If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most unhappy. But now Christ has truly come back from the dead, the first-fruits of those who are sleeping. I Corinthians 15:19-20
I put her down on her bed, and then they took her. My mother was with me and we were accompanying the team to the elevator. She was quiet, calm with the pacifier in her mouth and her hands stretched up. I could still feel her warm little body snuggled against my chest. I'll be here waiting for you, my love. Come back to us.
My mom was with me all the time. Marcelo arrived soon as well. That afternoon he had an important job interview. He had been unemployed for eight months and that would be a very important day. Two dear friends came to see us: Angela Leite and Elaine Cedotti. Amid the talk, we prayed. By early afternoon my mother-in-law also arrived. Everyone was tense and apprehensive.
Once she returned, I went to see her. They had done a wonderful job. The doctor warned us that soon her face would begin to swell, as they had lifted off the skin around her eyes and neck, then stretched the skin and sewn it together to cover her head. She was beginning to wake up. There were numerous wires attached to her body for several controls. She was cold, and her crib had the heater on.
Finally I got to eat, and then went home to sleep.
If we touched her, she would wake up scared, get nervous, and start to struggle. She could not open her swollen eyes, but we saw she was awake. We had to calm her until she slept. So I was afraid to touch her not to wake her, and all I could say was, all is well, soon you will feel better, you'll be well and we'll take you home. Sometimes I just touched her little hand, holding the tips of her fingers and said everything was fine, she would get better. Her music player played soft and cheerful songs, so she would feel comfortable and know we were close by.
Hold on, my love. Be strong. Courage. Soon Mom and Dad will take you home. Now just be quiet, rest; everything will be alright. You will improve. It's okay, honey.
Today, Vitoria is at home with us. During the time she lived at the hospital, we always went to see her. She was not here, but our presence in the hospital with her made her feel at home. The time at the hospital was necessary. It was a long time in treatment and preparation. But it was temporary. It was not her house and it did not make sense to make plans for there. That was the world she knew, but it was so limited. So small. A much better life was awaiting for her. Her true home was prepared to receive her.
We also have a true home. We have a father who comes to see us every day and tells us to hang in there, my son, everything is fine, one day I'll take you home. I know you can be with a little pain, but it will soon pass. I am here with you. I'll never leave you.
Flourishing because we trust that He loves us so much even when He allows us to suffer. Even situations that seem so adverse and bad for us have a purpose of love. So we are blooming along with Vitoria. Not because our life is an eternal spring where everything is beautiful and works. But because our hearts are guarded with God in his presence, and He sustains us. And because we allow Him to do His work in us, his risky surgery, we feel pain and discomfort at times. But the pain is gone and we recovered. And we know that the flowers are just the beginning. The fruits are yet to come.