When the “Least of These” Is Your Own Daughter – A Guest Post by Becky Smith   3 comments

Sometimes being a woman—and a mother—brings achingly, painfully beautiful moments into our lives.

Becky and Her Daughter Now

When our daughter was six, she was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer.  After her second surgery, Sarah was moved from Intensive Care back to the peds oncology floor and since she was still on morphine and couldn’t walk due to the pain of her incision, she had to use a bedpan.

On one particular night, she called to me that she had to go to the bathroom so I got up to help her.  She was in such pain though, that I couldn’t move her and adjust the bedpan at the same time without hurting her even more; I finally rang for help and one of the wonderfully patient nursing assistants appeared almost immediately to lend a hand.

I don’t know why such a simple act would be so indelibly burned into my memory but I will never forget standing there beside my suffering daughter, looking down at her almost naked, scarred, bruised body, and seeing her stripped of the dignity and innocence of her childhood. Since she didn’t possess the strength to walk to the privacy of the bathroom, she was having to attend to one of the most basic and private of human needs with an audience around her.

She was powerless, helpless, dependent, and miserable—there were no sweet smiles, no rosy cheeks, no golden curls. There was only the sight of a small child too weary for the battle and a weeping mother who could do nothing at all to help except kiss the skin on the top of her head and whisper the comforting words that only a broken hearted parent knows how to say.

It seemed to me that the whole world faded away that night and all that remained were the nursing assistant and me, bound together in an intimate, sacred moment of ministering to “the least of these.”

I loved my daughter more at that moment than I ever had before—far more than I did when she was happy and healthy and gorgeous. I loved her with a deeper love than I ever knew could exist for another human being and I was honored to be standing by her in the middle of the night, being a load lifter and an armor-bearer for the beloved, bald soldier of my heart.

I have gazed into the face of sorrow and pain. I have heard a little girl’s whimpers of fear and discomfort. I have seen the compassionate heart of a medical helper.  I have seen all of life boiled down to a few holy moments in the middle of the night–moments that were holy because even in the midst of great suffering, peace was in the air,  love was in our hearts, and hope was in the room.

Becky Smith is a book addict, cancer mom, blogger, published songwriter, pastor’s wife, thrift store shopper, breast cancer survivor and mashed potato lover.



3 responses to “When the “Least of These” Is Your Own Daughter – A Guest Post by Becky Smith

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  1. Pingback: Wedding Wednesday: Here Comes the Brid(g)e! | Smithellaneous

  2. These are the kinds of moments indelibly printed on your heart and soul. Your post has made me recall a few of my own moments like that.

    What beautiful and true writing. Thank you for sharing this story.

  3. Becca, thanks so much for your sweet encouragement and inspiring to be told my writing is “lovely and true.” Blessings to you! Becky

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