The holiday season of 1977 was magical in every aspect. I was in love with my husband of two years, living in my dream home for the past year, working at a job that I loved, my life was right on track. Christmas decorating was done, shopping completed, presents wrapped and placed under our tree, and we were counting down…… not for Christmas, but for the birth of our first child. The due date had come and gone, and finally on December 22, I decided to start my maternity leave, baby or not. I was so ready to be a Mommy.
As Christmas morning dawned, so did the first twinges of labor pains. We gathered everything together and left, not for the hospital…..I had to go to my Mom and Dad’s first….it was Christmas morning after all! It was early afternoon when we finally left their house to go to the hospital. Everyone hugged, and I promised to call as soon as the baby arrived. But it was a long wait. I thought I was in “hard labor” when we arrived at the hospital, sure the baby would soon be making it’s appearance, only to find out that I was dilated 1/2 centimeter! It didn’t get any better and Christmas Day came and went. But finally at 2:20 a.m. December 26th, which was also my baby sister’s birthday, Megan Elizabeth made her way into the world. My angel……from the minute I first held her.
Before I knew it, we were celebrating her first birthday.
She was the happiest baby ever. Every time you looked at her, she was smiling. My life was complete. The next thing I knew, she turned two!
She only grew more beautiful and still kept smiling…until late March, 1980. She started getting such bad headaches and was admitted to Children’s Hospital to have the experts figure out why. At first, they could only say that maybe she was suffering from migraines, even though that was unusual for someone so young, and they sent us home. A month later, she was still having the headaches and she would thump her left eye and cry.
This is a picture of her taken around Easter.
One night at 11:00 p.m., I called her pediatrician and told her, “there is something wrong with my baby”, and she said, “that’s all I have to hear, we’re getting her back up to Children’s Hospital tomorrow”. That is when the CT Scan showed she had a brain tumor. That was in May, 1980. The tumor was on her pituitary gland and although it wasn’t malignant, there were many complications over the next several months as we found out her pituitary gland wasn’t producing any hormones. We had to give her very painful growth hormone shots every other day, in addition to a whole days schedule of medications…..but she never complained. She bounced back into being the happy, smiling little girl she was before. While she was in ICU, she told us that Jesus had come to visit her. She was only 2 1/2 then. How could you not believe that he had not?
This is our beautiful girl in August of 1980, just a few months after her surgery, still happy and still smiling!
We cherished each day as she continued to grow and get well. She soon turned 3 years old, this little angel of ours. By the following Easter, her hair had grown back and you would never guess she’d had surgery a year before. That smile was brighter than ever!
In late spring or early summer, our dear friend, Agnes Leasure, who was Megan’s babysitter, let her sit outside on the porch swing while she watched her from the window. She could see that Megan was looking up, talking to someone and as she couldn’t see anyone, she went outside to see who she was talking to. There was no one there. Agnes asked her, “Megan who were you talking to?” Megan replied, “My friend, Jesus. He’s with me all the time”. Agnes asked what they were talking about. “He was telling me about heaven. Have you been to heaven?”
On July 27th, 1981, Megan went to heaven. Suffering from complications from a virus that her body couldn’t fight off, she went into a coma. She had been in a coma for 11 days. I sat alone one night after the doctors had told us that Megan’s EEG (a test which measures electrical activity in the brain) had shown no brain activity. They would, of course, repeat this test, along with other tests, but they wanted to let us know they did not expect any change. We should expect that she was brain dead. After pleading with God to not take her from me, then threatening God if he did, Jesus came to visit me, in the form of a nameless, faceless, woman . At 2:00 in the morning… in the lobby area near the hospital chapel. This woman came in and sat down beside me and started talking. I didn’t even look at her. In fact, it made me angry that she was intruding upon my self imposed isolation, but she did not expect any conversation or compassion from me. Softly, she told me that she visited the chapel every night, to pray that God take her son home to heaven. He had to be fed through tubes, wore diapers, didn’t know her or even that he was alive and had been like that for 12 years. She wanted so badly for his soul to be released so he could be an angel in heaven, rather than have his body chained to earth, where there was no joy for him. As soon as I realized that she had just just portrayed the kind of life that I might have been threatening God for Megan to have, I looked up, but she was no where within my sight. Did I imagine her? No, I believe, as Megan did, that Jesus came to visit me that night. I ran back to the chapel, took back my threats and turned my precious Megan over to him. I know she dances with the other angels now. I hope that she dances with the son of the woman who came to me as Megan’s Jesus. Sometimes, when I’m sleeping, I can almost feel her light footsteps dancing right over my heart.
I still wake up each morning grateful for the many gifts that God has blessed me with. So if your holiday gets stressed and you wonder why we go through the glitz, the pressure, and the headaches that goes with the holidays, take a moment and think of all that you have to be grateful for and why and who we are really celebrating this Christmas season. All my love, SisterBrendy