Today I am thinking a lot about one of the the last baths we gave Henryk while he was alive. It was Christmas and my parents were here for the holiday. Henryk hadn’t had a bath for a while because he was so frail we didn’t quite know how to get him into the baby bath tub. So we waited for my mom, the ever-present help that she is, and thought about how to do it. Henryk so loved baths we wanted to figure something out.
We put the space heater in our room to make it really toasty. Since the tub didn’t work we put a waterproof mat on our bed and a towel over that. We laid Henryk on the towel and gave him a sponge bath. What a sweet scene it was: Michael, my mom, and me all bending over him. I will never forget the sweet look on his face as I gently washed him with a baby wash cloth. How his mouth opened so sweetly in relaxation. How he took such deep breaths. My mom rubbed his head. Michael whispered to him. I used baby lotion and massaged his little legs and feet, his little chest and back, his arms and hands, and then picked him up and hugged him so close.
We are keeping life small these days. Only seeing a few people, going a few places, and honestly, only doing a few things. It seems to be the best way for now. For me, some times are ok and others are so sad I can’t even move. There are times when I can view the whole situation and carry it through. For example, Henryk was very sick, we tried some things that didn’t work like we hoped they would, he died, but now he is in heaven. Carrying it through to his presence in heaven is helpful. But some days, I just get stuck at him dying. I have trouble carrying it through. I know that he is in heaven but I can’t carry myself all the way through to that and I get stuck at he died. He died, he died, he died.
Really feeling and living that we are not above or bigger than death is requiring a fuller, broader, deeper view of God. I find myself going back over all the truths I know about God and seeing them in light of reality of death and suffering. It leaves me in a state of disbelief (not unbelief, but disbelief). I can’t believe our souls actually separate from our bodies. What does that feel like? And heaven really does exist. And God really does have the capacity to have an intimate relationship with each person even though there are millions of people.
I just read in a book that the word courage is derived from the French word for heart, which is couer. Your courage grows for those things which impact your heart. May our courage grow to handle the things that come in life.