seattlechildrens-hospital_sMy son will be turning 19 in the hospital tomorrow. He’s been sick for years with a god-forsaken disease known as ulcerative colitis. All around us are kids sicker than he is, but that’s little comfort when it’s your son who wonders: “Why me?” There are no good answers for that.

Three weeks ago he had his final surgery that was supposed to only include a week stay in the hospital. We never dreamed he would be here for his birthday, but here we are. He hasn’t been able to keep any food or drink down and has been violently throwing up every day. He’s just exhausted and frustrated. They finally figured out the intestine right after his stomach is being obstructed by his arteries in something they call SMA Syndrome. POWs also suffered from this from being malnourished by their cruel captors. The only solution was to stick a feeding tube down his throat, into his stomach, and past the constriction so they can feed him enough nourishment so that the constricted intestine inflates again.

The people here in this hospital are so kind and caring. They let me come into the operating room where the tube was to be inserted. They had to watch via live x-ray so they could see where to feed the tube. My son has a ton of anxiety over tubes getting shoved down his throat, and it was very, very difficult for him. They let me suit up in a bunny suit, shoe coverings, hat, and lead protection over my abdomen and throat. I sat next to him and held his hand. He squeezed it very tightly to try to steel himself for what was coming.

As we squeezed each other’s hands, I said a silent blessing. I didn’t address Heavenly Father because I don’t believe in an anthropomorphic god. I didn’t close it in the name of Jesus Christ because although I like the symbolism of Jesus, I don’t think he was literally deity. I didn’t do it by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood because I don’t believe in that either. I said a blessing as his father, and I asked that the surgeon would be able to place the tube quickly and easily, so that my son wouldn’t have to suffer as long.

Watching the surgeon and two nurses work with him, with the awesome technology at their disposal, was awe-inspiring. I wish I could have taken a video of the whole setup. To see the surgeon thread that tube through his nose, throat, stomach and intestine, with a live x-ray view of the whole thing, was incredible and humbling. One nurse squeezed my son’s other hand, and they all gave encouraging words to him. It wasn’t easy, but soon it was done.

They all told me it was about 30 minutes faster than it normally goes. They weren’t sure they had ever seen a faster one. I totally admit my blessing may have had nothing to do with it. On the other hand, maybe it did. But I do know I don’t need anyone’s permission or authority to bless my family. Being a father, and even just being a human, is enough for me.


A Father’s Blessing — 3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Sunday in Outer Blogness: More disaster edition! – Main Street Plaza

  2. I totally agree with your opinion of not needing any unique authority from God or this universe to utilize the blessing in our universe when asking for help. I have recently left the church and had to let my children and extended family know. Part of my letter addressed this very issue – I hop e the women take courage from this reality as they in my opinion possess enormous abilities to call upon the heavens for their children. Here is the part of my letter regarding this topic, “I believe due to my own experiences, observations and research, that the gifts of God, many of which are taught in the LDS church, exists among mankind regardless of gender, race, or age. The ability to access and utilize the laws that govern this universe is dependent on our individual and collective abilities to apply them after studying, researching and understanding such laws. There are also many examples of miraculous occurrences that appear to be the result of calling upon the heavens for assistance, sometimes referred to as “divine intervention”, as needed (prayer). Divine intervention appears to be based on, according to both scripture and my own experience, the faith of the person or collective persons involved. Like any other law of this universe, calling upon God for divine intervention is NOT restricted or magnified to any one religion,gender, race or age, but is an inherent ability and right given to all of God’s children without respect to persons.”

    I also demonstrated, stringing several Mormon doctines together, how we are all sealed and have always been. I wont include this analogy unless you want request it. Good Job as a father, I am certain your thoughts and a very loving intensity resulted in a better procedure for your son. I hope he recovers quickly.

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