Two weeks following my mother’s death, I arrived home from work to find that our now oldest dog, Snickers, blind and deaf at nearly 16, had been startled awake by our 3 year old grandson, Warren, who was trying to pet him. This simple act of kindness garnered the boy a bite with a deep puncture wound just above his left hand.
A trip to the pediatrician and our daughter was instructed to watch the wound throughout the night and if there was any sign that the redness was advancing, that we should immediately go to the hospital emergency room. At that time, Laura and Warren were living with us. After he fell asleep that evening, exhausted, Laura and I took turns watching and checking the tiny arm through the early evening into the night, using a flashlight to check as he slept.
By about 11:00 p.m. it had gotten significantly worse. Per doctor’s orders, we woke the child, wrapped him in his favorite blanket and headed to the E.R.
After several long hours in the pediatric emergency room, (there was only one other child/patient there—why did it take so long??) Warren was tucked into a little wagon and taken up to a room. By then it was 5:30 a.m. The on-call doctor had decided that Warren had developed cellulitis and therefore needed to stay for 24 hours on an IV for intravenous antibiotics.
The nurse helped get Warren settled in his crib / cage-like bed and then another nurse came in with a computer on a cart to take further information from Laura. I stood, wearily, watching and listening to the exchange when suddenly I had a sharp, high-pitched tone in my left ear. Out of reflex I turned toward the noise which was also in the direction of Warren in his bed as he lay sleeping. As I quickly turned, in my peripheral vision I saw a shadow of a person standing by Warren’s bed, facing him. I knew instinctively that it was either my mother or Warren’s guardian angel. Although I said nothing to my daughter about the experience, I asked God for a short explanation. I would soon have my confirmation of who it was in the room that night. I left to go home for some rest.
Night came again after a long day for our daughter. A day filled with more IV fluids and antibiotics, a little boy who was starting to get bored with his crib / cage / tent bed and even more tired of the thing in his arm that they kept putting stuff in.
At about 9:30 p.m. with the T.V. turned low and Laura settled in to her chair/fold-out bed and the curtains open to the deep night sky and city lights, Warren began to speak matter-of-factly to his Mommy.
“Great Nana is sleeping. She’s with Jesus right now! She’s here right now with Jesus.”
“So, she is here in the room right now?”
“ Where is she, sweetie?”
He then pointed very specifically at the top left corner of the window, then with a sweep of his tiny arm he said,
“On the other side of the window and now by the door. I can’t hear her but I can see her.”
“You can’t hear her, baby? She doesn’t talk to you?”
“Mommy, I can’t hear her.”
Warren then proceeded to tell his Mommy that Great Nana was at Nana & Papa’s house but that we couldn’t see her until we ‘opened the door.’
A three year old had just confirmed that the shadow I saw was indeed my mother. Laura said that she probably came to be with Warren because she knew all too well just how frightening hospitals can be.
Another gift of ‘seeing’ –and childlike wonder.
Dear Heavenly Father, please grant me the wisdom and courage to ‘open the door’ —and truly SEE. Amen