Remembering Doria

One Father's Journey after the Death of his Daughter

Remembering and Dwelling

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We finally made it! This morning was Zoe’s first trip to church, and she survived the really politely gracious madhouse!  Well, madhouse is a little overblown, but it was pretty cool to see all the excitement, and I’m filled with an awed respect for everyone’s ability to restrain themselves. That sounds really odd, but it was nice to see how people reacted to our little baby without pushing her for attention. That was fun.

This morning was our monthly Communion service, so it seemed like a perfect chance to write something that I’ve been muddling around with. As Baptists, we look at Communion simply as a memorial where we take the time to consciously focus on remembering that Jesus died in our place on the cross. As a deacon, I help serve. This time, our deacon that sets things up put me in a special place, although I don’t think he ever would have known. Not because he’s substandard, it’s just not something that would occur to someone less obsessive than me. I satin a place that I’ve only sat one other time, and that was Doria’s funeral. It struck me as I sat there, and it was a really nice memory for the moment.


Since we do this as a memorial and something really important to dwell on, it struck me that I had the perfect chance to write about things that have occurred to me since Zoe’s birth. These are things that occur to me, but I try to avoid dwelling on in order to keep striving on. Here goes nothing!

1. After watching in action the skill that our doctor and the nurses have, I so wish that they had any sort of chance to save Doria. My stubborn mind tells me that they would have pulled it off. I have no real proof for that other than I want it to be true, but I so think they could have gotten the job done.

2. If Doria lived, would we have Zoe? Would that have happened so quickly? Would it be a good idea?  It’s not hard to imagine why I don’t spend time dwelling there. That can’t go anywhere good. I remember words from an old history professor of mine, who would remind us that history is not an exact science occurring in a lab where you control the variables. Instead, it’s something observing real people who change their actions based on the things that happen. Theologically, too, I’m not in charge. I can’t go changing the past or figuring out things like that. I don’t think I want to. 

3. What if the procedures were different for Doria? Would the extra tests that we had for Zoe have guaranteed that Doria lived? That one is easy from two sides. Both sides, the answer is NO. With everything that I’ve learned and experienced about how quickly things can go south, there’s no way. Honestly, those tests didn’t guarantee anything with Zoe. They just gave us some peace of mind and Zoe a chance to stop our hearts over and over. Theologically speaking, nothing’s a guarantee in a sin-cursed world. Stuff goes bad, because sin really messed this place up. I’m glad that we had the tests for Zoe, but they wouldn’t have provided a guarantee for Doria. Maybe if those tests were 24/7 for months on end, but who lives like that?


I don’t want to give up all the victory that goes with Zoe’s living and my new breathing habits. No refunds on victory here. On that note, I’m feeling ambitious this week. I’ve set myself up for the first attempt at a “pre-Doria” style workload this week. I think I’m going to ace it. I’ll be fascinated to see how it goes.

One thing I know: It won’t work if I twist myself into a pretzel for stuff I can’t fix now. Off to the challenge!


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