At 7:30 a.m. EST tomorrow, my mom will be under the knife. She has brain surgery scheduled for Monday to – we hope and pray – cure her trigeminal neuralgia. After exhausting her medication options and dealing with some pretty awful side effects (e.g., loss of vision, personality changes, extreme lethargy, etc.), she decided to go ahead and opt for a surgical intervention. There is no guarantee this procedure will take away the pain. Plus, she has it on both sides, and they are only operating on one side this time. There’s even a small chance it could cause the nerves to go even more haywire and cause more pain. But my mom is very hopeful. She makes Pollyanna look like a total glum queen.

Today my dad, brothers, my kids (Dave couldn’t be there because he was working all weekend), and an aunt and uncle and their kids all went to Mass together at my parents’ church.  The priest there is a family friend and has been so good to my mom and all of us. He’s one of those people who makes you want to believe in God even if you don’t. There’s something other-worldly about him; he’s holy and simple.

Earlier in the week he had called my mom and asked her if she wanted to receive the Anointing of the Sick (she’s getting to be an old pro at this given her many recent medical procedures) and also have a healing ceremony at Mass. She thought he meant after Mass and was ever so grateful, but then he clarified that he wanted to do it during Mass after his homily. Mom was embarrassed, but she decided she could use the extra prayers.

I sat there – actually I stood most of the service, swaying with my cuddly Thomas tucked in the Ergo hoping he’d take his morning snooze in church (he didn’t, but he was very quiet and content) – and felt something bigger than me. Those words really can’t capture what I felt. I can’t think of any other way to say it though. There was something about this Mass, something real, something like Love itself coming down to touch me.

Father spoke during his homily about how there’s a difference between being cured and being healed. I looked over at my mom, her blonde hair pulled elegantly back in a twist, her arms wrapped around my Mary Elizabeth, the smile that wouldn’t leave her face even though we all know that it actually physically hurts her to smile these days, and I fervently prayed for a cure. I want this surgery to take away her pain. She doesn’t need to suffer anymore. Hasn’t she already been purified enough? I mean, she is a loyal Cubs’ fan after all (Father said the Cubs are past redemption and joked they were forever stuck in limbo).

But, seriously, she’s lost so many loved ones. She’s had chronic health problems that started when she was younger than I am. It’s one thing after another. I want my mama to be better. I beg for her to be cured so she can get back to volunteering, gardening, spending lots of time with her grandchildren, and going to the Cubs’ spring training. Not that her ailments have stopped her much. People forget she is in pain because she pushes herself. She had planned to go with me to the Behold Conference to help with Thomas. She still planes on being there. Mom just doesn’t quit. She hopes. She chooses happiness. She thinks of others. She cleans like a mad woman. She’s a little compulsive about cleaning actually. We saw one of those “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up” commercials and joked that Mom would cry out, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t clean up!” Mom is always aware that there is someone far worse than she is, and she puts her trust in the Great Physician.

I’m praying the skilled surgeon will be careful with my mama. I’m still begging God to make this finally be her cure. But I also know that whatever comes of it, the healing has already begun.

When she served as a Eucharistic Minister at the same Mass today, people she didn’t even know were coming up to her and kissing her. She said she’s never felt so loved. This was medicine to her soul. Witnessing the outpouring of love was medicine to my soul, too.

Madeline asked why we were all crying. “Because it was touching,” I told my not-overly-sentimental child.


“It’s always touching when God touches you,” I replied.

She gave me a quizzical look. I couldn’t explain it. I couldn’t explain the bigness – or the love – I felt at Mass today. It’s not something you explain; it’s something you experience.

There have been many times in my life when I’ve questioned God and when I’ve even questioned His existence but on this day, I experienced something. I was healed when I hadn’t even known I was sick.

Enter the Conversation...

14 Responses to “Healed”
  1. Bridget says:

    I met your mom only once and she made me smile from the inside out.
    Praying for you all – your mom, your family, the medical team.
    Grace and peace to you, my friend.

  2. lena says:

    prayers for your mom, you, your family, and the doctors.

    pax Christi, lena

  3. Mark S. says:

    Remembering her in my prayers. Asking that if it be His will she be completely healed.

  4. Christie Kehoe says:

    Lifting up prayers this morning for your sweet mom and the medical team assigned to her surgery and recovery. It’s 6:30 AM here in Kansas, and the Kehoes are sending up prayers. Prayers for your dad, too! I know he has been a constant rock of support for her!! Love to you and your amazing family! May the Great Physician heal your mom and take away all her pain!! We love y’all!

  5. Praying for you and your beautiful mama. I’m always so touched by the love in your voice when you write about her.

  6. ViolinMama says:

    This is beautiful. WOW….Kate, you know we are praying HARD for you.

    We are praying that this is a cure, and for continued healing. Please tell you mother she is an instrument of healing for this frazzled wife and mother. Love you all!

    Stay strong, I know waiting is not easy!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Praying for You all today, Kate. God bless.

  8. Kimberlie says:

    I wish I had seen this earlier today but I will say a prayer right now that the surgery went well and that your mother will recover very quickly. Sending you some big hugs!!

  9. Kate Wicker says:

    Mom is out of surgery. Surgeon was very positive and said she is doing great. Thanks to everyone for their prayers!!!

  10. Jennifer G. says:

    We’ll be praying for you mom and family.

  11. So glad to hear that everything went smoothly. Over the past couple days have had some very powerful reminders that though often God doesn’t give us exactly what we want, He always gives us precisely what we need most. The same is true of healing, I believe. He knows when we need it most, and if our need is greater for healing in mind, body, or spirit. He can do all three, but often there’s one that’s causing a great deal more pain than the others. I’ll pray that your mom experiences a smooth recovery and that she and your family remain open to the Lord’s love and healing in whatever ways He knows you need it most. God bless!

  12. Nancy says:

    Didn’t see your post before surgery, but prayed anyway . . . and then saw your update. :) I love how you shared about the difference between being cured and being healed. I will ponder that for a long time.

  13. I am praying for you and your mama. The concept of true healing is a whole new world unto itself. We all need healing in some way, from past hurts or present pain, some physical, some mental and emotional. I can’t imagine what pain you have felt throughout this process of watching your mom suffer. She sounds like an amazing woman from whom you have inherited her shining personality. She will be in our prayers. May God bless.


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  1. […] you to everyone for your prayers on behalf of my mom. The recovery has been agonizing, but this was expected. My dad sent me a photo of her scar. […]

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