I woke up at 6, and I felt the minutes tick by slowly until 8:05 passed. I tried listening through my window for the sound of a bus. More specifically, I was listening the sound the motor driving away. I was supposed to be traveling to Yankton for a cross-country meet. For two weeks, I had mentally prepared myself. I was excited, and I was ready to race.
Two days before I was supposed to leave, my sister was admitted to the hospital. I knew she would probably have to have her gallbladder removed, but I didn’t see the surgery as being risky. The night before I was to leave, I dropped by her hospital room after starting a load of laundry.
She looked at me with wide eyes and told me that her doctors were worried about the surgery. Her pancreatitis might react badly the anesthetics, and her pancreatic enzymes were too high to guarantee a safe removal. Jazmin told me the doctors couldn’t make any promises on the outcome, and at it’s worst, it could be fatal. I sat in her room with growing panic.
The race, which had seemed so momentous to me, was suddenly very small. I pictured myself boarding a bus that would take me six hours from my baby sister. I pictured a phone call with devastating news, and it was all too much to handle.
After calling some of my closest friends for advice, I made the decision to stay behind. My night of sleep was restless for nerves of the day ahead. I knew I would probably wake up early, and I knew I would face the desire to pack up my bags in ten minutes and run to the bus.
And I was right. I woke up 2 hours before the bus was scheduled to leave. I lay in bed, thinking about all that I would miss. Mostly, I was disappointed that I couldn’t put all of my hard work from the weeks before into one meet.
After the bus left, I decided to quit moping around. I showered, got dressed, and headed over to the hospital. When I arrived, Jazmin’s surgeon was telling her of the possible outcomes. His general pessimism for the surgery was not encouraging at all, and I was immediately glad that I could come. Being there for me sister was all I could do, but I think comfort was what she needed most.
When it was time, the nurses came to take her to surgery. My family and I all waited anxiously with news of how it went. After what seemed like an eternity, she was wheeled out of the surgery doors and back into her room.
As soon as the door opened, my heart stopped. I could hear her sobs from the hallway. They put her into her bed, and it was all she could do to lie there and cry. She was in a horrible amount of pain. The anesthesia they had given her irritated her pancreas.
In that moment, all of my regrets from missing the meet washed away from me. How could I have been so selfish? It’s times like these that I am so thankful for my Savior. I am unworthy of so many things, and yet He loves me through it all. I’m so thankful for that.
Sometimes, I feel that my faith is like this. I’m focused on all of these things that pale in comparison to what is truly important. When something serious comes up, I pop up from under the water with aching lungs. I have no idea I was holding my breath.
With Jazmin, I saw so much value. She loved and appreciated that I had made the choice to stay with her. Had I been gone, I would not have been able to comfort her. I would have run my race. I would have felt accomplished, or maybe not. My life would not have been reshaped, and I would have missed out on a hugely important moment with my sister.
Thank you, Lord. Thank you for pulling me out from under the water.