Kim had a lot of spiritual visitors today, to help her prepare for this evening's surgery, which was a great comfort. A Eucharistic Minister, Trudy, stopped in first thing this morning to give Kim Communion. She really lifted Kim's spirits and told us about her journey to the U.S. from Germany 54 years ago. She came over via boat, arriving into N.Y. and wept when she saw the Statue of Liberty. She said Kim was a ray of sunshine in her day...Our friends Janene and Andrea combined to bring out Father Gregory from St. Pius and Monsignor Tom from Our Mother of Sorrows...both annointed Kim and prayed with her. Monsignor Tom was especially uplifting and moving. Kim related to him how much he had helped her on Tuesday morning, when she was waiting to be readmitted and he, by chance, had caught her eye and spent some time consoling her. Later in the afternoon, a chaplain from the hospital checked in and chatted with Kim, too. She was feeling more relaxed and comfortable as the hour of surgery approached.
At one point, Kim had fallen asleep, and I read a book called 'Mother Teresa's Secret Fire'...I was re-reading an especially powerful chapter, about how Mother Teresa felt that our society does all it can to avoid pain, conflict and suffering. She said, rather than spend all of our time and energy trying to eradicate pain, the real question must become "What are we going to do with our suffering?". A nurse came in to wake Kim and we started discussing what I was reading. Kim related how she has never avoided pain and suffering, even to the point of not taking Tylenol to rid herself of the pain from a headache - her philosphy has always been to work through it and come out a stronger person. The nurse commented that in this case, Kim has turned her suffering into good for the hospital, brightening the lives of all she encounters.
The bambini's came by right after school, anxious to see their mom before she was whisked away to surgery. Tonio's teacher, Mrs. Schrantz and Autumn's teacher's mom, Patti, brought them down to the hospital. When they left, they were going to get their flu shots...Autumn's a little scared, but willing to do it for the good of her mom. Then, they will go out for a fun dinner, before heading for home, where our neighbor, Amy will take care of them for us.
Thanks for all of the warm words, wishes and prayers, that melt away the icy fingers of fear that try to creep into our lives! I'll try to get back on later to let you all know how Kimmy did...