Monday, June 04, 2007

In The Name of the Father

Justin just read a letter to Toni that his father (her second husband--the first one went to Vietnam) wrote to her. Jim told her that he had her in his prayers and thanked her for doing such a good job raising Justin, acknowledging that he hadn't been around that much.

Then Toni said, "He has church."

"What?"

"Church?"

"Do you want church? Do you want me to baptize you?" he asked.

I grabbed his copy of Luther's Small Catechism that I had brought with me and turned to the Emergency Baptism page. All you have to say is, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." I got water in a Dixie cup from the bathroom and he used that, sprinkling it on her forehead and making a Cross as he said the words. He used a white wash cloth from the medicine shelf to dry her afterward, I confiscated that to save it.

After he said, "Amen," I offered, "Do you want to say the Lord's Prayer like we do in church?

He said OK, so Mark held Toni's left hand and Justin held her right hand while I held his hand in mine. I looked at Justin and he looked at me, so I started and he joined in as we quietly said the words and I held my voice from shaking.

They're watching Walker Texas Ranger now, while the others hang out in the kitchen and I write this on Mark's dial-up internet connection. It's fine. We'll be spending the night. It's not going to be long now--she's sounding congested again, which they said would happen. For a few days she hasn't needed the suction. She's also sleeping more and talking less and barely shaking her head yes or no. She's willing to take morphine, though we just tell her it's medicine to help her breathe, which it is. There is no reason to cause her fear or stress. She's going to die whether she gets this medicine or not. She should be comfortable.

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