Better than my average day.
The challenge: Two hours in the O.R. lying vulnerable – nearly naked – in a roomful of strangers poking and prodding my listless body. Needles stuck into my hand. Probes glued to my chest. Eyes taped shut (so they don’t injure them). Head fastened into place. Smoke bellowing out my mouth as they cut and burn the papylomas from my vocal cords while I sleep.
The mission: Restore to me one of the greatest gifts God has ever given to His creatures: a voice.
The Heroes: With beeping and whirring in the background, I stare at the bright lights and equipment hung from the ceiling. Then an unknown hand reaches out and covers my mouth with the mask used to deliver the sleeping gas. My surgeon caresses my shoulder whilst I drift off to sleep, and whispers into my ear, assuring me that they are ready and everything will be okay. Before I fade, my resident anesthesiologist regales me with good natured and clever brags about Dillon Hall. Hours later, two young nurses laugh at my inept jokes as I wake up, bringing smiles and levity to the recovery room. All heroes to me.
But mostly Margy Tonneman Kloska, my steadfast personal hero who accompanied me to Ann Arbor and back. She was deprived of sleep yet she didn’t make a fuss. She let me be relaxed. She waited helplessly and alone for two and a half hours while I was in surgery. She drove me home. She held my hand tenderly as I slept in the car. She made stops to keep herself awake. Then she immediately went and got ice cream for me when we arrived home on Saint Peter Street. A hero!
The Conclusion: All of this brings me to Mass this evening. The word “Eucharist” means “Thanksgiving.” In the Mass, at the elevation of the bread, there is always a pause and often the ringing of bells. This signifies the moment that the bread has become the Body of Christ being sacrificed on the Cross. The intent of this sacrifice is to save us all from eternal damnation, to give us all eternal happiness. It is a moment when I always say quietly to myself,
“Thank you, thank you, thank you, My Lord and My God!”
At the elevation of cup, the Blood of Christ shed for the same reason, I say,
“Thank you, thank you, thank you, My Jesus of Mercy!”
So isn’t it fitting that the Mass, centered around gratitude at its core, is the perfect place to end up tonight? I get to say thank you to Our Father in Heaven for ALL of these things. Incredible.
Then to bring my day to a poetic conclusion, I am blessed with what sounds like angels to me on this particular night.
Thank you, Lord, I am and will forever be grateful.
Love, Your Son BK