Sick Mary Bear
As soon as we sat down at Mass this past Sunday, Mary told me her tummy hurt. We have been potty training and she has been holding out on the bowel movements, so I chalked it up to constipation. I told her to sit down and figured it would pass. She complained again after the First Reading and this time pointed to her mouth. This was a bit more alarming as I was thinking of her really getting sick in church. I gave her one of Therese’s pacifiers (she is always trying to take them as they have the stuffed animals attached) and it seemed to relax her. She didn’t feel like she had a temperature and I was still not overly concerned. Right before communion she sat down on the ground and started crying softly. By this time, I knew I had to get her to the bathroom. We went to the restroom and she used the potty, but nothing else happened. She seemed to perk up and I was hoping maybe it was just some gas that had passed.
Sadly this was not the case. When we got home, she layed on the ground and curled into a ball. She is so pathetic when she doesn’t feel good. It breaks my heart. Now she did feel warm as well. The Mary Bear was down. I had to send Tate to grab some tylenol (couldn’t believe I didn’t have any!), so I rocked her for a bit as she lay still against me. Once we gave her some medicine we laid her down for a nap.
For the next couple of days she would complain off and on about her tummy. The puzzling thing though was she would then point to her mouth. We couldn’t exactly put our finger on what was wrong and Mary wasn’t able to articulate clearly at her young age. She wouldn’t open her mouth wide enough for me to look inside of it. I couldn’t determine if it was a run of the mill stomach virus, sore throat, or something more. When we eventually realized she had Hand, Foot and Mouth a couple days later, I was relieved at simply having a diagnosis. It was just a virus she had picked up somewhere that simply had to run it’s course.
When our kids are sick, especially the little ones that can’t speak as well, the hardest part can often be the not knowing. Once you know what you are dealing with it is much easier to have a game plan and to have at least some idea of what lays ahead. Uncertainty leaves you unsettled. Could this sickness be something worse? We have all heard too many sad stories that can keep us up at night with worry.
Not knowing the future and what it holds can be terrifying. Especially if we are dealing with a sickness or have a loved one who is. There are any number of ways that we can struggle with uncertainty though; jobs, elections, college, family struggles, finances, children, faith, health. The list is endless. Truly, we never know what even is in store for us an hour from now.
In our Gospel this weekend, Jesus tells the parable of a man whose land had produced a bountiful harvest. What does he do with all his wealth and treasure? He stores it up and figures he can live the good life for the years ahead. He can, “Rest, eat, drink, and be merry.” Unbeknownst to him though, his life was going to be demanded of him that very night. Instead of sharing his treasure with those around him and living his last day in loving service to neighbor and in thanks to God for his gifts; he thinks only of himself. We do not know what tomorrow holds, but we can live each day in service to God, with joy in our heart, and loving all we come in contact with. Jesus tells us, “Thus it will be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.” Let us store up our treasure with God!
What does remain certain? God’s love and care for us. Just as Mary laid her head on my chest and was rocked to sleep when she wasn’t feeling well, Jesus desires us to rest in his Sacred Heart. To find comfort we must draw nearer to Him. It is the the only way to go through all the uncertainties in life. To remove the worry about tomorrow, we must live today well.
Mary Bear has since recovered, thank heavens. Here is a beautiful prayer from St. Teresa of Avila.
“Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything.”