My friend Linda and her children had just arrived from Virginia the day before for a five-day visit. We were looking forward to relaxing and enjoying a few day trips we had planned. We took a trip all right…straight to the ER.
Linda and I had just gotten home from a shopping trip at Trader Joe’s. We were in the kitchen packing up an afternoon snack basket to enjoy at Sharon Woods, a fantastic park, when I thought I heard someone screaming on the second floor. I turned to Linda. “Hold that thought. I think I hear someone yelling,” I said as I headed towards the staircase. “Uh oh, I heard the word ‘blood’,”I called back to Linda as I quickly ran up the steps.
When I made it to the top of the staircase, Lilly was holding little Lydia’s hand in the air; it was bound tightly in a blood-soaked towel. With her eyes the size of silver dollar pancakes, Lilly mouthed the words, “The top of her finger is gone!” Upon receiving this news, I proceeded to run up and down the steps, back and forth three times, letting anyone and everyone know, “I’m going to call 911; I need a phone!” Why I chose that moment to begin exercising up and down our thirty-two steps can only be explained by adrenaline and shock.
With a phone now in my possession I made the call. As I spoke with 911 operator, I am fairly certain they probably thought I was the patient. “I…I…need ( deep panting and breathing) need…need an ambulance.”
“Ma’am, are you okay?” the operator inquired. Silence. I was trying to breathe and had started noticing how pretty the stained-glass window in the living room really was; how the colors were all swirling together, or wait,was that the room spinning? The loud, urgent sound of the operator’s voice brought my wandering mind back to reality. “Ma’am, are you there? Are you okay? Please state the nature of your emergency,” she pleaded.
Information was exchanged and the ambulance was on its way. Lydia was relatively calm as long as she didn’t see me. She wanted a band-aid. She wanted me to fix her boo-boo. Stepping outside, onto the porch, to wait for our help, I felt myself starting to sway. A million thoughts were racing through my mind. Why was the sky moving so fast? Were the cars really upside-down? Why was my heart beating so fast and skipping to an odd beat? “Oh no,” I cried out. It was in that moment that I remembered where my help comes from, the Lord. I started to pray aloud, “God, I need you right now. Please steady my body so I can be the mother you called me to be for Lydia right now. Please comfort Lydia and the other children and bring us peace right now. We need Your help. I need Your help. I do not want to be laying on the porch when the ambulance gets here. Help me Father to be here for my daughter!” I pleaded.
Peace carried us through the hours and days that lay ahead. Through the paramedics’ questions during the ambulance drive, the sedation and surgery to reattach her finger, Phoebe crying all night long over the self-induced guilt of injuring her baby sister, and the comforting and care of Lydia and her finger.
Looking back, I can remember asking the ambulance driver if my racing, momentary-beat-skipping heart was okay. He answered with the most soothing, comforting words, “Perfectly normal Ma’am. That just makes you a good momma.”
So here we are, four months later, and the finger saga continues. Part of the finger-healing process is the “detaching phase.” This is the time when Lydia is supposed to lose her old finger that was reattached as a biological band-aid. We have lost parts of it, say, at places like Sam’s Club. Talk about your heads turning to take a peek. I tried to convince David he should have answered the concerned Sam’s employees, “Yes, it happened here, it is all your fault and we want free food for a year!” Just kidding, really I am.
Lydia is continuing to regenerate a new finger top. She loves the beach and is doing a wonderful job of mimicking the star fish. Just like the star fish when it loses an arm it grows a new one, Lydia is growing a new finger from her first knuckle up. I truly find it fascinating! Our bodies’ capabilities are amazing! The problem is that Lydia is growing her new finger a little too well. We Irwins like to succeed in all we do. So, Lydia is growing too many new cells for her skin and has a minor infection brewing.
We go to the surgeon this afternoon. As a mother,I am very nervous for my daughter, but as a daughter of God, I am at peace with the never ending finger.
Psalm 121:1-2. “I lift up my eyes to the mountains-where does my help come from? My help comes from The Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”