Having lost my mother-in-law two days before surgery both my husband and I were numb. We were going through the motions like robots, not feeling our loss, not feeling anything.
In the pre-op waiting room, the nurse who was preparing me turned the television on and I saw something, I don't remember what, but it reminded me of my mother-in-law and I started to cry. I was mourning my mother-in-law's loss right there in the pre-op nurses’ station.
For the first time, I assumed I saw God’s plan. I believed that my mother-in-law was assigned to me as a guardian angel to carry me emotionally through the surgery and to help remove any pain, any sorrow, any fear that I felt. I believed she was acting in behalf of God for me and I felt her presence. At that moment, I felt safe.
Seeing tears and hearing of my mother-in-law's loss, the nurse tried to comfort me. She offered a reassuring hug and her condolences for my loss. But this moment was between me and God. My mother-in-law loved the Lord and I knew she was in heaven.
My daughter Christina came into the room afterword and offered comforting words. I told her that I felt my mother-in-law was looking over me, protecting me. Christina knows my faith, so she didn’t doubt that I felt I would be OK.
Then, my husband Rick came back into the room and I told him what I thought. He, being still numb from losing his mom one day and being here with me the next, it didn't register to him. He didn’t know my hidden fear which was right under the surface of my strong fearless exterior. He didn't understand because it was between me and God, as well.
Everything after that was a blur.
I remember them wheeling to me into the operating room, I remember the anesthesiologist standing over me asking me to think of someplace beautiful to which my response was "heaven", because part of me did not want to wake-up. I did not want to survive and deal with the repercussions of the aftercare conditions. Part of me wanted to unplug and die.
But my anesthesiologist his response was no we're not going to heaven yet think of a beautiful place where you want to go and when I put my mind to that focus I inhaled once twice and then I went into darkness.
Waking up after surgery caught me by surprise. For one thing I couldn't believe that I went through with it. Previously, I was on auto-pilot preparing for surgery. I had so much to do to prepare, I intentionally focused on my list of things-to-do and did not allow myself to think about the aftermath.
I don't even remember the sound of the heart monitor beeping or oxygen tanks filling, which I've heard before when I’ve had surgeries. I just remember being awake and thinking to myself, ‘I survived.’
I remember thinking that my mother-in-law watched over it all. And, I remember thanking God for not hearing my prayers “to take me to heaven.”
I remember my husband waiting for me to wake-up and when I opened my eyes he was the first person I saw.
Thank You Jesus for a second chance.