Today was the day for Aaron’s scheduled MRI, a test being done because of a change in his seizures and the additional worry of an annoying Parkinson’s-like tremor in his right hand. Aaron, thankfully, has never minded medical tests or doctor visits of any kind, so today he woke up happy and ready to go to his appointment. Of course, we all know that these appointments are just a side trip to Aaron. The real purpose that he is going, in his mind, is our restaurant of choice for lunch, and the trip to Wal-Mart or some other fun store that also awaits. Therefore, on this day, his brain MRI was a bump in the road on his way to his true destination.
He came in my bathroom to check on my hair and make-up progress. He had showered, dressed, and enjoyed his coffee. He knew that we would leave around 10:00, so he was trying to busy himself with a movie or a game in his room……until he remembered that Mom sometimes needs hurrying, no matter how many times she says that she does NOT need another hurry-up reminder.
As he stood there watching my progress…..or lack thereof, in his opinion……I told him that if it worked out, we would get his hair cut on the way to his MRI. IF it worked out, I repeated…..and then I progressed through the usual disclaimer list. IF I could get ready in time (which he seriously doubted)…..IF Aaron was ready (and he let me know that he was!)…….IF Great Clips wasn’t crowded.
“I know, I know,” he exclaimed as he left the bathroom. But in no time at all he was back again….standing there staring at me as I fixed my face, as if his staring could or would hurry me forward.
Finally, as he turned to walk away, he said, “Tell me when you’re ready…..are you about ready?” He barely took a breath between the statement and the question. I laughed and told him, “NO! I am NOT about ready!”…..and he knew it was time to leave Mom to her face, all by herself.
Finally, I WAS ready and so out the door we went. I had checked Aaron in online and when we got there, he was taken right away to a booth. Most of the girls there know Aaron by now. He’s pretty unforgettable after one exposure, trust me. As he sat down, he immediately launched into what movie he was currently watching. Godzilla!! Loud talk ensued about giant lizards and triceratops and saving the world and wanting to know if she had watched the new Godzilla yet.
She asked Aaron if he was ready for Christmas and he loudly replied, “MOM? Are we?” And I said we were close. Then he told her that his brother and sister were coming over for Christmas. She asked if they live far away, and he said that his sister lives in Texas and…..”MOM? Where does Andrew live?” So I answered, and was aware that everyone in Great Clips was learning a lot about us. She asked him if his hair looked the way he wanted it. “MOM? Does it?” Oh dear.
And then came her innocent question. “So Aaron, what are you doing when you leave here?”
And very matter-of-factly he answered her. “I’m going to the hospital to get an MRI.”
The words seemed to hang thick in the air. He wasn’t talking Godzilla, or eating out, or shopping, or Christmas at that point. I wondered if she was sorry she had asked him this question, but how could she have known? And good old Aaron wasn’t the least bit fazed by his answer. He told her he was getting an MRI as casually as he had told her that he was watching Godzilla.
So I tried to not let my thoughts faze me, either. My thoughts were how normal Aaron made it sound that he was going to the hospital for an MRI…..how casual he seemed about it…..because he really is casual about it. He’s not worried or alarmed at all. He’s not sad or embarrassed. And I know I must not be either…..for his sake as well as my own.
Yes, I sat there wishing that Aaron could have answered her question on this day with nothing more than something normal and fun to be doing after his hair cut. I’m going to a movie……or I’m going Christmas shopping……or I’m going out with my friends. Yes, I was going to make sure that Aaron had some fun to look forward to today. But first….the MRI.
The hair dresser told Aaron she hoped it went well, and as we checked out I made a comment about how the doctor was looking to see if Aaron had a brain. Aaron laughed and everyone laughed, and we walked out the door with Aaron off on his next subject.
But on the drive to the hospital, my thoughts were back there at Great Clips and my heart was a little heavy. Then there it was……playing on our Christmas CD…..Amy Grant singing “Silent Night.” The song that somehow always reminds me of my dad and that always tugs at my heart was not the song I was sure I wanted to hear right then. I blinked back tears.
Silent Night, Holy Night
All is calm, all is bright…..
Sometimes all is not calm. Sometimes all is not bright.
Round yon virgin, mother and child.
Holy infant so tender and mild……
But I knew then, as I have been greatly reminded over the past few days, that the coming of this holy infant Jesus makes everything in my heart calm and bright. His coming makes everything right. Not easy, but right and well. Calm and bright, because of the hope that He gives.
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Peace that only Jesus can give, because He did come on that silent and holy night long ago.
And there on busy Kellogg Drive with traffic on both sides and Aaron chattering away happily beside me, I was seriously filled with peace. We still had the MRI ahead; Aaron still has his special issues; life may still seem unfair to some. But there is peace, more than I have sensed in a long time.
I see, more than I believe I ever have, what the coming of Jesus means to me personally and to this world. Peace in the midst of fear…..in the midst of pain…..in the midst of frustration. Peace that’s unexplainable except as I look at that little infant Jesus.
“Come on, Aaron!” I said as we got out of the car in the hospital parking lot. Let’s get this bump-in-the-road over with and go have some real fun!