(When Gaining Is Losing..continued)
With the use of only one foot, you get proficient at hopping short distances when necessary. One evening as I was hoping from the kitchen sink to the couch, the song ‘Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail’ began to play in my head. At first, I chuckled, and then in an instant a long ago and buried memory came to the surface like a flood.
When I was five years old, I was running barefoot in the park, playing tag with my brother. I remember running freely one moment and then in an instant my left foot was on fire. It was such an intense feeling of fire that I stopped running, froze like a statue and screamed a scream that is reserved only for little boys and girls who are in serious danger. (Some Einstein decided it would be a good idea to take their hot coals from their BBQ pit, and to “properly” extinguish them by burying them in the sand.) I stood there frozen while my left foot was searing on somebody’s improperly disposed of hot coals.
I remember my father running to me, sweeping me off my feet, looking at my foot, placing me in his arms then darting for the car. Off to the E.R. we went.
My next clear memory is of my father carrying me out of the E.R. with my left foot wrapped with a crazy amount of cotton and white gauze. I remember my foot looking like a gigantic white Q-tip, about the size of a small basketball. When we entered the waiting room my mom laid eyes on me, and she began to sing:
“Here comes Peter Cotton Tail. Hopping down the bunny trail. Hippity Hop, Hippity Hop, Easter’s on its way.”
(Knee scooters make for great mobile benches.)
“HOLY COW!” I thought. As I was hoping back to the couch, this memory took my breath away. I shared it with my husband and said to him “Isn’t that crazy. Instead of my mom taking me into her arms, squeezing me, telling me how sorry she was and assuring me everything was going to be alright, she sang a song that felt like a taunt.” I remember feeling sad and feeling like a fool. My mom’s response to my pain was to make light, to laugh, not to give it any attention. My husband responded to me in mutual disbelief for poor parenting form.
But God. His Spirit keeps us free. God was quick to keep me from laying blame on my mom. He quickly showed me that it was this same minimizing attitude that is currently keeping her strong while battling cancer, right now. And it’s this same minimizing/overcoming attitude that kept my head above water on some of the most painful days of my life.
Who am I to judge.
“Lord have mercy on me, the sinner.”
But I am a girl who wants her healing.
At all cost. Heal me, Lord. Restore me, transform me, set me free!