• Julee Wilson

Thousand Reasons Thursdays - Episode 12, Part 2

See these cute friends? They were our son’s first Easter gifts! One is the tiniest bunny that my mom found - because Paxton was so tiny!

And I found Eeyore in his Easter hat and basket of eggs while looking for something to get Paxton for his first Easter.

Both lived on top of his isolette in the NICU for the entire season! He loved looking at them!!

Now here is the conclusion of last week's episode and something a little extra!

The OR doors burst open and the surgeon walked over to us as he took off his surgery mask. There was a grin.

“Success! It’s all done. He’s a little trooper! They’re just cleaning him up and he will be in recovery for a little while longer. Then, he’ll be back in the NICU and you can see him. It will be a while, so you folks should go grab some dinner, and then check back with us, ok? Any questions?”

Relief washed over me like a tidal wave, and I nearly fell to ground to kiss his feet, I was so grateful.

“Thank you, thank you, Doctor!” Casey was pumping his delicate surgeon hand, and I worried that he was going to ruin it for the next baby who needed surgery! He gently pried his hand from Casey’s grip, and bid us a good evening.

The NICU was known to be one of the quietest units in the hospital. There were the sweetest signs around the unit that read Shhhh. I need quiet, please. I’m growing. With a little cartoon baby all bundled up in a crib with Z’s scrawled across the page.

As Casey and I entered the unit to check on Paxton after his surgery, there seemed to be an unusual amount of commotion going on just two isolette’s away from Paxton’s. We tried not to look or stare to give privacy, but something familiar about the mother and father caught our attention. The mother turned around and caught my eye and a look of recognition immediately warmed her face.


“Oh, my gosh, Linda? You had your baby too?”

As I was saying this, her husband John had turned around and came over to shake Casey’s hand.

John and Linda were friends from our church. While I was on bed rest, one of the other church members who had visited me mentioned that they too were having complications with their pregnancy, and Linda had been admitted for observation. Both of us being on bed rest, there was no way we could see each other or really know how the other was doing. In all the stress and confusion of Paxton’s early birth and first surgery, I had completely forgotten about the Cruz’s and their baby!

“How’s your baby?!” I inquired, not knowing what to expect.

“His name is Gabriel. He was born a few weeks early, but they say he has a rare brain disorder. They don’t think he will live very long.” She said it so matter-of-fact, it literally knocked the wind out of me. I didn’t know how to respond.

Sensing my apprehension, she continued, “We’re trying to spend as much time with him as possible because we don’t know how long we have with him. Would you like to see him?”

I was torn with wanting to check on Paxton and feeling obligated to meet Gabriel while I had the chance. I sheepishly nodded while glancing at Casey to see what he was doing. He motioned that was going to check on Paxton, as I turned to go see Gabriel.

“He’s so tiny, just like Paxton. He’s beautiful, Linda.” My mind was reeling with emotions and finding the right thing to say. How could she be so calm! Her baby is going to die. There is no hope! How is she smiling right now?!

“Thank you! Yes! He’s very sweet. We only have a short time with him, but we are so blessed to be able to see him and know him. God is so good. And Gabriel will be with him when it’s his time.” I looked at her in awe. She had such peace, such confidence - a remarkable faith…like Abraham. Would my faith be that strong if I were in her shoes?

As my husband and I celebrated Easter that year, we took the hope found in Christ’s resurrection and God’s consistent promise-keeping and rejoiced in the blessing of this little babe with whom we were blessed!

Here's wishing you all a hopeful Easter grounded in the King of Kings!

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