About 2 years ago I was working in a local CCU in Baltimore. This was a very dark time in my life. My 23-year marriage had broken up over a cheating husband. I had moved back to Baltimore with my parents for a while. My 2 daughters felt displaced and broken also. We were a very close family...and this had taken a devastating toll on all of us. I had to pull my youngest daughter out of college in WVA, due to months of vomiting and diarrhea. I moved her in with her sister in Harrisburg. She became weak and withdrawn. My oldest daughter was living and working in Harrisburg, PA. She was also going to college part-time. She had become angry and solemn.
Both their personalities had taken drastic turns. Before, they were both so optimistic and happy. They were adventurous and outgoing...and couldn't wait to get out on their own and start living life as an independent young woman.
I was visiting them one weekend in Harrisburg. I would cook for them, and clean and do laundry, trying to restore some sort of normal family life in this time of uncertainty. Something felt very wrong that weekend though. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I felt it so deep in my soul that I couldn't ignore it.
I kept questioning both of them with no clear answers. The really strange thing was that both my daughters and I were never modest around each other. We always would try on clothes, go in an out of the bathrooms when we were showering or undressed.
Now, my oldest daughter would lock the bathroom door, wear long pants and long sleeves and never allow me to see any part of her body uncovered. I told her of my feelings. She tried to reassure me, but I wasn't buying it. Ever since she was a little girl, whenever she saw someone sad or hurt...she had this thing she would do.
She would say, "It'll be Alright"..."It'll be Alright".
She would say it in her PA Dutch accent, drawing out the words slow and reassuring. She carried that saying all through her childhood, through her teens and now into being a young adult.
I was working one weekend. It was my third 7p-7a shift in a Baltimore CCU. I was weary and worried. I remember praying for my girls on the way to work. Right before I had pulled into the parking lot, my oldest daughter called me crying.
She had admitted she starting "cutting herself" out of despair. She was cutting her upper arms and thighs in the bathtub, whenever the pain in her heart had become too great to bare. She told me that she confided in a friend of hers and that she was helping her and was going to take her to a counselor tomorrow. She assured me she would be okay, but my heart was broken that I couldn't go to her.
I went into work. I had the same patients for the 3 nights I worked. Two were recovering and were able to talk and communicate well. They were stable and on their way out of the CCU within the next couple of days. My third patient was an elderly woman who had a CVA. She was weaned off the ventilator a few days earlier but was aphasic and nearly catatonic. She barely responded to any stimuli with no visual tracking. Still, I always talked with her when in the room. I would try and evaluate her VS's hourly for S&S of increased pain, suctioning needs, etc. since she was unable to verbalize her needs. About 2 am I was in her room.
The television was on...and one of those "Birthing Baby" shows was on. A woman had just had her second daughter and I was talking with my patient telling her I had 2 daughters. Off course she just stared into space, but I continued to talk, telling her about my girls. I was telling her how sad they were lately. I walked over to her bed and was brushing her hair out of her face. I looked in her face and for a second something was strange. Her eyes moved to the right, tracking mine.
She opened her mouth and said, "It'll be Alright, It'll be Alright."
It was my Daughter's slow drawn PA Dutch accent. She smiled and looked into my eyes. I can't remember what I had in my hands, but I dropped it. My knees buckled, I laid my head in my hands on the side of her bed and sobbed.
Every emotion I was storing up over the past months was released. I knew it was an angel speaking through her. I cried out to God, "I have to give this all to you now because I can't do it alone anymore."
It was instant. I felt a calm I had not felt in months. I found solace in those gentle words, and I knew it was the hand of our Lord that wrapped me in his loving arms and filled my heart with strength and comfort.
It was a long difficult road, but we are all doing wonderfully now. But after that night, no matter, whatever happens, I know that with God's love, "It'll be Alright."