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My Selfish Prayers

January 24, 2013

BrookeHealeynavyI believe in the power of prayer.

I frequently pray for guidance, strength, and blessings for friends, family and our community.  Many of my prayers are said silently in the dark of night as I settle in for sleep.  Others are shouted at the top of my lungs in desperation.  But whether whispered or shouted, thought privately in silence, or written down, I do believe that every prayer is heard.

I’ve been praying extra hard lately for a local family going through an unbelievably hard time right now.  This family, the Healeys, live in the same small town I do, and run a well-known music school here.  My prayers for them have been for their daughter, Brooke, who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.  This tumor, called a Pontine Glioma is on her PONS, an area of the brain stem that controls the heart, breathing, digestive system, etc.  They have been told that this is inoperable.  They will be starting radiation and have already started steroids.  The radiation will hopefully shrink the tumor. However, after she’s been given all of the radiation she can handle, it will likely grow back.

Brooke is a beautiful little 4-year-old girl.  When I pray for her, I pray for a miracle.  I pray that the doctors will discover something in her biopsy scheduled for tomorrow that will change her prognosis.  I pray that she will make it through the tests and treatments ahead of her in good health.  I pray that her body and spirits will stay strong.  I pray that her parents will be blessed with the strength and hope they need to travel this road with their daughter. I pray that our community will continue to give all of them the support they need to make it through the toughest days ahead.

And then I pray my selfish prayers.

I pray in gratitude that my own 4-year-old daughter and her two older brothers have healthy brains and bodies.  I pray for added blessings to protect them from any such future tragedies.  I pray in relief that I do not have to face what Brooke’s parents are living through.

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These prayers of gratitude, blessings and relief seem so supremely selfish, but I can’t help it.  I just don’t know if I could handle it if I were faced with something similar.  I just don’t know how any mother can handle it. I simply cannot comprehend it.

So I pray my selfish prayers.  And I continue to pray even harder for a miracle for the Healey family.

Please add your prayers to the many that are going out to Brooke and her family.  You can follow her story on the CaringBridge website set up for her here.

In addition to prayers, please consider donating to the family through NJ Heartworks (be sure to put Brooke Healey in the notes section), and wear gray on Fridays in honor of Brooke and for brain tumor support and awareness.

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