Right now our parish’s prayers have been with a very special family whose son was involved in a very bad car accident the first week of January this year. It was horrible, slick roads, head injuries and now not knowing if he will ever recover.
As a mom, my heart was just broken for his parents. Each day drags on, trying to see if he responds to anything, feeding tubes, trach tubes, iv’s everywhere. The mere list of terminology is so overwhelming, all the family can do is pray. And our parish has joined them in prayers. Not a day goes by someone doesn’t mention his name in the daily Mass petitions. Families have pitched in to babysit the other youngsters at home, help with homework and school lessons, make and deliver meals to them, visit the hospital, the care center. Recently we’ve had bake sales to help with the ever mounting bills. And through it all, the parents must sit and wait.
I’ve been through this myself in my family, when my brother and his wife almost lost their baby. They were five months along in pregnancy with this seventh child, when suddenly contractions began and she was coming. The doctors could not stop labor and gave her very slim chances of surviving, much less survive with no lasting disabilities.
But now at 6 years old, she is a beautiful little girl, learning how to write and do her math problems. At birth she went in an incubator for four months, wrapped in plastic wrap because even her skin had not yet developed when she was born and her eyes were not ready to open.
Our parish banded together, sending meals to them, my parents babysat the other six kids so Dad could keep working and Mom could be at the hospital as much as possible, talking with their baby girl so she would know she wasn’t alone. Meals, cleaning house, taking care of the other kids, all helped, but most of all prayer, it was prayer that lifted them up.
Now, our parish is banding together again, in such beautiful ways to help, to listen, but most importantly to pray. That is what our faith is about, a community of prayer. When kids tell me they like to pray on their own, alone, I tell them that’s all well and good, but they need their community of faith. Our prayers bonding together, helping, lifting each other, knowing we are not alone and that we are surrounded by people who care about us and want to help. That is what our faith is about, what belonging to a community is about.