Miracle of Life and Promise
When our youngest boy was four, this happened to him. Whether this was a miracle or not, you be the judge.
We had recently moved from the city to a quiet suburb with country settings. On occasional weekends, one or more of our children would stay at grandma's back in the city about an hour away. This time it was our youngest boy's turn to stay so we dropped our little Michael off at grandma's where he could play and "help" grandma and his young uncle who was a teenager at the time.
Sunday morning around 6:20 am our home phone rings. My young wife picks it up sleepily and I can hear high pitched screaming coming out of the ear-piece. My wife began to yell in order to be heard telling grandma (her mother) to stop screaming and say what was wrong.
Finally, young uncle gets on as I grab the phone and he told me the following. He got up early to get a glass of water and found little Michael already sitting on the couch but apparently asleep. When he tried to wake him, he said he looked "blue", felt cold and would not wake up.
An empty bottle of cough syrup was upside down in his lap. Michael, though warned never to touch medicine, had felt a cough coming on, found a bottle at a non baby-proofed level and had self medicated his cough with most of a six ounce bottle of prescription codeine.
Knowing that the response time for emergency services on a weekend in the city was often over an hour, I hung up the phone and called our local suburban EMT hoping that unlike the city, they would be sitting around reading the Sunday paper and they would know how to get in touch with EMT in the city quicker than I could.
I told them what I knew and the address. They told me to stay off the phone, keep the line open and they would call me. I hung up. I had already begun pleading with God uncontrollably and without any thought process. I fell (not got down) hard on my knees and said the following to God:
Not Michael, please, please not little Michael. He is such a good boy. So quiet and such a careful listener. He is the first to always help out and always chooses the hardest thing to do or carry. He is the first to laugh and doesn't like when we yell at older brother or sister and softly, patiently argues for (guess what?) UNDERSTANDING why they did what they did. Though he is extremely slow to complete things it is because he cares so much about doing things right and inevitably does a better job at tasks the rest of us breeze through haphazardly.
I remember being careful to not say I want him to live, but to live without brain damage. ("Be careful! Be exact in what you pray for." an inner thought whispered.)
I then told GOD (didn't feel like talking, I was TELLING) I would use my meager musical talents to play at services every week, volunteer where I could and take Michael, his brother and sister to church each week, get everyone baptized and bring them to religious instruction. I kept repeating this harder and harder. I couldn't see very well. The room was blurry and still dark in an eerie early Sunday-morning stillness. Ten minutes after I hung up, the phone rang.
It was a police officer. He said the following:
He and three other officers and an EMT team burst in the door and found Michael still propped up on the couch. As they stopped in front of the little guy, he suddenly convulsed and threw up gobs of red liquid. Slowly he began to wake up, though drowsy and sluggish, eyes more than half closed.
The police officer said that vomiting is not suppose to happen as codeine-based cough syrups SUPPRESS the body's functions so that normal immune reactions like vomiting poisons, diarrhea from bad food and coughing out obstructions, does not take place. They said this never happened in their experience and they don't know why Michael threw up.
They also said it was the best thing that could have happened to him and that he was already beginning to respond to stimuli. The officer also said an EMT member thought Michael was a half hour or so away from brain damage. The officer told me Michael's color was coming back. "Don't sue us, okay, if this doesn't pan out but I think you should expect a full recovery."
They said to meet them at the hospital where they were taking him, that I could help them when they pumped his stomach since about ten percent of the syrup was still in his stomach lining. My wife and I raced to the hospital and that day Michael fully recovered like they said.
Later we went to our local church and registered for baptism classes. We all joined the childrens choir. I played an instrument and my wife and the two boys sang. After a year of instruction, we were baptized, married in the church, enrolled the boys in religious instruction with a loving teacher who left her positive influence to this day, on Michael. We began extensive training to become religious teachers.
Shortly thereafter we were invited to a mission at the Church, a three night event. I didn't want to go. I had no idea what a 'mission' was except missionaries in poor countries.
"What's a mission?" Michael asked me.
"I don't really know." I honestly answered him.
"Let's go so we know and can tell people when they ASK US!" Michael countered.
Something told me to listen to this youngest child of mine and we decided to take the whole family. Something happened at that mission which I still debate with myself to this day. Something that may or not be a true miracle, yet somehow I believe that second event was somehow related to the first. I will blog that at another time. I will leave that, like this one, for you to decide if it was or was not, a miracle.