Today’s entry is a risk, a conscious decision to share on a deeper topic. Vulnerable is not a word I allow in my vocabulary. Despite my trepidation I feel compelled to keep typing. A conversation with Corey is the catalyst…
I was raised with a religious foundation of trust and belief in God. I was taught to pray to God with the assurance that He heard every thought let alone spoken word. I was often intimidated by that ominous vision and secretly felt fearful that I would be judged daily for making wrong choices.
Fortunately, I was taught not only by my parents but adults that shared and lived their belief in a loving God I was too young to comprehend. As I grew older and matured I came to understand the God of my childhood was not the God I came to know as an adult. The God I became friends with loved me unconditionally. As a parent, I learned that although the kids might make a choice I feel would be a mistake I can not stop them from making it. I may not agree with it and I may not approve, but I do not love them any less for their decision. The connection was made, that is the God my mentors tried to share with me.
The choices we all make are lessons for this lifetime. We learn one of two outcomes from those choices; if it was positive we not only repeat it we can improve on it. If it’s a choice that resulted in a negative consequence, then we’ve learned NOT to repeat that choice…hopefully (some of us learn faster than others).
I was also taught that every lesson “happened for a reason”. God had a plan including the people we met throughout our lives. They were placed in our path as part of the plan. Sometimes they were there for our plan; sometimes we were introduced to them for their plan.
When times were challenging or tragic, prayer was the first recourse to remedy or weather the situation. Prior to two years ago there was no assumption, trust in God was the resolution; firm, confident, unyielding.
I remember being in the ICU surrounded by people that loved us yet feeling completely abandoned. Where was He? Why can’t I feel the trust, belief; the connection? I was numb, angry and afraid. Overwhelmed by decisions we shouldn’t be asked to make with no assurance that the outcome would be the right choice an internal wall was being constructed. A new brick stacked with each passing minute. The design did not include a door or windows. The mortar solidified my new resolve; Trust myself.
As the milestones passed, the months turned to the first year. Every minute I spent with Corey my focus was directed towards positive energy. A kiss goodnight was the last task before I would find myself in the noisiest part of the day ~ I was alone with my thoughts. The night gave me a chance to cry; an “attempt” to wash away my anger, fear, doubt and worry. I gave myself permission not to be brave or guarded. Once I released the day it was time to regroup. How was I going to get up and do it again the next day? Prayer was still not an option. I was convinced no One was listening but I put the words out there anyway hoping for answers.
Corey and I developed a bond. We would sit in silence, staring into each others eyes and could “hear” the others unspoken words. The day we learned Corey could write, my heart leapt for the first time. She could communicate. She’s no longer trapped within herself. I believe that was the real beginning.
Looking back over the last 14 months since she penned her name, her progress has been steady (accelerated in some clinical circles). Walking, talking, eating and speaking little by little there have been new accomplishments almost every day.
Each month that passes introduces deeper levels of understanding, development of physical strength and cognitive and emotional healing for both of us. To say the last several months have been challenging is truly an understatement. However, Corey reminds me on a daily basis that she is indeed advancing. Lately the display of progress is reminiscent of turbulence on an airplane as we prepare to land with no landing gear…but progress nonetheless. The stamina to stay positive and focused has been wearing thin. Everyday it’s a fight to hold onto the one bright hour when the other 23 are so dark. She and I have been working on communicating our emotions, struggles, concerns, joys and beliefs.
Corey’s communication to me has been her greatest form of progress. Her ability to share what she knows, what hurts, what excites her and what troubles her has been our most valuable gift. She has moments of clarity now and can verbalize how she has been coping with her new life. This morning she shared that she continues to get spiritual help…
The description of her first “dream” was almost a year ago. God came to her, touched her face and kissed her. After recounting the details of her dream I asked if she was told to “do something”, she stated “tell everyone”. Fear of being judged, thought of as “losing it” and doubting the validity of her “dream” I confided in close friends and family. One friend pointed out that when I told her about walking in to see Corey in the ER, I commented she was wired to machines connected to every part of her body, yet her face was perfect. “God must have kissed her, it is the only answer as to why she didn’t have one cut or scratch on her face”. Thinking of her charge to share her dream, (tell everyone) it occurred to me that our journal’s daily salutation was addressed “Hi Everyone”…the choice to publish her story was directed not suggested.
Corey’s dreams continue. She doesn’t speak of them consistently but when she does, the information and details are always the same. God comes to her when she asks Him to, when she’s hurting or afraid. He holds her face in the palm of His hand and kisses her. His voice sounds like music. Her details are simply stated, never embellished. I’ve witnessed her in His presence, her fingers move as if playing a trumpet when He speaks to her. Her eyes light up and her facial expression softens, I ask her what she’s looking at. She tells me to look at the lights. The illumination in the room hasn’t changed for me. She smiles, elated as she points, “Its Jesus”.
“What’s He doing”?
“He comes to visit me”.
There is silence as she stares at the nook in her room. Her face is relaxed and peaceful.
She breaks her gaze and looks at me. I sense it’s appropriate to ask her questions now.
What were you looking at?
What was He doing?
She lifted her right hand, reached out and placed it on my cheek. As she looked at me she moved her hand to my forehead and gently caressed my face sweeping her hand back down to my chin.
“Is that what God did”? She smiled.
Did you say anything?
“I told Him, This is not fun”
What did He say?
“This isn’t fun but keep going”.
Pointing to her right cheek, she added “He kissed me here”.
THIS ISN’T FUN BUT KEEP GOING…
Is there a reason for all this? I don’t know.
Is this part of a plan? I hope someday we’ll find out and it will make sense.
Are these dreams only for Corey? I don’t think so. The saying goes, ‘Time heals all wounds’…I’m beginning to understand that means spiritual as well.
I don’t believe that God “let’s” bad things happen…but I’ve been told He’s there to help us through them. It must be true; He comes to Corey every time she asks. He is with her so she can keep going.
Instinctually I know her dreams are messages for me too…His subtle way of handing me the sledge hammer to create a hole in that wall around my heart …guess it’s a Matter of Time for me also! xoxo