Last night towards the end of a very tough choir rehearsal, I was struck with the memory of what we were doing last year on that day in this week. Again, the dates are wrong because Easter moves on the calendar. But Wednesday night of Holy Week, we were driving our daughter to the emergency room in the Woodlands, to the hospital where she was born. How could we know the path we were starting on that night?
We stayed there into the night, and then went our separate ways. Travis went in the ambulance with Samantha to downtown Houston, and I went home to pump, eat, and get a couple of hours of sleep. I didn’t get the chance to sleep. Instead I got a call from Travis telling me that she was sick, really sick, and I needed to come right away. The next thing I knew, I was dumping our prescription meds and my contact solution into my purse and jumping in the car with Samantha’s godparents. Halfway to Houston, Travis called me to tell me the full story – that Samantha had stopped breathing and was now on a ventilator. Suddenly the possibility that she might die was the only thing I could think about. How did this happen?
I remember sitting in the waiting room on Maundy Thursday morning, being confused every time I’d look out the window and see that the sun was up. I hadn’t yet slept, so light made no sense to me. I was so disoriented that day. Even now, writing these words, the feeling of dizziness and horror mixed with exhaustion just pours over me.
Most days I can’t allow myself to think about the entirety of our journey. It’s too painful, too awful. I miss my daughter so much that it hurts to breathe. I’ve gotten to the point now where I can at least function throughout the day because the thoughts of her can be suppressed by my to-do list. But every once in a while, a memory surfaces that demands to be recognized. This week especially is full of them.
It’s been three years since I went to a Maundy Thursday worship service. Last year we were in the hospital, baptizing our daughter. The year before we were visiting my inlaws who rarely attend church. It’s been too long. I’m looking forward to realigning this day, this week, with the saving work of Christ. It’s because of this week that I can be certain of seeing my daughter again. This week gives me the only hope I have.