August 9, 2022

A Mother’s Love Part 2

By Cammie Wolf Rice

Ever since I began to share my story, I’ve received such an outpouring of love, support, and genuine advice from family, friends, strangers, and more. I cannot express in words how grateful I am to have such loving people in my world. Every text, call, post, and prayer has touched my soul in ways that I could’ve never imagined. For that, I thank you. All of you.

I’ve learned that there is a silver lining with everything. I’m blessed to know that even in grief, I am able to share the wonder and power of God with everyone I meet.

Tragedy in and of itself is an excruciating, unwanted disruption to reality. It destroys life as you know it and leaves you with many questions. Perhaps the most unanswered of these is simply, “why?” When tragedy leads to extraordinary events it becomes an unexplainable phenomenon that no one but God himself can take credit for.

The events that have taken place since my sweet Christopher left this world have been nothing short of miraculous. I’ve learned that while it all may seem unexplainable to me, it is a reflection of how God works. He truly does work in supernatural ways.

Christopher passed away during a Mission’s trip to Cambodia. I serve on the advisory board of Emory Global Health Institute, so Dr. Jenny and Dr. Dawn two Atlanta based doctors traveled with us. On the morning that I found my Christopher, Dr. Jenny stood by our sides – performing CPR on his lifeless body for an hour before the paramedics arrived. Deep down I’m sure she knew he was gone, but I know she did that for me.

Later on, as I panicked about what would happen to my son’s body in such a foreign land, the CEO of Calmette Hospital appeared in the doorway. Seeing that I’d just met with him a few days prior, I was relieved to see him. He assured my husband and I and that they’d take good care of him, and they kept their word. Later that night the hospital set up a viewing in a beautiful tent to honor Christopher. As I walked away from the tent, I hugged Dr. Jenny and told her that I knew we’d met for a greater purpose. I just didn’t know what that purpose was…. But a bond was formed that day.

My Christopher was a devout Catholic… the only one in our family. So imagine my shock when exactly 6 months after his passing I was presented with an opportunity to meet the Pope. I know that this was not a coincidence, but an act of God – letting me know that Christopher was indeed safe with Him. But it didn’t stop there. Normally, meetings with the Pope go a little something like this – you stand in a long line and are greeted from afar. Not this time. On that day, the Pope decided that he wanted to greet and bless each person individually. He even blessed the Saint Christopher medallion than I’d recently purchased. I can’t express the joy I felt, knowing that Christopher was watching all of this from above. I know it warmed his heart, as it did mine.

Since then Dr. Jenny and I have continued to work together. Just last month I spoke with her as she and Dr. Dawn prepared to return to Cambodia. She was headed there to conduct a leadership, training, and mentoring program for doctors and nurses at Calmette Hospital – the same hospital that took care of Christopher’s body after he passed.

“When does the training begin?” I asked Dr. Jenny … to which she replied, “February 26th.”

February 26, 2016 was the day Christopher took his last breath on this side of heaven. But as you can see, God is seeing to it that the life he lived will continue to serve purpose here on Earth. Calmette Hospital is opening a NICU unit called Christopher’s Hope. My family and I will travel to Cambodia in May for the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of the unit. Though my pain is real, so are the hand’s of God. I can never doubt the fact that both He and my Christopher are with me, each and every step of the way… and the extraordinary events continue to happen.