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Graas Family Christmas


Sorry, there are no photos to share of the Graas Family Christmas, but I have quite a tale to tell. On Christmas Eve afternoon, we were brought a Christmas meal through the Church, from Cracker Barrel! What a blessing! We spent our Christmas morning at Mass, where my daughter Bethany, age 12, was blessed to be chosen by our priest to put Baby Jesus in the stable. It was 10am Mass but we used the Vigil readings.

I confess that we opened our presents late on Christmas Eve. We never do that but for some reason I thought that it might be a good idea to do so. That turned out to be best because as soon as we got home from Mass, Bethany changed back into her PJ’s and, barefoot, inadvertently stepped on a piece of glass on the kitchen floor. It was about the size of a baby tooth, a leftover from a drinking glass being accidentally dropped and broken a few days ago. We could see it, but could not get it out. It slipped deeper into her heel and there was no getting hold of it, so her brother Jesse and I took her to the E.R. Jesse, like the hero big brother that he is, carried her to the car and into the E.R. for me.

The first doctor was named Dr. Snow! No, I’m not making that up. It was really his name, and he had a red tie with snowmen on it. He did a fine job trying to get the glass out, to no avail. It just went deeper. They took some soft tissue x-rays to get a better idea about the size and shape of it and where exactly it was. Again, to no avail, he tried to find it and pull it out, all under local anesthesia. A scalpel was used, and Bethany had some painful moments but she barely even whimpered. The staff gave her a teddy bear that is bigger than our cat. Very generous. Usually, in my experience, they give smaller stuffed animals on these occasions.

The surgeon had to be called. His name was Dr. Oh (rhymes with snow!), and we told him we were grateful his name is not Dr. Ow! More local anesthesia, more scalpel, and still it was not to be found until the glass reached her bone and stuck into it. Then, he was able to pull it out. Thanks be to God and to Dr. Oh!

Bethany offered up all this pain for the benefit of souls, knowing that God has placed great value on the suffering of the innocent. What a blessing her faith is to her mother. The nurse was so impressed with her lack of complaint that he gave her a brand new pair of forceps (along with that teddy bear) as a souvenir.

I was open to giving her as much pain medication as the doctor thought she might need, but she was not given any, nor a prescription. She’s using only Tylenol and Ibuprofen which is not quite enough. I will be calling the doctor tomorrow to let him know. The local anesthesia has worn off and it is a rough night for her, but she remains quite the trooper. Thank you for your prayers.

By the way, this Christmas Eve was the 20th anniversary of my Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion….but I completely forgot about this at Mass because of being so happy about the day itself and about Bethany being picked to put Baby Jesus in the stable. Then came the trip to the E.R. which put the whole anniversary thing out of my mind, but for good reason!

It was a rough Christmas Day for us, and it continues to be rough, but we rejoice in knowing that we are united closely with the Holy Family in all of this. We are grateful to be counted among those who are so united. In that is our peace.

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