28 March 2005

Easter at the doctor's office

I hate it when my children are sick.

Sure, it is inconvenient. But worse, I hate being helpless. I hate not being able to make it better.

My two littlest ones are on antibiotics. My son, at least, can tell us what is wrong: "My ear, it huwts!!" No diagnosis troubles there.

My little one, nearly seven months old, doesn't have that luxury. She spiked a fever over the weekend, the first high fever of her entire life. She was scared, she was ill. And there wasn't much I could do for her.

I hate being helpless. I gave her the medicine to lower her temperature. I dressed her in cool clothing. I held the little blast furnace to my chest to try and get her to drink and bring the fever down.

I missed Easter Mass, something I never do. It was more important to spend Sunday morning in the doctor's office, getting a diagnosis and medication. Not to mention I slept barely three hours out of the previous 27.

Her fever seems to have broken this morning, after nearly 40 hours of feeling heat just come off of her in waves. And still, there isn't much more I can do. I can medicate her, I can comfort her, I can give her liquids.

But that helpless feeling won't leave, and neither will the guilt that maybe I could do something more. If only I could think of it.

In light of the Easter celebrations, it makes me wonder what was going through Mary's mind as she saw her son on that cross. Was she trying to think of what she might do to ease His suffering? Was she wracking her brain, trying to think of what she might have done differently?

Somehow, in the sisterhood of motherhood, I have to believe that she might have. We can't help it.

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