Need I mention that this was incredibly bad timing? My parents arrived from out of state yesterday evening, here for the baptism tomorrow. The godparents are arriving this evening. Not. Good. At. All. 😦
I went back to bed, the pain increasing all the while. I woke up Father and asked him to find the oil from St. John Maximovitch to anoint me with. He did, and while he was doing it I had the thought that it wasn’t going to work. Blowing that off as a temptation, I asked St. John’s intercessions and said the Jesus Prayer to myself while curling up in tears. Father wanted to know if he needed to take me to the ER. I pictured the scenario: me in the ER being evaluated, the need for surgery, trying to figure out the logistics with a nursing baby, people from out of town, baptism scheduled for tomorrow… Lord have mercy. I said no, that it had resolved on its own previously and hopefully would do so again.
The pain was bad. I tried not to worry but couldn’t help it, nor could I help crying. The kids were up and getting dressed. I knew my parents would be coming over soon. We had tried to call them but they didn’t have cell phone reception. I thought about the very real possibility that I would be out of commission all weekend. I decided I wanted the baptism to go on as scheduled, no matter what, and said that to Father. After all, in Greece, traditionally the godparents pick the baby up and take it to the church for the baptism and the parents aren’t even there. I’d be horribly disappointed to miss it, but I didn’t want to put it off.
Today is the feast of St. Herman of Alaska. I thought about that fact and asked St. Herman for his prayers. When Father came back in the room a few minutes later I suddenly remembered something: Father’s godfather had given us a small vial with earth from St. Herman’s grave many years ago. We had asked how you used it and he told us that you mixed it with water and drank it. I remember thinking that I’d have to be pretty hard up to bring myself to drink water with dirt in it. Well, this morning I didn’t hesitate. I asked Father to bring me a cup of water with a pinch of the dirt in it. He did and I drank it. Afterward I curled up and prayed.
Even though the pain didn’t disappear immediately, I had some peace. The possibility of needing to go to the ER seemed remote. My parents arrived and they stayed in the living room, talking to the children and holding the baby. I could hear them from my bed. I noticed the pain was a little better, that it wasn’t bringing me to tears. I closed my eyes and tried not to worry about what would happen.
A little time passed, perhaps another half hour. I had dozed a bit and realized that the pain had lessened considerably. Father came in to check on me and to tell me that everyone had gone out shopping. I told him I was feeling better. Within another ten minutes I found that the pain had gone entirely. I prodded my right upper abdomen, reaching under my ribs. The spot that had been incredibly tender to touch only an hour ago was fine. I nursed the baby. Not long after that I got up and got dressed. Right now you never would have known how much pain I was in earlier.
Glory to God! Thanks to St. Herman who interceded for me!
|life of St. Herman of Alaska|
Troparion (Tone 7)
the Heavenly Kingdom;
Church in America,