It was just a normal day in the life of this young mother, twenty-seven, with five small children all under the age of four. The oldest was a little over three, the first set of twins were fourteen months old, and the newest set of twins, merely two and a half months. Her morning routine started as usual around five a.m. with coffee and getting her husband off to work. She then would sit for a little while in the still of the morning peacefulness, and sip her coffee and pray before the hustle and bustle of tending to a toddler and four babies.
The oldest was usually the first to pop out of her small twin bed which was tucked into a corner in the same room where the four cribs were neatly arranged, with colorful toys lining shelves along the walls. She was the little helper, and always by her Mommy's side to offer assistance. Next to awaken would be the fourteen month old twins who would be jumping up and down in their cribs eagerly awaiting their escape. This escape would attempt to take place without awaking the other two babies.They would then make their way to the kitchen where the oldest would entertain them while they ate their breakfast. They were a happy bunch. While they were busy and happy, the mom figured it a good time to go and get baby no. 1 and feed him his bottle then get him into his swing. Then came the shock that no mother wants to ever experience. When she went back into the room to pick up baby no.2, she noticed that he was not breathing! His limp little arm just dangled out of the side of the crib. She must of screamed something, for at that instant the oldest was quickly by her side. In her childlike honesty blurted out,"Mommy, he's dead!" In an instant, the mom swept the precious little baby into her arms and held him close to her. His limp little body was still warm, and in desperation the mom placed her mouth over his nose and mouth and blew breath into him. Several times she saw his little chest rise but knew in her heart it was already too late. Her heart sunk as she tried to no avail and he just lay lifeless in her arms as she ran with him to the other room where the phone was.
She picked up the phone and with a trembling hand dialed 911 while clinging tightly to her little baby. She quickly dialed the number of her friend who had been such a help to her and she agreed to come over immediately to care for the other children.
It seemed like an eternity waiting for the ambulance to arrive and this lonely mother just held her precious baby to herself, kissing him over and over and cried. While she waited and kissed and cried, she felt an arm around her shoulder. It was the arm of her daughter who was only three and a half. She seemed so much older at that moment....for the comfort she gave was like the comfort from an angel. It was an arm around her shoulder, that the mother would never forget.
The paramedics arrived and began all of their CPR and soon ushered the baby out to the ambulance out of the arms of the mother forever. The dear friend arrived at about the same time and graciously took over taking care of the other children. The young dad of course was phoned at work and informed and told to meet at the hospital.
There they sat in the Emergency Room waiting room, the young mom and dad, for a very long while before any one came out to tell them any news. Finally at one point a staff member came and said they were doing everything they could and for them to be patient it would just be a while longer before they could go in there. They sat and they waited and they cried and they both knew. As they sat there holding each other, they felt an arm around their shoulders......this time it was God. A true sense of peace was there.......a sadness, yes.....but a peace. A kind of peace that tells you "it's going to be alright somehow."
Soon the doctor came who had just examined the baby about a week prior and given him a good bill of health. She was obviously shaken and to tears. She had been their doctor for a few years and had grown fond of this family. Then the much anticipated moment arrived. The nurse came toward the couple, her face ashen and tear stained, and in somewhat of a timid voice proclaimed that everything possible had been done but that he had not survived. She was so sorry. These certainly were the worst words these two young people would ever hear in their lives! They did not fall apart...they stood there and hugged .... the three of them.....the young mom, the young dad, the young doctor, all three sobbing.....but through the tears the mom said,"He's with Jesus now...." Then the young dad through his tears, "we will be OK...we will see him again some day." At that moment they all three felt an arm around their shoulders. This unique moment, was interrupted by the receptionist at the desk telling the doctor that she had an emergency phone call,so of course the grieving couple excused her for a few minutes. When she returned, her face was red,and with tears streaming down her face, she explained that her husband had just committed suicide. That young mother and father instantly wrapped their arms around her shoulders and cried with her and told her they would be praying for her. God's arm was around their shoulders that morning on April 16,1987, and because it was, they in turn were able to comfort this young doctor and put their arms around her shoulders.
Several months later, the young mother received a letter from the doctor explaining that she had taken a respite from her practise after her husband's death but also wanted to thank this young couple for the love they showed her and the inspiration of courage they were to her even in their hour of grief. She needed an arm around her shoulders....and this young couple was able to give it because they had a stronger arm around their shoulders.