the long road she now faces in trying to put the pieces of her life back together.

She doesnt realize the miracle that has occured. To her, it was to go to sleep and then wake, not 25 days of worry and panic and praying. Not hundreds of friends pulling for her to survive, not her husband or parents who love her but are also somewhat angry that she didn't seek treatment earlier and take better care of herself to avoid the situation all together. (A normal part of the grieving process). To her, it is merely to wake up and realize that she cant move her legs or walk or talk or do any of the things that she took for granted before she went to sleep.

We raise our children to watch them grow and change and spread their wings and show us just how beautiful they can be when they fly. It is inevitable that they will stumble along the way but our hope is that they will find the strength to pick themselves up and move on. We can give them our love and support but that strength to pick herself up has to come from within her. Watching her now, is not unlike watching a catapillar in a coffee can struggle to transform and spread her wings and fly. She is angry and rightfully so, she is tired because her body has been through so much. She is finding it easier to curl up in that coccoon and ask for more pain meds and sleep. I cant thank all of you enough for the prayers and phone calls and emails and text messages of support but our prayer now is that our daughter can find the strength to get out of that bed and get her life back. Our prayer for her is that she will use this situation as a launching point for a better life, a more positive outlook and she will find it within herself to want it as badly as we want it for her.

A little girl, now a grown woman who has lost her husband gave me a better perspective of a very difficult situation and for that I am also grateful. I am grateful for all of you and to God for giving Jennifer a second chance for a better life. All of the pieces are there, the prayer, the love and support, the possibilities that are there on this long road that lies ahead. All she has to do is see them and put them all together and spread her wings and fly. We love you Jennifer, we are here to help you but we cant do it for you. It's time. Take that first difficult step and the one after that and before you know it, you will be on a good road. Show us how beautiful you can be and fly.

You are the view from the back of my horse, my darling girl. You have been the view for 25 days and counting. I love you and would give my life for you. You woke from that coma whispering my name and when I walked in the room, I saw a smile that I have not seen in years. I will always be there for you but all I ask for in return is to see that smile every day. Pick up the pieces, put them together and be happy.


Weekend Cowgirl said...

Oh my goodness, this moved me to tears... beautiful words of love. You are in my special prayers and I know your daughter will eventually be blessed with the strength to move forward... I will add her to our bible study prayer list for special healing blessings to your family..

Jen said...

I do understandwhat a walking miracle I am and I certainly realize how much you guys put intokeeping me alive. And ialso know how much you love me and that youd never give uptrying, and that I will forever need my mommy. I certainly hope you know id do exactly the same for you. I love you more than my.heart can handle and cant ever possibly find the words to thank you enough.

Anonymous said...