It was painful, and she would yell out, "No Mommy, No Mommy!"
…a 3 minute read, and a 30 second read. Enjoy!
My husband and I have 7 children. Our middle daughters are twins. They were born conjoined twins. They were born severely conjoined from the sternum to the pelvis, and they shared a leg. We were told that we would be lucky if one survived. They were born healthy, separated at 6 months old, and are now doing well in college.
Around age two, however, dozens more reconstruction surgeries awaited them: spika casts, stitches, scars, and pain. They were beautifully accepting of all their challenges. There was one surgery, however, that one of them had to go through that was particularly hard on me. This surgery involved at-home, around the clock involvement. It was painful, and she would yell out, "No Mommy, No Mommy!" I would cry and continue. The doctors could not tell me how long the process would last. It could be two weeks; it could be two months.
Finally, I reached my breaking point. With little sleep for me and with little improvement in her condition, I crumbled to the floor and cried out to Our Blessed Mother to "mother" me.
The next day I had to take my daughter to the doctor for a check-up to see how she was progressing. I took both twins with me. Afterward, we were sent to the basement to pick up some supplies for her care. In the long basement hallway, a woman and her husband walked toward us. They stopped me to talk and ask about my daughters. This was not uncommon because my daughters were delightfully happy girls even though they both only have one leg each, so they drew much attention.
This time was different, though, because the woman asked if I had the girls baptized. This was an odd question coming from a stranger. I looked and saw that she wore a Miraculous Medal, so I knew her perspective. I answered yes, and we continued to talk pleasantly. As we departed each other, I thought in my heart that they were a wonderfully nice couple, and I hoped that we would be able to meet again.
Two days later was Sunday. My husband was out of town for work. I was struggling with four young children, and we were late to church. The usher took us to one of the front pews, and I was full of embarrassment as we shuffled in late. As I collected myself and looked around, the woman from the other day was right beside me! I am not kidding. We were both shocked.
After Mass, she said that Our Lady wanted me to have something. She went to her car and took out a beautiful picture of Our Lady. In our talk in the basement the other day I had not let on to my personal struggles, and the girls looked healthy and well.
Our Blessed Mother knew our struggles though, and she reached out through this kind woman to show her maternal care for me with her picture.
It has been 17 years now, and I still have that very picture on the wall of our homeschooling room where I am reminded daily of Our Lady's mothering care.
I never saw the kind couple again. I heard they moved to some place in Arkansas, yet their thoughtfulness in relaying the message of care from Our Lady to me in the height of my struggles remains dearly with me.
E.R., Harrisburg, PA