Friday when I read Elder Wickman's talk, I felt comforted and loved and grateful and strengthened yet incredibly sad at the same time. I wondered if the Lord was trying to prepare me for what is to come. Then yesterday, the attending doctor had a very serious conversation with me in which she was trying to prepare me for what may come. Essentially, she said that Dexter has not shown that he will do well if they take him off of the ventilator and that Aaron and I need to decide what we want to do if they take him off and he doesn't do well (also noting that he may surprise us and do just fine breathing on his own). Do we reintubate him to give him another chance, give him a permanent trache by cutting a hole in his chest and send him home on a ventilator, or let nature take its course? Wow, it is hard to blog about this, that's why I didn't do it yesterday.
Saturday night, Aaron and I had a very serious discussion as we were preparing to begin our fast with prayer. Like Nephi, we know "that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me if I ask not amiss; therefore, I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness." (2 Nephi 4:35) We didn't want to ask amiss, so we pondered and talked and studied scriptures before we asked for anything. As we knelt, we both felt truly submissive to God's will. We prayed that Aaron would have the guidance of the Spirit in giving Dexter another priesthood blessing. We really sought the Spirit to guide our pleas, and found ourselves asking for Dexter to be able to rest and to come home to our family soon, to somehow be aware that his family loves him. I commented to Aaron, "we should pray that fervently more often--it felt so good." Aaron and I feel so united with each other and the Lord. What a blessing! In church yesterday, I felt prompted to stand and testify that "through the Atonement of Christ the Lord," we really can become "submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." (Mosiah 3:19) I didn't really want to submit to the possiblity of Dexter's earthly life being very short; I want Dexter to just get better and grow up and play football with Xander and goof around with Elodie and be our little guy. And I haven't even put forth any effort to try and convince myself that I should be accepting and open to other possibilities. That willingness to submit has simply come as a gift from the Lord. His grace is all sufficient. I am struck by how real and powerful His Atonement is.
When Aaron and a friend from our ward gave Dexter a priesthood blessing yesterday, it was not exactly a blessing of healing. He blessed Dexter that his body would be at ease and have strength. He told Dexter that he would continue to be a blessing to our family. And he blessed him to feel the love of the Savior and his father and mother. Shortly after the simple blessing, the nurse let me hold Dexter, despite the fact that he's still intubated. I felt like Dexter was able to feel my love for him. It was a very precious hour and a half.