A Simple Path – To Holding on Tight | The BridgeMaker

A Simple Path – To Holding on Tight

By on Jul 16, 2012

“No Day But Today” ~ Jonathan Larson

My daughter Caitlin is a few feet away from me right now. Since she moved to Miami last summer our time together is limited, but always appreciated. This visit, however, was not planned. Caitlin is in an ICU bed at Mercy Hospital.

Last Monday she called to report that she had a bad stomach flu. On Tuesday her symptoms became worse. Caitlin was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday. By Thursday, my daughter was transferred to ICU with a life-threatening kidney infection, not stomach flu at all.

We have been holding on tight since.

Mary Beth arrived Thursday afternoon. Emily and I started our drive on Saturday. After arriving last night, Mary Beth admitted there have been several times when she thought I would never see Caitlin again.

On Saturday, my wife organized a massive prayer campaign. She telephoned and Facebook messaged friends who did the same. The question of life or death has been answered. Our village came to Caitlin’s rescue. If you were part of the prayer campaign after being contacted by my wife or me – thank you!

A gentle reminder

It’s unfair that an otherwise healthy, vibrant and happy 23 year old has to fight for her life. Ironically, Caitlin spends her days fighting for others. She stands up for the needs of neglected and abused children who have no one else to fight for them.

My daughter uses her voice, passion, effective negotiation skills and raw determination to protect these children. They may not have much of a village to come to their rescue, but they have Caitlin.

I’m grateful Caitlin saved some of that determination for herself, but I’m baffled about how things like this can even happen. Perhaps, the mystery that separates life from death may never be answered, but at least it provides a gentle reminder to hold on tight along the way.

Maybe the value in Caitlin’s struggle is she is being used, one more time, to remind us of the neglected. Who do you need to forgive today? Who do you need to make peace with today? Who do you need to hold a little tighter today?

I need to put this blog on hold for a little while. There’s someone a few feet away from me who I need to hold a little tighter.

What is A Simple Path?

This post is in A Simple Path, a twice-weekly series of short pieces inspired by my own life experiences. Each post is a simple path to experiencing something wonderful: maybe seeing life from a different perspective, or celebrating its beauty. Click here to read all posts in the series.

The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

  • nikky44

    Praying for you and for your daughter <3

  • Caitlin was discharged from the hospital yesterday – let the healing begin!

    All – thanks so much for your prayers and wonderful support. You have helped Caitlin (and me) more than you know.

    With sincere appreciation,


    •  Yay! I’m so, so happy to hear that! Sending you all love.

  • Alex,
    I have not kept up with blogs lately – been very busy and then I read this.  I stopped said a prayer for Caitlin and I pray for the miracle of healing.  Please keep us posted and pray that you and Mary Beth stand strong in the midst of the uncertainty.

    Abundant healing on Caitlin,

  • steve

    a message for Caitlin.   Be strong, and know that there are many many people who are saying a prayer for you each day; and are thinking of you.   Better days are coming; and they are just around the corner….
    a message for Alex.  I have been where you are; fighting for my daughter since March.  And the prayers and support from people I will never meet have helped both my daughter and I weather the darkest hours.  And our faith has increased 20 fold as we have watched slow but steady improvements each day. While we still have a long road to travel, our friends and our faith have gotten us this far.    And this will happen for you and for Caitlin.  Be patient, be faithful, and lean on your friends both known and unknown.   We are here for you.