Ashtyn has been back in her room from the pediatric ICU for 36 hours. She looks good. She feels good. From now on I will constantly be on high alert with her. My eyes are more wide open for when her body does something out of the ordinary. My heart is more open to when I feel things aren’t quite right. Since leaving the ICU, her heart rate is lower than it was before. A week ago her heart rate was 70 to 100 beats per minute when awake and 60 when asleep. Now when she is awake her heart rate is 60 and 45 to 50 when she is sleeping. There really is no explanation to why her heart rate is lower and no one seems that concerned. However, I am now uneasy about anything that may seem abnormal. Sunday night I couldn’t go to sleep until they did something, so she had an EKG which showed her rhythm is normal. In the morning I will ask if a heart ultrasound can be done just to make sure her heart is pumping blood properly. If her heart looks normal then I will rest assured that her low heart rate is fine. Other than that, Ashtyn has been doing well.
In the past two months Ashtyn has had moments when her health is stable and other moments when she has been extremely sick. I have always felt that mortal and heavenly angels are intertwined on this earth going about doing good. Ashtyn and I have felt help from both sides working to build us up. It seems when she is stable, Ashtyn’s Army and her earthly angels care for her with prayers, messages, visits, food, gifts, and love in many forms. When she has been extremely sick and there’s nothing we can do for her except pray, I have felt heavenly angels take over.
Moroni 7:29-30 says, “my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men. For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.”
On February 17th, during a time when Ashtyn was extremely sick, I published a post called “On the Bright Side.” I wrote, “with the most humble and sure voice Ashtyn has told me about her Great Grandma Holt who just passed away in November from lung cancer. I don’t feel my grandma near but Ashtyn does. Ashtyn and I have had a few short conversations in the last 2 days about Grandma’s visits. Ashtyn isn’t able to talk much and when she does it is in short, quiet sentences but this is a summary of what she has told me: ‘Yesterday Grandma Holt talked to me a lot. But not very much today. I just know that it’s her. She talks in my ear. She told me that everything is going to be OK. She told me to have faith. She told me to focus on today, hope for a better tomorrow, and know that God has my back. She told me that I am strong. She told me not to listen to what people are saying in my room because no one knows what my body can do like I do.’”
Elder Holland said, “from the beginning down through the dispensations, God has used angels as His emissaries in conveying love and concern for His children. Usually such beings are not seen. Sometimes they are. But seen or unseen they are always near. Sometimes their assignments are very grand and have significance for the whole world. Sometimes the messages are more private. Occasionally the angelic purpose is to warn. But most often it is to comfort, to provide some form of merciful attention, and guidance in difficult times.”
In my last post I mentioned when Ashtyn was “coding” and gained consciousness, the first thing she did was looked to the empty corner and said, “Grandma!” In the post I didn’t expound because Ashtyn said nothing else about it and there wasn’t anything else I needed to say. The next day, Saturday, I asked Ashtyn if she remembered calling out Grandma’s name. She didn’t remember anything about it.
By Saturday night Ashtyn was stable and feeling fine in the PICU. She was completely awake and alert. The only medications being given were antibiotics. She hadn’t had narcotics for weeks and was off anti-nausea medications as well. The plan was to keep her overnight in the PICU and send her to the floor in the morning.
At 5 am Sunday morning, Ashtyn woke me up so I could help her to the restroom. She was hooked up to monitors. The easiest thing for her to do was use a bedside toilet. Afterwards she got back in bed and laid down as I quickly used the restroom in her room. I was gone for maybe 30 seconds. When I opened the bathroom door to come out Ashtyn exclaimed with an intense voice, “Mom! I just saw Grandma!” I tried to act cool and calm though for some reason the idea of seeing angels has always scared me. I sat on the bed next to her as she explained what happened. “I was looking around the room waiting for you to get out of the bathroom and I just saw her over there to the left of the computer. She was beautiful and glowed. She was wearing a white dress with ruffles at the top. She was healthier and happier. Mom, it was so clear. She smiled and waved to me. I smiled back. It was a nervous smile because I was shocked to see her. And then she faded. I think she is really busy but wanted to let me know she is watching out for me. I am really happy I got to see her.”
Elder Holland said, “He (God) watched over His mortal family constantly, heard their prayers always, and sent prophets (and later apostles) to teach, counsel, and guide them. But in times of special need, He sent angels, divine messengers, to bless His children, reassure them that heaven was always very close and that His help was always very near. I testify that angels are still sent to help us, even as they were sent to help Adam and Eve, to help the prophets, and indeed to help the Savior of the world Himself.”