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Last night, at almost 10:00 PM, the squad left my house with my five-year-old (Elizabeth) and my husband.

She woke up crying/screaming/groaning, in a pool of her vomit.  She was on her side.

I was annoyed.

We were supposed to be flying out this morning to go to my brother-in-law’s funeralIt was bad enough already. A puking kid, one who wouldn’t even move out of her own pool of icky, was one more thing.

I’m not going to beat myself up publicly for that reaction, or for the fact that it was my husband’s compassion and brilliance that realized she was exhibiting stroke-like symptoms.  She couldn’t talk, stick out her tongue, move her right arm, stand properly, or move the right side of her face.  I’m not going to dwell on my failures.  I have too many.

Bob’s the one who realized that she was exhibiting stroke-like symptoms, and gave me The Look, the one that said “CALL 911 NOW!”  The squad got here (two of them, actually), and after they recommended taking her to Children’s, I started the car and started trying to find friends who could watch our two-year-old.

I wanted to be in the back of that ambulance, holding my five-year-old’s hand.  I wanted to know what was going on.  I wanted to be there.

But I couldn’t be.

I had calls to make and arrangements to make and prayers to say.

I had to be careful on the roads (though they weren’t as bad as I feared) and some crying to do before putting my brave face back on for the hospital.

I had more prayers to say.

After spending the night at Children’s Hospital, the conclusion is that maybe it was a seizure.

I’ve been waiting two hours for the doctor’s office to call me back, and isn’t blogging what you do when you can’t sleep, when you can’t get an answer, and when you’re just not sure?  🙂

The lesson, right now, is of the present moment. The decade I keep coming back to, when my tired brain and hurting head can string enough words together to pray (and when I’m not on the phone), is the Annunciation, the ongoing “Yes” that’s my model.

She wasn’t my child first, after all.  He loves her more than I ever will.  He will take care of her — always has, as a matter of fact — far better than I ever can.

But the present moment sucks, if I may say so.  Living in the now is painful and challenging and awkward.

Thank you for the outpouring of prayers on Facebook (both mine and at Lisa Hendey’s) and Twitter.  I’ll keep things posted there (and here) as I can.

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  • Holy cow! And continued prayers–for you especially now. I know the mommy button well–no one should push it, especially you, about any failings. We are driven to be everything at all times and we forget that we have partners for just that moment when we aren’t (because, you see, we really can’t be everything always–that’s God’s job)– how beautiful to have a husband that was able to carry out his role.

  • Nicole

    Sarah, I can’t how imagine how scary that was for you. Be assured of our prayers for your family!
    God Bless.

  • Ours prayers are with your family Sarah. Thank you for sharing such a scary moment in your life.

  • Beyond scary. Stepping up the prayer revs for you and yours. Peace, peace, peace. Hug ’em all!

  • Mark

    The two of you as well as Elizabeth are continuously in my prayers. DO NOT beat yourself up. All was handled as it needed to be. Your daughter is being cared for and you will know more soon. As a parent I know how scary all of this is. Allow yourself to be held up by the cloud of witnesses, visible and invisible and allow God to care for His/your precious daughter as best you can. If you need anything, please just ask.

  • Oh, Sarah. What a week. I’m not usually at a loss of words, but right now all I can say is that I’m keeping you close in my prayers.

  • Praying for your whoe family. God has His timing, which we’ll never understand, but He always has US in his hand, and Mary has her arms around us, never ceasing. God Loves you all more than any parent can love a child, and Mary knows just how much parents love their children, so you are already surrounded by far more support than we can ever give – but give we shall, and pray we shall!

    We love you all, and praying for you all, little Elizabeth, your sister in law, your family, her daughters….never ceasing.

    Much love! Many prayers!

  • Laura B

    I hope she is OK. Let us know.

  • Prayers for you and your family.

  • Oh no, Sarah. What a horribly challenging week. I am praying for her now.

  • Sarah,
    I’m praying for Elizabeth. I hope you get answers from the dr. soon. I can’t imagine how incredibly nerve wracking this week has been for you. I’m another mom who doesn’t do well in situations like that. Fortunately, I also have a husband who can be level headed when medical emergencies arise.
    Your family has had a rough week. Be assured that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Prayers without ceasing for your angel-baby and you and your family and the all involved in her care.

  • I read the first sentance like 3 times – thinking I was misunderstanding …..you all are in my prayers. I pray you feel the loving arms or our Heavenly Father surround you in this crazy and very difficult time.

