Friday, February 3, 2012

441 Days - And God Said... "Your Lawyer Called"

The moment right as the anesthesia kicks in and your eyes begin to close is exactly what I imagine death to be like. It’s not glorious. There are no angels standing at your bedside; no light warmly welcoming you onward. It is simply the feeling of sleepiness and then, of abrupt darkness. It’s pretty much exactly what the last episode of “The Sopranos” was like. One second you’re hearing voices or listening to Journey or staring up at the mismatched drop ceiling tiles and the next, you’re not. You’re not doing anything. You’re nothing more than gone and in the eyes of most, a memory, albeit a recent one.

Yeah, I’m Catholic, and yeah, I intend on staying that way, though some days I’m not sure why. I know I’m supposed to believe in The Higher Power and I truly do believe God exists, but I don’t know if I believe that there is a St. Peter guarding the gates to heaven or that Noah took all the animals on his ark, two by two, yada yada. I’m more of a realist now than I’ve ever been and some of those Biblical stories, while lesson-teaching and good spirited overall, just don’t add up. For me, that is. You do what you want and believe what you’d like to; I’m not passing judgment (see, that’s from the Bible!) but the Old Testament alone is a bit dodgy in most places and I don’t buy it. Stone me now if you must. I’m sure it won’t be the last time. I’ve got more punishments than that coming… I’m sure of it.

However, as I said, I genuinely do believe in God. I’ll even swear to having seen miracles happen right before my very eyes – things that were more than coincidence and that directly involved the church, like, taking what I didn’t know would be my last confession at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City then walking back to my hotel and being handed a note from the front desk that read “your lawyer called – your divorce has been finalized,” or standing at my 16 week old son’s bedside after he suffered a series of seizures and had been comatose for 5 straight hours; holding hands with my mother, father, husband, and  mother-in-law, and watching (as the local Catholic Priest entered our circle, took our hands and started to pray) my son’s eyes pop open wide and stare at this stranger. My little baby stared directly into the eyes of this man of the cloth. He never looked around to see who else was there, he simply watched as the prayers rolled from this stranger’s lips. We all knew what had happened. We looked at one another and didn’t need to say a word. We watched and we knew, and we will never forget the feeling inside of us.

I hope that when my husband’s father died this past October, he felt as if his anesthesia had kicked in and that he thought in his heart he’d wake up very soon. I hope that he didn’t feel pain, and that for a split second at least he was aware of his surroundings as I was yesterday when they put me to sleep. I hope that maybe he tricked himself into thinking that he was just having some small procedure, and that everything was going to be just fine soon enough, and that he’d watch his grandchildren grow up and that all of his family had finally come to visit for no other reason that to show him he was loved. I hope that God’s miracle that day was nothing more than that to him, because I think that anything more would have seemed a bit dodgy.

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