Already my mind had jumped. Would Debbie be awake and crying, it was 10:30 at night, past her usual hungry time. Had she awakened Janet? Had she needed the substitute bottle I’d left? Oh, please – no extra trouble for Janet. Was Tanyalee upset that I had been gone so long? Did she go to sleep without me there? Had Sean settled down easily? He could be so active. I smiled even as I worried.
My thoughts jumped again. Tomorrow – what to do? how to manage the children and healing times too? Should I “sneak” them back into Dave’s hospital room like today. The nurses had so obviously turned their heads, with grins trailing behind. I couldn’t manage the three and do healing too. I’d need to make several trips, one with the children because I knew that was healing to Dave, and one or two to put my hands on him. Please God, help me. In between, I needed some time with the kids; it was nearly as hard on them as on Dave. And work out the nursing schedule. Debbie might take one bottle, but neither of us needed her to take two. I was too tired to think.
Across this bridge, make a left, remember the turn by the convenience store, can’t afford to get lost. There, I was home – Janet’s that is.
Debbie hadn’t awakened. I didn’t need to go through the night engorged and uncomfortable. Janet was awake and listening to the monitor that relayed sounds from the basement bedroom. Not only was this woman equipped with love and experience, but with a baby monitor. I didn’t even have one of those. Thank you, Rev. Catherine, for thinking of this couple.
I fell into bed beside Tanyalee. Sean the wiggle worm was in the twin bed nearby, and Debbie in her car bed slept with a full tummy of milk and love. I doubt I had a thought left in my brain.
Second trip to the hospital the next day, children playing with Janet, I prayed aloud with Dave and put my hands on him for healing. The pain was still considerable, though the doctor’s report had been encouraging, despite the fact that his name was Dr. Cutter.
Hugging my husband gently, I asked him how last night had been.
“Every time you or Bill put your hands on me, I go into this sort of web… cocoon maybe… hard to describe… like very soft and warm, really peaceful. I feel heat from your hands. I’m fading into the cocoon … can’t talk, just take it in. I love you…” His eyes had been closed through most of the murmured answered. He again appeared very peaceful, not breathing like he does when he sleeps, but very slowly, body relaxing. With my hands on Dave, I felt a peace that truly dives below words into pure vastness. Thoughts were mostly suspended, not by my will, but by default.
Bill had explained yesterday that I would know when the healing session was finished if my hands either evened up in energy (if one had been cool and one hot), or if my hands cooled off, or if I stopped feeling the tingling. He instructed me to stay with the healing beyond the first change, to see if there would be another surge of energy. If I felt no further increase, I would know that my part in his healing was finished for that session. If not, I was to continue until the fade-out.
After a surge or two, I was amazed at how clearly my hands let me know, “all for now.” Dave, again, and each time thereafter, puckered his lips for a kiss, but otherwise remained in a trance-like rest.
Each time I returned to do more healing, Dave said, “The pain is better. Still there, but better. The swelling is going down, I think. But the most amazing thing is that state of no-thought, no-anything, just this sense of being wrapped in strands of love. Like a cocoon, safe and protected. I just want to stay there. There’s no fear, no panic then.”
A slight panic ripped through my thoughts. “You do want to come back to us, don’t you?” I asked thinking of near-death experiences we had read about.
“Oh yes, I don’t mean I’m having some sort of near-death experience. It’s more like a near-God experience. Does that sound crazy?”
“No, Love, it doesn’t.”
By the afternoon of the third day of hands-on-healings, Dr. Cutter, with absolutely no facial expression, commented, “Hmmm, this bed-rest is going so well I don’t believe we’ll need to operate after all. Usually in a case this severe, we need to do surgery. I’m happy to tell you that you are an exception.”
Thinking about healing on the way back to Janet’s, I knew I believed it was possible. I had always believed prayer worked; shoot, I’d always believed in weird things. What I had trouble believing was that healing could come through me. Other people – sure – Jesus – of course! Me? What was obvious about that? But I had virtually ignored my own healing… my abdomen wasn’t sore, the stitches had absorbed, and I felt amazingly good considering. Besides, I couldn’t deny the energy, the warmth, the… light… I know I really felt those. I suppose that all helped my healing too. I felt sure it had helped Dave’s. I noticed a little disappointment and impatience that even with the “sessions,” it all took time. I quickly followed this thought with a prayer of thankfulness.
The children and I stayed at Janet and Sam’s for another week. Janet served us Thanksgiving dinner amidst laughter and stories all around. The sad note was Dave’s absence; the thankful note was his continued improvement. The day before Thanksgiving, the hospital scene went like this.
“I miss not having you bring the children up here. I know the nurses can’t let us do it now that I have a roommate, but I feel like I’m missing so much. Debbie must be changing by the day. Besides I’ve been in here forever.” Tearing up, I squeezed his hand and attempted reassurance.
A knock at the door announced Dr. Cutter in white coat. After examining Dave, he said, “I have a Thanksgiving present for you. If the swelling continues to abate, you should be able to go home this weekend.” You’ll need to lie down in the car on the way home and continue lying down until all the infection is gone and all the swelling absorbed. That could take another month, but you’ll at least be going home, and without surgery.”
Dave and I both shared tears at that good news.
As our thoughts began to turn toward home, the latter healing stages, the details and the finances, Dave and I wondered aloud to each other. “Do you think the hands-on healing is the reason for the good news?”
“I’m sure of it,” answered Dave. I’ve never felt anything that loving or that powerful.
“Then why does it have to take so long,” I wondered silently.
Perhaps hearing my thought, Dave answered, “I think it takes so long because it takes so long, but at least the swelling and pain is going away without surgery, which was only a faint hope a bit ago. Besides, a lot happened here, I don’t think we can explain it in the usual ways.”
Did we think more about healing? Analyze it? Not really. I worked on Dave repeatedly until he was back teaching school several weeks later. Later, I occasionally used the hands-on technique when one of the children had a burn, virus, cough or pain. Mostly, we swung back into mega-parenting, work and managing the home-front. No time to examine what happened. We were just able to be thankful and move back into life.
Were we profoundly changed by this experience? Yes! Did we know it consciously? No, not really!