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Father Peter

Father Peter: "Are you Catholic?"

Mom: "No, Episcopalian."

Father Peter: Shrugging his shoulders and smiling. "Close enough."

God definitely has a sense of humor and pretty good timing.
For this post I will refer back to my list among lists in my little notebook that I carry with me always.

Thursday, October 26th Pre-op for Day Surgery and Craniofacial appointment-

After a long day of registering Ivey for her surgery on her cleft lip, the only surgery officially scheduled at the time, it was time for dinner. We decided to take Ivey out-on-the-town for a little surgery celebration. Remember we are early birds; it was only 5:30 pm. After little haggling over restaurants, we (Matt) suggested that we eat at Matt's favorite restaurant, Bones. Who was I to disagree? It is delicious.

Ivey loved her night out. She celebrated by sleeping through the entire dinner. Seemingly, she knew when dessert was over, she started to stir and get a little fussy. Like two polite ladies, Ivey and I excused our selves from the table to wait at the door while we left Matt with the check.

As I walked to the door of the restaurant, this is the restaurant where Matt and I normally celebrate wedding anniversaries, emotions were running pretty high due to worries of the next day. Now, if you have ever been in Bones you can envision the setting. I looked to my left and seated at a table nestled in the corner just below the bar (I know every time I think of this I hear Reese Witherspoon and her line from Sweet Home Alabama saying - "You have a baby, in a BAR." No, we did not have Ivey in a bar; however, there is a bar in the restaurant.) was a priest still in collar, and get this, he was reading a Bible. By this time it was about 7:00 pm on a Thursday night. Exactly....what are the chances?

So I looked down at Ivey and said, "Okay, maybe this is our moment."

Ever so discretely Ivey and I eased ourselves over beside the table where the priest was sitting. I am not sure that he realized that he was on call that night, but he was about to find out. I took a deep breath, swallowed tears and interrupted him from his moment of solitude. We had a very brief conversation. In a nutshell, I quickly told him that my daughter was having surgery the next day. He asked her name. He then smiled down at her and touched her on her head.

What is amazing about the first instant and moments to follow my disruption into his evening,he did not flinch. He never seemed surprised for a strange woman and baby to walk straight up to him and ask for a quick prayer with them. I think that had I been in his shoes I probably would have thrown out a "Seriously?" Not one muscle twitched though.

I guess by now you know the punch line to this crazy scenario. That is right. The top of the page here says it all. But this really struck a cord. It did not matter who was coming to him - just why.

The most amazing blessing was spoken that night.

When I looked up, Matt was standing at the doorway with the most puzzled look. Pretty much, he thought I had lost my mind. Here lately Matt has been wondering when the last straw would come crashing down to break the camel's back. He thought that moment had happened some where between the check and the door! Can you imagine what the people right above us were viewing, or thought they saw? And yes, those above us were seated at the bar. They probably thought they were hallucinating.

The next morning as we were sitting 15 minutes into a surgery staring at a doctor who was only there to put tubes into Ivey's little ears, I thought about Father Peter. The doctor had pulled us from the waiting room into this small meeting room to ask permission to perform a tracheotomy on Ivey - immediately. I listened to Dr. Herrmann explain that Ivey could not be intubated for surgery because her airway was too restricted and at that point Ivey's lip repair might not be an option. Quote, "I am not asking you to perform the tracheotomy for the surgery today. I am asking you to save her life. If she were to have just a common cold, she will not survive. IT will kill her." We were left with no option.

Father Peter had left me with an email address. So I emailed him. He has been to visit Ivey several times during her stay at Scottish Rite. He is a wonderful man.

So I leave you with this. Think about it. Was Ivey truly blessed that night?
Was it a God Moment?



Anonymous said…
Ivey wasn't the only one blessed that night; Father Peter is undoubtedly blessed to have come into contact with you and your family. Babies like Ivey never leave the people around them untouched. Good for you for going out on a limb and approaching him, Gwen!

