Hold My Hand

Cole is having his surgery tomorrow. As I expected, I am a nervous wreck. Thankfully, I am not going to the hospital alone- Adam is taking off tomorrow to be with us.

Yesterday was the first day of VBS. I was supposed to help in the Community Corner while my older two were attending. Georgie was going to a special 3 year old VBS, held only for the 3 year olds of the people who were working that day. Cole was supposed to be in the nursery, but the little turkey would have nothing to do with them. He cried, long and loud. They tried walking with him, offering him a snack, balls, outside time... but the kid was just not having it. Finally the DRE came to get me and told me that they had someone to take my place. I agreed and mentioned that I wanted Cole blessed before his surgery. The DRE agreed and told me to make an appointment, because he might want to use the oils on him.

Before I left, I cornered Father M and asked him to bless Cole. He agreed to meet me after VBS and  give him a quick blessing.

We met in the hall of the school and right there, with Georgie holding the stroller and me holding Cole, Fr. M raised his hand to bless him. As soon as his hand was raised, Cole placed his hand against Father's, palm to palm. For a moment, I thought Cole though Father was trying to "high five" him... but he left his hand there. Gently, Father closed his fingers over Cole's hand and continued the blessing.

I heard nothing, save the part where Father M asked God to return Cole safely to his parents, because I was too busy staring at the big, weathered hand gently holding my son's.

Cole was quiet and still through the whole thing, staring intently at Father M, smiling at him. Cole is never still and doesn't like strangers- won't talk to them, won't look at them and certainly will not touch them. It was as if he felt the blessing, not just heard the words but felt it, deep down.

He removed his hand only to anoint Cole with oil ("we don't normally do this, because he is too young to have sin on his soul" to which I added, "I don't know, Father, he's pretty onery!") and then gave Cole and gentle high-five. Cole laughed and returned it with a fist-bump.

There are moments I will always remember- good and bad. This one, this blessing in the middle of the school hallway, with the light streaming in, Georgie standing wide-eyed and the priest holding my son's hand, will be forever burned in my brain. It was a small act in his day, less than five minutes of his time, but it comforted me. It reminded me that I am not alone, that people will be praying for Cole tomorrow morning and that Someone will be holding my hand (and Cole's) through the whole thing!