There are few things I remember happening right after surgery. The drugs were kicking in and I said things that I would never be able to recall having said. There is one thing that I do remember though…
I was being pushed down a hall of white bright lights. I couldn’t see much. Fuzzy shadows surrounded me. I felt the warm comfort of someone’s hand intertwined with mine.
Ah, a mother’s touch. There’s nothing more comforting.
I had to tell her something. There was something on my mind. I couldn’t sift through my thoughts though. I wanted to cry. I tried. I couldn’t. I felt guilty. Disappointed with myself. Then the words came to me, “Mom, I haven’t been going to church. Ever since I went to university, I haven’t been praying. I haven’t been with God. This is why this happened. It’s punishment, Mom. It’s punishment.”
Looking back on it, after so much time has passed, I realize that I was wrong. If it weren’t for God’s love, I would have never made it. Ever.
Was it wrong for me to believe that God was punishing me? Probably not. It seemed rational at that point in time. This is a struggle that many people face in light of illness, death and other complications-making the decision to push God away or pull Him closer. Most of the time, people lose their faith. I almost lost mine.
My uncle spoke to me about making God a priority in life and his words changed my perspective on everything. He said, “God does not punish. He is forgiving. God protects us from all evil. He protected you from evil.”
The world fell into place. Whatever Helga was, she was evil and by God’s protection I am alive today.
I couldn’t attend Sunday mass while I was in the hospital, but mom and dad asked people from the church to bless me. They came multiple times. They all had faith and optimism-something that I not only needed, but also wanted.
I prayed every night before bed. Every single night. Dad said his prayers. Mom said her prayers. Heck, from what I heard all of Trinidad was praying for me.
My aunt was generous enough to open her house to the public and host a mass in my name. When I saw how many people showed up, I cried. So many different personalities and strangers held hands and prayed in unison. For me. It was not only my struggle, but the struggle of my loved ones as well.
I should never have to repeat this, but there is power in prayer. I don’t care if you believe in Buddhism, Zionism, Judaism, Christianity or whatever, just know that there is always a force of greater good looking out for you.
I have a guardian angel. One that clearly loves me. Being alive still shocks me everyday. I only made it through because of God’s love.
I’m living proof that prayers work. Never push God away. When things go wrong and you need guidance, pull God closer. He will protect you.
I stop everyone who says, “Oh, you’re so lucky to be alive.” They’re wrong. I am blessed.