Discernment and decision
I am overwhelmed with the words of support and encouragement from you all. You have no idea. If anyone has any experience with this kind of decision by all means, drop me a line.
My mind races between alternatives, constantly evaluating and re-evaluating my motives and goals. Given how lovely and fair she looks sleeping there in no visible pain, am I being a more pious-looking version of Michael Schiavo?
I know deep down this isn't so, but that footage of Terri smiling mutely up at her mother plays over and over on my mental screen, and I get jolted with questions like, "What if we do get a superfantastic miracle?" "Doesn't God answer ALL prayers made in Jesus' name?" "Can't we just wait and see?" After all, we'd love to take her home as she is, and care for her for 80 more years.
Then reality returns, and not so gently. The tubes, wires, constant medical interventions, and the possible (probable?) internal suffering she may be undergoing on some primitive baby-sized level. The measuring of pain in these cases cannot be 100% accurate since they assess only objective facts, like heartbeat, blood pressure, sugar levels, not subjective truth, like the angst of loneliness and abandonment.
For Naomi needs what every newborn needs: her mom's arms and minute-by-minute caresses. Late last night Mariella and I had a good cry over the fact that Naomi lies alone under the numbing 24-hour light of the NICU room, surrounded not by teddy bears but the cold beeps and whirrs of life support systems. That right there has GOT to entail a level of discomfort that no machine can detect.
But the good Lord has been walking with us. Many actual graces have been given us. Just yesterday morning, I read a line from the great lay apologist Frank Sheed who said something to the effect that most people who enter the kingdom of God do so as babies. I never thought about that, but it's numerically true.
My parents arrived last night from Nova Scotia, and my only sister is coming Thursday. Tremendous consolations all.
I don't want these posts to become my personal Maudlin Hour. It's therapeutic to externalize what I'm going through, so thanks for listening.
Above all thanks for your prayers. When more dust settles, I'll circle back and post some more.