The hospital where our son Jack was treated during his life was two hours away from our home. For most of his six weeks of life, we stayed at the Ronald McDonald House. One day, when Jack was doing particularly well, we decided to make a trip down to our home to gather a few items, as well as to tie up some loose ends with Adam’s schoolwork.
Entering our home that day for the first time in weeks was bittersweet. It felt so warm and welcoming, yet so cold and lacking without our little boy. Megan was especially delighted to be back in her home amongst all her toys and belongings. We decided to stay there for the night and return to Iowa City the next morning. Megan happily went to bed in her own bed that evening, and Adam and I stayed up late getting things done and preparing for the morning. Adam needed to stop by the University, but we decided to do it the next day, on our way back to Jack.
That night Adam and I crawled into our own bed: utterly exhausted. It was very late, and I should have been asleep within seconds. But I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling that we needed to return to Iowa City immediately. I thought I was just missing Jack and feeling guilty for being so far away, but I told Adam that I wanted to go back. He wasn’t feeling the same urgency or need to return right away, but he willingly did as I desired. We got out of bed, awakened a sleeping Megan, and left our home.
We stopped by Adam’s school on our way, and made it back to the Ronald McDonald House around two in the morning. While I was very anxious to go to the hospital right away and check on Jack, I felt like Adam should be the one to go, and I stayed with Megan.
Later, when Adam returned, he reported that Jack was not doing well. At all. He would likely need to be put on “life support” in the morning.
As Adam was leaving the hospital, he also discovered that we had a flat tire. Because of the incredibly cold weather, our spare was also flat.
Jack was put on the ECMO machine the next morning. Had we not returned to Iowa City that night, who knows what various consequences we would have had to face. Certainly, we would have not been there with our son at a very critical time.
As a young bishop, President Monson learned a valuable lesson about spiritual promptings. While at a stake conference meeting, he felt, with some urgency, that he needed to go to the hospital to visit the dying uncle of one of his classmates. He elected to stay throughout the meeting, and dashed to the hospital during the closing song. When he arrived, he learned that the man had passed away and that he had been asking for President Monson right before he died. From this lesson he taught: “Never postpone a prompting.”
Throughout the remaining weeks of Jack’s life, we were blessed with several other promptings which helped make the time shared with our son a more beautiful and peaceful experience. I am so grateful that we were able to be with Jack when he was having a rough night, as well as be there the next morning when he needed us. When we show the Lord that we will do as he asks and follow His promptings, He will more abundantly grant them to us.