While away these last few days, I was living precious moments with my daughters families. We shared a Father's Day celebration with our men, and ate a lot of cooked-out food! Perfect!
One afternoon, my hostess and I were talking and before we knew it, we'd each shared a few important memories. Her's was one where a student came to her at the end of the girl's senior year, to 'say goodbye.' Erinne told her, "not goodbye, it's 'I'll see you later'." The former student said she was going to study 'music therapy' and she sang "I'll Be Seeing You" to Erinne at her departure. It was a memory that my daughter holds dear.
Her relating of the story, and the words, "music therapy" led me backward in time to 1997. My Mom was in the Stony Brook University Hospital following a serious car accident. Every night when I arrived in her ICU room, and later when she was moved out of critical care to a regular room, I spent the visits singing hymns to her as I brushed her hair and braided it for the night. The singing of the old familiar worship songs calmed her spirit, and helped her settle down for the night. When she was moved to the rehabilitation department in another hospital a month later, I saw no reason to change the 'therapy' of singing hymns.
One evening, one of the nurses stood outside the door listening as I sang. She came into the room, telling me that she had enjoyed my soft voice which was so comforting. The nurse, it turned out, was very compassionate, and she was a Baptist minister's wife. She asked if I would mind going across the hall to sing to a baby in the long-term nursery. I was glad to do it.
She led me to an isolette as she introduced me to a three month old baby who suffered from multiple, serious physical problems. Her little life, for as long as it would last, would be plagued with surgeries and procedures. As I gazed at the wee thing, I was struck by her bright blue eyes and the carrot-red, downy crop of hair. Her eyes were 'shivering', unable to stay still while she looked around what she knew as her world. She didn't have many visits, not even from her mother who had four other children at home. I wondered if she was loved or if she was a burden. I asked the nurse if I could touch her, and I was shown just where I could stroke her with a gentle finger. Then the nurse busied herself in the room as I spoke softly to the frail baby. I said a silent prayer over her, and asked the Lord if He would protect her and find her just the right care so that she might live a long and healthy life.
And then, I started to sing, and the baby turned toward me and lay very still as I softly sang to her. "Jesus loves you, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves YOU. Yes, Jesus loves YOU. Yes, Jesus loves YOU...the Bible tells me so." (changing the words from Jesus loves ME to Jesus loves YOU.") It seemed right, since perhaps she wasn't loved enough by anyone. I sang the verse again and again, and as I did, I thought, "how can she be left here, all alone, poor little thing?" and tears rolled down my face.
I thought that I would sing to baby Marissa every night for as long as Mom was in that hospital, but the next night when I went, the nurse/minister's wife told me that she'd received a 'tongue lashing' for allowing someone into the nursery 'right off the street'. She was told that I wasn't allowed to go in or to sing to the baby again. I understand the rules, and the whys of them as well, but I could not help to feel my heart sink.
There are times when someone comes into your life briefly and engraves their name or face upon your heart for life. It seems that Marissa has done just that. I don't know what ever happened to that little girl. I don't know if she ever went home, and if she did, what did she go home to? She'd be fourteen years old now, if she's been granted health and care enough to have seen that many days. I wonder.... and there are times when I wonder why I didn't ask if she was available as a foster child or an adoptive one. I wasn't in a position at that time to stop working and stay home to care for her the way she would need to be, but I sure could love her!
I don't know why I was introduced to Marissa...or why she was taken from my life as fast as she came into it. All I can do is pray for the precious red haired child with the bright blue eyes and to know that I placed her into the hands of God. We had a short meeting, a serendipitous one... one of my most Precious Moments.