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What Goes Around Comes Around
I was shaking; I could hardly keep my body still. I closed my eyes praying that the moment I opened them none of this would be happening.
No such luck
I stroked the curls that used to be bouncing, and looked into the cold gloss blank eyes of my little girl. I was just five minutes ago that she was tugging at my hand smiling at me. I brushed my thumb over her tiny lifeless hand.
No response. I was at an absolute loss on what to do.
* * *
I believe that there are moments in time when you don’t know what to do. You just completely freeze up; physically and mentally. No matter how prepared we may be for a situation, we never are truly prepared.
I braced my self as I walked into the Sunday School classroom. “Only four weeks left,” I thought to myself. I enjoyed the program immensely. Coming in to teach these preschoolers definitely made my day, though I was looking forward to a Sunday of sleep. That was something that I hadn’t had in a while.
“Good morning!” I said to the six smiling faces of my preschool class.
“Hi Miss Katherine!” rang out through the room. All the kids started shouting at me, telling me the picture they were coloring. I smiled back at them nodding my head in approval of the colorful pictures that they were setting before me.
“Thank gosh you’re here,” Joanna, the teacher who I helped out, said. “I was up late at a wedding last night and could not have possibly handled them alone today.”
I smiled and nodded brushing the comment off. I really didn’t think much of it at them time. A little girl them ran over and embraced me in a hug.
“Hello Aurora,” I said smiling as I gave her a squeeze back.
“Miss Katherine isn’t my picture be-au-ti-ful?” She asked, excitement flowing through her voice.
I grabbed the picture from her hands, “Of course it is! Your pictures are always beautiful.” I handed her back the picture and she preceded coloring along with the rest of the class. The remainder of the class went by as the lesson was taught about Saint Luke and his contributions to churches and religion in general.
To be brutally honest I was not paying attention very much through out the lesson. I was exhausted, and it was evident that Joanna was as well. We both knew it would be a bit of a crazy day in preschool.
* * *
I must give these kids credit. Every single Sunday they go to church school for about an hour and a half. Not to mention that it begins at about 9:15 on the dot. As if that isn’t draining enough for them, we then proceed to a church service that last an average between two and three hours. Being in a Greek Orthodox Church provides multiple limitations to them. These kids not only have to stand up for hours in church, but also stay still and quite, something that it very difficult for them to do. They must walk quietly into church, kiss an icon, place the donations in wicker basket, light a candle, kiss yet another icon, and quietly walk to their seats. I give them much credit though; they are generally very well behaved, especially given the circumstances.
I come back to reality as the kids are now lining up anticipating the long service that is ahead of us. We walk in a somewhat orderly line and go into church. The kids are very antsy today. We guide them into their seats in the front of the church and take a seat in the row behind them.
As the service goes on I whisper to the kids multiple times to stand up, or stay quiet. I feel bad pestering them so much, but I suppose that’s my job. Not even a quarter through the service Joanna stands up and whispers something to me.
“I’m going to get a drink of water,” she says. I nod and she leaves.
This is when it all goes down hill.
I am now alone with the children. This is something that I completely dread. Joanna had occasionally left me in the class room alone with them. It was no problem at all for me. They really are good kids. In church though, that’s different. I am now alone, fully responsible for six kids who seem to be slightly rambunctious today.
It is now time for the reading of the Gospel. I tell all my kids, in the row in front of me, to stand up at this point. They all listen, but for one. I don’t notice right away but Aurora is not turning around, as if she was completely defying me and turning the opposite way. As the priest begins to read, and as I am hushing the other kids, he stops.
My stomach drops.
I look up and see that he is looking directly at me. He then points to Aurora, the little girl who is still being persistent and not turning around or standing up. I freeze. I feel numb. Blood is flowing to my cheeks and I know my face has gone completely red. He goes back to his reading as I begin to address the situation.
“Aurora, please can you turn around,” I ask with a very casual tone to my voice. I don’t want her to think that I am angry at her.
“Aurora, sweetie, can you please turn around?” I ask again. I realize that there is more tension in my voice. I am frustrated at this point, but at the same time I am wondering why on earth is this little girl defying me?
I get down to her level and look her in the eye, “Aurora, please. Will you please turn around for me? Please?” There is a definite plea in my voice. All relaxed tones are gone. I feel tears filling up my eyes. I push them back telling my self that I can’t cry, it’s absolutely absurd, and would be counterproductive. I continue to plea her to turn around.
Still no response.
I felt frustration I have never felt before. I now understood what it felt like to be a parent when your child is completely checking you out. I recall ignoring my mother like this before when she had upset me. Then I come to my sense. I have done nothing to upset her in any way. Just moment ago she turned around to me, smiled, and grabbed my hand. I gave her hand a squeeze and smiled back. Aurora was not the girl who would test me. So what was this?