  • Erin

    Oh, Sarah. I’m thinking of you and the kiddo. You were in my prayers before I read this post because of your loss this week — I’ll double up now. Hang in there. 🙁

  • Praying, praying, praying!

  • Thank you for the grace of last night – of allowing a friend to help you in a time of need…I know how hard that can be! Be assured that all of us have you, Miss Elizabeth, Bob’s family and just all of you in general in our prayers! Hugs from foggy Fresno!

  • Sarah~
    I am so sorry to hear about the trials you and your family are facing and I will offer up prayers for you ALL. I know it is no accident that your relationship with our Blessed Mother will continue to strengthen you and bring you the strength and comfort you need through Our Most Compassionate Saviour. Blessings and Prayers coming your way!!!

  • Mark

    Be at Peace, God will be handling the testing and the outcomes, the funeral and the grieving. Be you, be the good mother, wife, sister that you are as far as you can. Let Mary do the rest. All of us will have you and Elizabeth in our prayers at 3 pm.

  • Dear Sarah, your little girl is in my prayers.

  • Praying for answers and for peace of mind. Many blessings!

  • Sometimes all we can do is live in the present moment and hang on. Hang on to Jesus. Hang on to Mary. Hang on to Hope. I am praying for all of you!

  • Oh, no! I just now heard about both this and your brother-in-law’s passing. I am so very sorry to hear this news. Many, many prayers coming your way!

  • Lynn Wehner

    Sarah – So often I feel that praying for people isn’t doing enough … then God shows my heart that it’s exactly enough. Praying for you and your whole family in the midst of your turmoil. Peace will return – it sounds like the graces are already flowing in 🙂

  • Jean

    Praying for your daughter and for you, Sarah, and your family.

  • Sarah,
    There is no need to beat yourself up. You were physically and emotionally exhausted, and not responding as an alert mom, but as a groggy one. Prayers going out for your duaghter and for your family. It sounds like a double whammy for you all.
    Lean on Mary.

  • May God grant you every grace and blessing of the comfort of HIS MOST SACRED HEART as your family is torn in sorrow Sarah. May your sweet daughter find full healing and recovery…and may your sister-in-law and her children find peace and love in the arms of their family in their time of deep grief and mourning.
    And may the soul of your beloved brother-in-law, through the mercy of GOD…REST IN ETERNAL PEACE AND JOY…AMEN

  • http://www.chaliceprayer.org/add-a-request/details/196.html

    Praying for you and your family Sarah!!! Peace…..

  • Teresa Donaldson

    We are praying for you and your family. I know how scary that is. My daughter had her first seizure at age 1 and it took the life out of me I thought I had lost her. She’s had one other and now that I know how to handle it and what to do. I’m not as scared as I was that first time. Know that your not the only one to feel like you did especially dealing with a death in the family also. Take care!

  • I am sitting here weeping, and praying for you. We have an almost-3-y-o daughter with Down’s. In May, she was sick with croup for the umpteenth time, and I “knew” what she needed most was rest. I kept patting her to sleep and she kept waking back up, with that stridor breathing at every moment. FIinally I decided to leave, go where I couldn’t hear her, in the hopes that she’d settle down and sleep for real. An hour later I had that horrible mother’s instinct telling me to get my butt upstairs, and I found her barely breathing. She was in the PICU for twelve days with pneumonia. Ventilator…bipap…it was awful. So I know exactly the self-condemnation. I will keep you in my prayers.

  • Clare Krishan

    Prayers from PA also, my son ended up hospitalized for pneumonia also — I only reacted to his “cold” when my little ten year-old started talking jibberish (he was having hallucinations from the fever… ugh!) Don’t assume you were anyway different from most folks, for if this review of a recent best selling book
    from a diocesan priest in Westminster (a philosophy Prof at their seminary) – your hubby sounds like one of the exceptionally gifted persons who can save the day in “unthinkable” circumstances. My hubby (who can be immobilized by certain existential anxieties) he tells me the book is a good read. Blessings again for sharing how ‘get real’ is lived out by placing all our trust in Him! And as always a prayer of gratitude for the first responders to any crisis, for their presence of mind to be prepared for those moments the rest of us would rather not dwell upon, and the caregivers you entrust your daughter’s care to, that their professional talents serve to alleviate the malaise promptly and return her to her loving family.

  • Sarah
    I would encourage you to follow St . Padre Pio’s advice, “Pray, Hope and don’ t worry.”
    It’s all in the Good Lord’s hands!

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