So yeah, I'd say that was a God moment. A big one:)
JenMom said…
Gwen- I have decided it is impossible to come to your bog without crying--either from laughter, joy or tenderness. (Usually all 3 in a single post) I am sooooo glad you are writing all this down. You are such a gifted writer...which is especially amazing since yu were a Microbiology major.
What a moment. God knew it was the perfect peace you would need for what was coming next!
Jason and Tami said…
You bet it was a God moment. God is good; he sent Father Peter to you that night for a reason. I hope you all are one step closer to finding another "new normal" in your beautiful new home. We have a lot to be thankful for this week, the five of you are blessings to all of us. Sending lots of love and kisses for all,
Jason, Tami, RayAnna and Jay
im with jennifer!!! i made a big mistake checking in on yall AFTER i had put on my face!! im sure Father Peter is so thankful that God lead you to him. what a blessing for both of yall. please call me if i can do anything for you! we are praying! Keep up the fight sweet Ivey. you are a rockstar!!!
erin said…
I love this story. I love Father Peter. And, I agree with Sarah, that Ivey was not the only one blessed by the encounter. I think you both found a rare treasure in eachother! Definitely a God moment. . .
Anonymous said…
I am glad that the priest has been good to your and your family. A Priest's job should be to minister to people, regardless of religion. More people in the world need to take this priest's example.

I hope Ivey and everybody else are doing great. Take care of yourselves.
Anonymous said…
Gwen--your postings are absolutely incredible! I always read them with tears in my eyes. You are touching lives just as Ivey is. I'm glad to hear she's close to coming home. If I can ever get all 3 of my boys well at once, I want to come visit and certainly relieve you. We love you all and we're thinking of you constantly. Cherish these GOD moments, how precious!!! love
Barbie said…
It seems as though little Ivey's life has had many God moments. His hand is upon her that seems clear! Praying for you to go home soon with a healthy precious Ivey and for a blessed Holiday!
ABSOLUTELY!! Ivey was blessed, but wasn't that appropriate since Ivey has been blessing so many of us since she arrived!! Gwen, thank you again for sharing so much! We love y'all and cannot wait for y'all to get back home!! Love y'all- S, K & B
Anonymous said…
Gwen, you don't know me, but I'm a friend of Trista Edge. My son was in the NICU at Scottish Rite and she and Kristy came to visit Grant and I the same day that Ivey had surgery. Trista gave me your number. However, I never got around to calling you while we were there, but you have been in my prayers. In a small town like Rome, I had already heard some of your story, but to read you experiences from your blog has really touched my heart. I don't think I would have had the guts to just go up to a priest at a restaurant like that. I believe your faith really shows through all of this. Thank you for sharing this with all of us!

By the way, Dr. Herrmann is Grant's ENT too. He's a great doctor!

Jessica Minton
Jennifer & Andy said…
I mean seriously!Thank you is not enough to let you know how much you have changed my life and I know so many others.I was in a walking class with Cammie the other day and we were talking about your gift for writing and how kind you are to share it with all of us.Through your journey people are CHANGING.Never forget that.God knew exactly what he was doing when he blessed you and Matt with Ivey.Stay strong. God has your back. Jennifer (& Andy).
Slim said…
Amen and Amen!

Slim & Pro
Anonymous said…
I would love to meet you Gwen. I have a foster baby in the Scottish Rite TICU. I have been praying for little Ivey and your whole family. Selena (our foster daughter) has Holoprosencephaly. She also went into the hospital for a simple cleft lip repair and that was 8 weeks ago. Selena had to have a trach as a result of her lip repair. We have completed our training and are now waiting on nursing to be approved so that we can bring her home. We were hoping to have her home before Thanksgiving, but that isn't going to happen. I believe Ivey was in room 5 a couple of weeks ago, that was right next to us in room 3. A friend of a friend passed your name along to me when she realized that her prayers for Ivey and Ivey's codition were very similar to Selena's. Please e-mail at your convienience :
erin said…
Happy Thanksgiving Gwen! I must admit I was quite convicted when I read your comment on my blog. . .

Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for the hard days. I certainly wouldn't have it any other way!!

I am hoping that you all are at home now, is that right? Either way, I hope you all have a very special day today. Take care.

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