I turned around, desperate for anyone’s help at this point. I found my sister, “Please come help me,” I mouthed to her from across the church.
She, who was sitting with the first grade class at the time, mouthed back, “No I have to stay with them,” gesturing to the first graders surrounding her.
I had no idea what to do at this point. I was so angry at her for not helping me, and for no one else in this church to help me. I should have turned around and told some one that I needed help, badly.
But I never did.
Anger boiled inside of me as I looked around at all these people ignoring my situation. I could not believe that not one person had noticed my plea for help. It was very evident that I needed help, the priest made that clear when her stopped his reading at my expense. I then turned around to look for my dad in the very back; it didn’t take long for him to make eye contact with me.
“Sit with me,” I mouthed barely able to move my lips, “Please?” I added with a furrowed brow and a concerned look on my face.
He nodded, and as the reading ended and we all sat down he made his way over and sat with my class. I felt like a weight had been lifted from me, but not completely. I felt that even though my dad was here, something was still incredibly wrong.
I asked my dad to tend to the other kids while I focused in on her. “Aurora, can you please turn around for me?” I asked, this time with a more calmness to my voice. “Please turn around,” I repeated trying to sound soothing and relaxing. She ignored me completely. This was all wrong. She was extremely obedient, and would never step a foot out of line. So why was she playing this game with me? That’s when it hit me.
I shut my eyes for a brief moment and tried to recall from what I had learned at school. Being in the CCO preschool program at my high school, my teacher, Mrs. Joyce, had taught me about this. We were presenting projects and she added a side note about when a child has a seizure. I racked my brains trying to hear her voice informing me if my assumption was true. Then I remembered. She had said that there were two types of seizures. One was the typical type that everyone thought of, the other was not as well known. It was when a child completely froze. Their muscles locked them out and they had no control over them self’s. I jumped back to reality and looked at Aurora. My stomach dropped for the second time.
She was having a seizure
The church service continued, but time seemed to stop for me. I knew that there were six steps to take in a child were having a seizure. But that was not like this, this was completely different.
I grabbed her tiny hand in my shaking one. I brushed her fallen hair out of her stone face. “Aurora, can you hear me?”
I got on my knees and continued to hold her hand. I was at a complete loss of what to do. I continued to talk to her for what seemed like forever. Her brilliant blue eyes, that were once full of laughter, were now stone cold, her hair that had a lively twist to it now seemed flat, he mouth was not curled up in a smile, the way she usually wore it, it was now emotionless.
She was frozen.
I looked around to see if her parents were in church; they weren’t. I was alone with the life of this lifeless child in my hands.
Finally Joanna came back, I informed her of what had happened and she scooped Aurora up. As her head lay still over Joanna’s shoulder I grabbed her hand in mine again. I continued to talk to her in a soothing voice. She did not reply. Joanna knew what I knew minutes ago, it was a seizure and they needed to find her parents fast. Joanna left me alone with the, now five, kids once again. I still had my dad by my side but did not feel relaxed.
As Joanna walked out with tiny Aurora slumped over her shoulder I noticed people were watching.
I gave them all a death glare.
Me doing this to them, was getting off easy. If it were up to me I would have gone up to every single one of them and shouted at them until they admitted how wrong they were. They saw that something was wrong, and they did nothing. My mind was blown with out selfish and addicted to drama these people could be. They surely knew what was going on. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that a little girl was in trouble clearly, and no one came to help her. They knew what was going on the whole time, but the only time they actually started whispering was when the little girl was being carried out. I was enraged, I didn’t believe this. Of course they were talking; they wanted to know what happened. They didn’t bother with the mess; they just wanted to hear about it. I vowed that I would not slip a word about the situation if one of them asked me, they didn’t deserve to know.
Truthfully I couldn’t answer them regardless, I never found out what happened to Aurora after that.
Joanna told me at first they were taking her to the hospital, then they decided to take her home, though she was still completely non responsive. I didn’t hear any updates on her from Joanna aside from the fact that she was fine. Fine; what interesting word choice. Clearly she wasn’t fine; there was no use in pretending it. I was completely shaken for days after that. I had never encountered something such as that before, but I suppose it has made me more aware of what to do if I am ever in the situation again.
I still regret not asking the people around me. I should have been a stronger person and demanded help from those around me. I will honestly never think of some of those people the same way. I still am not able to cope with the fact that they ignored me. I guess the whole situation had also made me aware of helping people. Regardless of who it is, I would help anyone in the church if an emergency came up like that. I believe that Karma always comes back to bite you.
So for now I will just be waiting.