Hell and Heaven all at once – Part 3

Continued from Part 2

Nearly three days had passed since my mum had suffered the aneurysm, and during one of our visits just like before we held my mum’s hand and touched her face and head.  We kept talking to her and amongst ourselves, and as the nurse approached us to let us know it was time to go, we kissed my mum on the forehead.  We felt we had seen one of my mum’s eyelids open if only for one split second, but we were so desperate at this stage to see her come back from the comma that none of us knew whether we had truly seen something or imagined it.  I bent down to kiss her on the forehead and as soon as I did and we told her we were leaving, she bolted right up and then went back to sleep again.  We were so thrilled, we couldn’t believe our eyes and again though we told the nurses about it, once we had walked out of the ward, we began to doubt whether we had indeed seen such improvement or it was more a case of wishful thinking.  However, the next day my older sister and I had to remain outside waiting whilst my dad, two brothers and other sister, went in.  The two of us just sat there absolutely desperate to know whether indeed her movements the day before were a sign of improvement or not.  Suddenly, one of the nurses who was on her way out as she had finished her shift, came out and smiling at us said: “she is doing really well and she is talking”.  Even now tears flood my eyes as I remember that moment of such joy and gratitude to God for bringing her back. 

The next hurdle was to face whether she could recognise us or not, whether the bleeding in her brain and the comma had left any damage.  But before we could even rejoice over the fact that she had pulled through from the comma, we were forced to get on another roller-coaster of ups and downs, highs and lows.  The next morning my sister received a phone call to let us know that the doctor thought it was the right moment to operate and insert a coil in her vein which would prevent that aneurysm from bursting again.  Though this would eliminate the main threat to my mother’s life, we were candidly told that though her life would no longer be at risk if the operation was successful, there would still be a major risk to her quality of life as her brain could reject the coil and fail which could either leave her brain-damaged or send her into another comma, or both.  Without the operation, it was a matter of time before she would die for sure, so faced with this prospect, we all went back to the hospital to sign the consent form and to be briefed by the surgeon himself about the procedure.  As she had been taken out of intensive care to the neurological building where she was to have the operation, I wondered for what seemed like hours looking for the right building.  This hospital is like a small town and unless you know your way around it, you can really be in trouble.  So I did not make it to the briefing before the surgery, but found my family outside the operating theatre just before my mum was brought in.  They explained to me that the surgeon had just shown them on the screen the images of my mother’s brain after the aneurysm and also described in detail to them what the exact procedure consisted on.  He even went as far as to show what the coil looked like, etc.  He asked them to please remain hopeful, but also very realistic as there was a strong possibility that the rod they used to access the aneurysm could find an obstacle on its way from the groin up, which would mean that they would have to abort the operation and give up, or my mum could die half way through the surgery.   We were asked to wait between 2 to 7 hours and be nearby as he would give us a call as soon as there was any news.

When I saw my mother being brought in, knowing that though she had survived against all the odds, she was yet again at huge risk of dying, the pain just magnified and there was no way to get any comfort.  We were all running on empty by this stage, and I couldn’t even pray more than a few words at a time.  Ironically, it was at that precise instant of complete and utter helplessness and agonising waiting that one could clearly see life does not make any sense unless God comes into the equation.  Her fate was not down to her physical strength, the skill of the surgeon or the hospital’s reputation.  No longer could any of my relatives hide behind such feeble delusions.  It was all in the hands of God and even the most fervent of atheists would draw the same conclusion at such a life-altering and life-defining moment.  My sister-in-law who calls herself an atheist told us that she herself prayed when their daughter had to undergo 11 hours of open heart surgery days after being born.  She surprised herself to admit such a thing to all of us, and though on many occasions she had insisted that she did not believe in God, the memory of that one moment when the life of their own flesh and blood hanged in the balance, made her confess wholeheartedly that at that moment, only ardent supplication to the God who has made everything there is, is the only thing left and worth hanging on to.  How well we would all do to live in that frame of mind when things are going well and we feel on top of the world.  Instead we become self-sufficient and we even go as far as to mock and insult the wonderful God who has rescued us or our loved us from tragedy and despair in the first place. 

I cannot prove there is a God.  I don’t even want to. I don’t even believe in Apologetics, because the God of Heaven and Earth does not need me or anyone else to come up with clever, well-construed arguments to defend His existence! How ridiculous to attempt to do such a thing!  He made the Heaven and the stars, so I know He is more than able to let the world know that He is Holy and Almighty.  He would not put such an insurmountable task and heavy yoke on His children. His spirit rests on those He wills and nothing we can say or do can ever alter that.  But the one thing that I would like to say is that when I have been faced with those moments in life when something happens that rips your heart apart, because you know the pain, uncertainty and fear of the future are undeniable, you know that after that moment nothing will ever be the same, and it will take  supernatural strength to pick yourself and others up and get on with life,  at that moment, God’s presence will be made manifest in your life, in your heart, in your spirit, and you will be given the choice to either embrace that Love or to ignore it.  If you embrace it, you will embark in the most amazing of challenges you have ever faced, a battle where you know victory is already won, but you still have to fight it every inch of the way with the pain and the fear which at times that will entail.  If you embrace that love, there will continue to be pits and valleys but the mountain peaks will appear to you more beautiful, breathtaking and glorious than ever before, and these memories will sustain you through future pain and uncertainty.  If you embrace that love, you will no longer be able to deny its power or live under the illusion that all you do is in your own strength and by your own merit.  There will be other times when you are faced with tragedy and heart-wrenching hurt and even in those moments, though you may want to reject the love of God because you feel He has let you down, you will not be able to, not really, because though you try, though you are numb and have alienated yourself from everyday life whilst healing takes place, you will not be able to deny that there is something, someone whom you cannot see,  that is sustaining you in your darkest hour.  Can I prove God exists? certainly not. Can I explain what, who He is, has been and will continue to be til the day I die? Absolutely.  

Isn’t There Someone
Another sad day, another lonely day
For all we know some people only cry
They have no good times, no poetry rhymes
They don’t know how or when or if or why
Why the goodness never stays
Or why love didn’t come again today

Isn’t there someone who knows they’re in trouble
Isn’t there someone who sees
I’ll be the someone who cares that you’re dying for love
I can be the someone that you need

I know you dream at night and lay your feelings down
And you wish your life could be more like your dreams
What a moonlit sound, your voice is not too loud
But somehow I hear it coming through to me
I pray you hang on to your dream
And I hope it gives you all the love you need
You need

Isn’t there someone who knows that you’re hurting
Is there someone to believe
Well, I’ll be the someone who cares that you’re dying for love
I can be the someone that you need

Don’t you miss love, I know I often do
That’s why I’m pulling you closer to me
But like anything you can’t see
It’s just a little harder to believe

Isn’t there someone who loves you completely
Isn’t there someone like me
Well, I’ll be the someone who cares that you’re dying for love
I can be the someone that you need
I can be the someone that you need

To be continued in Part 4

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