Is An Ironed Shirt All
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 surgeonís hand. Through the valley of the shadow of
death I had traveled to this side where life and living was promised to
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
didnít 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.
"Iím 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. "Donít worry about it, weíll get in touch with your
physicianís 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
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
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. Iíve
never felt this kind of tired before. I feel Iím 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
"I donít think I can live
with this fatigue." I told Rod.
"Donít worry about it.
There is nothing with which you need to concern yourself. Our rent is
free. Iíll pick up part time work and weíll concentrate on getting you
well. You know what the doctor said, "If you can live nine months, you
"I canít 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 itís not smart to give up half a day
just to iron one shirt." I voiced my frustration with this new part of
"It isnít that bad, itís
out of the dryer." Rod dismissed Markís less than perfect, unironed
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 thatís true," I
answered Rodney. "An ironed shirt isnít all that important? Is it?"