by Suzanne Barta

This is a true story based on a journal entry of mine, which was inspired by my handicapped daughter. It is about just one of the many trips to the hospital for surgery out of all she has had to endure. In reading, it will become clear as to why this particular surgery was the last.

So small she was. She had no understanding or knowledge whatsoever of what she was about to face. She knew Momma and Daddy was taking her for a ride in the car. Fastening her tiny body into the seat belt, I began to cry. "Daddy, Momma cry," words, she repeated until we reached our destination. It was then that my little angel realized what was ahead. I had a comprehensive understanding of all we were about to face, but in the eyes of a child, she was facing nothing less than terror. However, it is through the eyes of that child that would later show me the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. As we entered the building, the air was filled with the harsh scent of sterility, and the sound of babies crying and the sounds of mothers trying to comfort their precious little ones.

Leigha Noelle, my sweet angel, who's name ironically means "the weak ones birthday," was all but weak, as later it would be I who needed to rely on her strength to survive this. Courageously, she accepted this path to healing, Much more so than I, I think.

The pain inside her, thin and now anorexic frame, was riveting, and she had her times when she could not understand why Momma and Daddy were allowing the monsters wearing white, to enter her room with sharp objects and invasive tools. How could she possibly understand? We were allowing strangers into her room, strangers that would strap her to a bed and take her down to a cold place. They would put long needles into her tiny bruised arms and make her feel tired to only wake with this thing in her throat she couldn't take out. When she tried, they would take her hands and tie them, rendering her helpless.

A week turned into months and months, as complication after complication arose. Together we watched through the window as autumn became winter and winter became spring. Hurting terribly one night, I finally broke down. I was sobbing, as I placed my head on her bed. Crying because, ironically I know had no knowledge of where we were going, similar to that of when Leigha was put into the car that day, and hadn't a clue.

Overcome by warmth suddenly, my daughter's hand rested on my head. "Momma, look! Don't cry!" "Can you see?" I replied, "See what, honey?" "Look, look!" She said with such excitement, and her excitement turned to frustration, as she was now impatient with me. Looking upward and pointing toward the ceiling she said, "Momma, it is Jesus!" She began to nod her head, as if to say yes. "Momma, Jesus is telling me it will be okay!" "See?"

We left the hospital 3 days later, after four months. We fastened Leigha in the car. Daddy and I were able to disclose our destination, "Baby, we are going home!"

To share parenting tips or submit questions fill out our Contact Form. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.