I’ve spent some time talking to Melissa (the awesome). I’ve wanted to tell her that everything with her baby is going to be okay when he’s born. But I just couldn’t do that. Why? Because I’m awesome at second guessing matters of the Spirit. For the past little bit I really thought that the reason I took everything so “okay” when we found out that Abby had Down syndrome was because I was in denial. Stupid psychology courses. Then this thing with Abby happened. It was Heavenly Father’s way of reminding me that I’m not alone. That I never have been. What got me through that first couple of weeks after Abby was born? The comfort of the Spirit and the prayers of the masses. That hospital experience was AWFUL. I hate hospitals. I hate the way they smell. I hate the way they make me feel. But more than that, and more than anything in this world, I hate when my kids are sick. I hate seeing them in pain. It tears my guts out. Just thinking about it stirs massive amounts of anxiety.
So, there I sat watching as the nurses repeatedly dug around under Abby’s skin trying to find a vein. The nurses told me that they were amazed at how calm I was. To be honest, I was too. It was because I had been praying. Praying since we got in there. It was because the VERY DAY BEFORE the members of my family had had a fast for me and for Abby. I don’t know if they got together and said, “lets have a family fast” or if they all just did it on their own because each and every one of them are that way, but I’m SO grateful for the faith of my family.
I should back up. The Price family has it’s own little website where we post stuff that is too sensitive, too vulgar and too awesome for other sites like facebook or our personal blogs. I had been really really down and when I prayed for guidance the answer that I got baffled me. It was to post what I was feeling on this site. It just seemed so weird to have a prompting to use electronic media. That’s never really happened to me before. So I did. I said everything I had been keeping in. My family is awesome. They all said the best stuff and walked me through those feelings. No one was judgmental. I love that about my family. I think we learned it from my mom. She was always good friends with the gay kids, the kids that wore dead rats around their necks to school, the druggies. They all felt like they could talk to her because she would never judge. I’m grateful for that. So, going into Abby being SO sick, my family had already been praying for me. I had already for the most part gotten past some of the bitterness and sadness I was feeling. But I also felt so much support. Heavenly Father knew I would need that going in to this short time of Abby being so sick.
The entire time Abby was in the hospital I felt the most amazing peace. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t sad. I just took things as they came. It was such a needed experience. Things just fell into place. So that when I got home I could tell Melissa that things were going to be okay. That she was going to be okay no matter what. Her little boy is going to need heart surgery a couple of days after he’s born. I could not imagine that kind of fear. But I do know that the masses are going to be praying for her. I know you don’t know her, but I hope that you’ll pray for her, too. There is a real power in prayer. There’s a power in many people raising their voices to Heaven on behalf of others. I have felt that power.
Just yesterday a friend came to me and told me that she was having a rough time. They had found a mass in her daughter’s abdomen that could be cancer. She didn’t know what to do and asked me what I do to get through though situations. This situation is MUCH tougher than what we’d been through this week, but I knew the answer was the same. They hadn’t told many people because they didn’t want people to worry. I told her that she needed to tell everyone. Ask for prayers. It helps SO much. On the Down syndrome board whenever a baby goes in for surgery, whenever a Mom is having a rough time, we ask for prayers. This site is diverse in it’s religions, but I know that we are all praying to the same loving God and I know that these prayers are heard. It’s not hard to say a prayer. I’ve said so many sitting right here at this computer. For kids I’ll probably never meet. For moms who have just lost their babies. For people going through things that they wouldn’t be able to make it through alone. I do it because I know God listens. I do it because I know that these same women have said prayers, sitting at their computers, for me. Someone they’ll probably never meet.
So, keep praying for my daughter. She needs it. Pray for Melissa. It’s easy. You can do it right now. Pray for Tiffany and her sweet daughter. Prayer doesn’t mean things won’t be hard. It doesn’t mean that everything is going to turn out the way you want. My friend Katie C. sent me this amazing quote:
“If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing, stretching far into the premortal past, and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective.
Is there not wisdom in his giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls? Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?
If all the sick for whom we pray for were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith.
If joy and peace were instantaneously given the doer of good, there could be no evil–all would do good but not because of the rightness of doing good. There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency.
Should all prayers be answered according to our desires and limited understanding, then there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or even death, and if these were not, there would also be no joy, no success, resurrection, no eternal life.”
Heavenly Father knows that we need to have the full human experience. That we need to go through the crap that we have to. I learned SO much in the 30 hours we spent at the hospital. Would it have been much easier to not have gone through it? Yes. Does it kill me a little that Abby has to be my spiritual guinea pig? It’s not fair that she had to go through so much and be so sick just so I could be reminded of Heavenly Father’s hand in my life. But I’m starting to understand more and more the feeling I had when Abby was born- that she’s here FOR us. I think about Abby already being perfect. That she’s earned her way into Heaven. She’s here to get the rest of us there with her. I think about the peace I felt, someone like me who’s so imperfect. Whose faith struggles. Then I think about the peace I felt. Then I think about how much Abby must have felt. Being perfect. Being as close as any person (I believe) can be to the Spirit. And I figure she had the same peace I felt times a million. And that makes me feel better.