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Upon Their Hands They Will Carry you
Page 49


Is An Ironed Shirt All That Important?

The small bikini cut the surgeon made to deliver my third child was astonishing to me.

"No pain!" I was incredulous when it was time to get to my feet. I was in disbelief. There was no joy equal to this freedom from pain.

Life had been a gift delivered to me by a surgeon’s hand. Through the valley of the shadow of death I had traveled to this side where life and living was promised to me.

The hospital room where I waited to recover had a window showing me a flat roof covered with black tar where there was a lower tier of the building. Workers were riveting new steel girders together for an extension to the hospital. The sound went on and on only to stop late that evening. The peace and quiet didn’t last long because a wide, heavy rope they left hanging from a crane banged, banged, banged on my window all night long. After the third day of this my nerves began to crumble.

That trauma experienced with my second child suddenly was upon me. My body shook uncontrollably as one would do in what is called shell shock. Everything I tried to gain control did not work.

Finally, with reluctance, I called the nurses. They were beside me in an instant, in force. When I told them about losing control of my body they were all three of them getting me to my feet which seemed to give me partial stability but now there came the vomiting.

"I’m so nauseated." I complained. "So sorry to be such a baby."

The nurses had me in the bathroom and with wet cold wash clothes on my face, hot towels on my back the shaking and vomiting soon subsided.

"That rope banging on my window is what has undone me."

The nurses looked up toward the window. "Don’t worry about it, we’ll get in touch with your physician’s assistant and get you something so you can sleep. You will be all right.

Sunlight was shining brightly through that same window which had been such a torture to me the night before and I noticed the rope was gone. It was Sunday, the workers were not there so the riveting noise was gone. The sky was bright and clear and tomorrow was my check out day. All was well with me once more.

If before the feeling of blessed living came now there was even a greater thankfulness for life. The most beautiful baby girl in my arms we named Kharis, a Greek word meaning, undeserved kindness. Indeed, we were undeserving of the great energies bestowed upon us by so many learned physicians who were God fearing. They with their sacrifices of long years in schooling, some on limited budgets, so that our child and I could live gave me a humility I had never felt before. And, to think, the act of abortion, not one time was advised.

At home with nothing but goodness all about me, still my body was not coming back as I always enjoyed good health. It seemed I could only get in the shower, put my robe back on and drop onto the couch.

"I am so tired. I’ve never felt this kind of tired before. I feel I’m actually floating over the bed and never really ever relaxing down into it."

Mark was getting himself ready for school and I noticed his shirt was not ironed. Something about that hurt me more than anything else. The boy had a sad look about his eyes, too.

"I don’t think I can live with this fatigue." I told Rod.

"Don’t worry about it. There is nothing with which you need to concern yourself. Our rent is free. I’ll pick up part time work and we’ll concentrate on getting you well. You know what the doctor said, "If you can live nine months, you will live."

"I can’t stand seeing Mark go to school in rumpled shirts."

It was the one thing I loved to do, to see that he and his Dad always had nicely ironed shirts.

"Something in the dye of your shirts saps my energy so that it’s not smart to give up half a day just to iron one shirt." I voiced my frustration with this new part of my life.

"It isn’t that bad, it’s out of the dryer." Rod dismissed Mark’s less than perfect, unironed shirt.

Understanding came to me for the first time. A complete feeling of apathy was my doorstop and I knew what it was to die. There was no feelings of fear or dread. I watched the world around me with sadness it was true, but some strange unexplainable attitude came over me. It was if I had already died. Certainly nothing in my power could change things and for some reason I did not grieve. Only quiet submission rested on my soul.

"I know that’s true," I answered Rodney. "An ironed shirt isn’t all that important? Is it?"


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