The Taylor Situation
Last night I was chatting away on Facebook and thinking about the next section of my chapter on When the Children Cry when I got a frantic call. I immediately ended my conversation and jumped into action.
I had talked to my sister earlier in the evening regarding a birthday dinner for my mom. She had called me. As soon as I answered the phone I could hear her daughter crying in the background. Crying loud. She was not a happy camper. She had a fever that was getting pretty high.
Now her daughter, Taylor, is only about one month younger than Elijah. Taylor is my sisters second child. We found out Taylor was on the way, though we didn’t know she was going to be a Taylor yet, about a week after we found out Elijah was on the way. Of course we didn’t know Elijah was going to be an Elijah yet either. I wanted John Thomas for both the apostles and the presidents. My wife wanted something else. We settled on Elijah after he was born. I still wanted to make it Elijah Thomas but my wife was afraid he’d end up being called ET.
My wife and I, as I have mentioned, were kind of surprised when we found out Elijah was on the way. The first person I wanted to tell of course was our parents. She called her mom and her aunt. I called my family. I told my dad who was pretty excited but mom was in Kentucky with her sisters. Dad said he would have her call me. When she did she was in the car with her sisters and I think they all about cried.
I let the word slip after that on Facebook when I posted for my status the song With Arms Wide Open. I didn’t know people would figure out Tracy was pregnant that way but they sure did. If you listen to the song you will figure out why. Only then did I begin to find out how many people were praying that God would give us a child. It’s good to have praying friends isn’t it? Who are praying for you even when you don’t have the courage to ask them to do so. To this day I tend to get kind of teary listening to that song. If you haven’t heard it, give it a listen. It’s a good song for fathers.
The following week we were headed out to my mom and dad’s house. We normally get the whole family together at least every two weeks for dinner and this was the normal week. At this time we did not know Taylor was on the way.
Everyone was pretty excited for us but I kept noticing my youngest niece Alexia telling everyone a secret. This was not unusual for her. She was about three. I found out that she had told everyone the secret but me. Finally my sister spilled the beans. She and her husband were expecting too! We were all really happy. We were getting our first child. My sister and her husband were getting a second child. My brother and his daughter were getting two new nieces/nephews or cousins as the case may be. Mom and Dad were getting two new grandchildren.
Elijah was born in June. There were a few complications. He was a little early for one. Taylor was born in July. They are both nearing a year and a half now. They tend to get along very well. For example Taylor likes to ride toys and Elijah likes to push them so that works out great. I have never seen them fight over toys. Recently I found Elijah trying to drink Taylor’s drink but I told him it was hers and he put it down.
Now as I said I was Facebooking when I got that frantic call. It was my sister. Taylor was having a seizure. She was asking me to pray. They were taking her to the hospital. The hospital was about half way between where I live and where they live. I told her I would meet them at the hospital. I got off Facebook after updating my status to ask everyone to pray for Taylor. Woke the wife and told her what was going on and that I was leaving. She is kind of used to me leaving suddenly because of my position as a a pastor. We had prayer.
I got in the car kind of a mess to be honest. I had been reading a lot of blogs about parents losing their children so that was in the back of my head. As a pastor I know that it’s all in God’s hands. But as a father and a man that doesn’t mean I can just lay aside my humanity and say well “Lord if it’s your will take her on home.” Well I can say it but that does not mean it’s what I want. Like all parents we want our children, and our nieces for the matter, to live long happy lives.
I started to pray again. I started to calm down some, not that I was hysterical. As I was praying the pastor part of me took over more and more, the Christian part really that says that God really is in control. I started to worry less about how I felt and more about how her mom and dad and sister must feel. I began to frame the words I might need to use with them to help them calm down. I imagined how I would comfort her sister about Taylor’s seizure, reminding her that Taylor was in God’s hands and his hands are pretty big. He can take care of her.
I got a text from my my cousin. Her daughter had seen my Facebook status and called to check up. In fact, only minutes after my Facebook update people were saying they were praying. Some of them I have never even met in person. They are just “Facebook” friends. But Facebook friends can be good friends too and they were. Thank you God for giving me friends who know the worth of prayer!
I couldn’t text my cousin back. I was driving down the highway, maybe a little faster than I should have been but what can I say. I told her Taylor had been running a fever. She said that was good which left me a little confused. But as I said her daughter is a nurse and had told her that a lot of seizures can be brought on by a continued high fever. In fact that ones that are caused by the fever are a lot less serious than the ones not related to a seizure. I gathered that though seizures are not good Taylor had probably had the good kind. If you can call one the good kind. Those of you who are in the medical field or have had the same problem probably knew this. Us newer parents are still learning a lot!
By the time I got to the hospital I was calmed down completely. My faith was restored. God was in control. He was going to do it his way. My job was to trust him. That did not mean he had to do it the way I wanted or her parents wanted. We cannot force God to do something just by praying. If we could no one would ever get sick or would ever die. But I had peace that everything was going to work out okay. In fact by the time mom and dad went back to see her she was sitting up and smiling.
After a few hours at the hospital it seems I was right. There were some rough moments. Babies in particular don’t like the poking and prodding they do in the hospital and they aren’t shy about sharing their feelings. But in the early hours of the morning they let me go back to see her. There she was with same expression she almost always gives me. Taylor can be very shy of me but she always gives me good smiles. I think she just likes to play hard to get with me. Not long after she was on her way home. Diagnosis, seizure brought on by fever. Fever brought on by ear infection and teething.
It was good news. But it didn’t erase those memories of a few worried, frantic moments. And if I felt this way I cannot imagine how my sister and her husband felt. And if we feel this way when our child suffers, how must God feel every day. He has children all over the world. Every moment one of them is sick. Every moment one of them is suffering or even dying.