Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Of Hospitals and Hairties

We have found out that all four of our children have the two mutations necessary to be considered as having cystic fibrosis or, 'CF'. Our oldest daughter is beginning testing for ADD/ADHD, and we have scheduled a surgery for this same oldest daughter to get tubes in her ears. Can I say I felt a little overwhelmed?

Until I called a friend of mine.

A mother of five with more real strength than I could boast in a lifetime. She was at the hospital, she told me, where she had been for the last two days since taking her 8 year old in to their pediatrician for a fever and finding out that she has leukemia. They were admitted to the hospital that same day where her daughter underwent surgery to place a port, extract bone marrow, and perform a spinal tap. By the time I got there on Monday - armed with as much pink fuzziness as I could acquire - she had been throwing up all morning and was just ready to try a piece of lettuce. They gave her a double dosage of morphine and her mother said that was the first time she had been out of pain in three days.

My heart ached for her.

Looking to do something helpful, I offered to braid the little girl's hair. Now, with my own daughter, I am usually in a rush and am more concerned with perfection in the lines of the braid than the comfort going into it. If I hit a tangle, it is usually with some impatience that I try to divide the tangle and get the part where I want it. As I did this braid though, I realized that I was much more concerned with not causing any more pain. I wondered at my lack of compassion for my own protesting daughter and vowed to do better. The braid was lovely and I felt a singular pride at having been able to accomplish it with (hardly) any yelps of protest.

I spent that day and the next overwhelmed for the welfare of my friend. I still am thinking and praying for her. Perhaps it was meant to be that I was in a mood to be compassionate toward my daughter, because then today happened.

Maybe when the pain has lessened a little I can share today's events. A wonderful friend helped me to realize that I wasn't the first to go through it, but man. It was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. It is not leukemia, but it caused an acute pain of another sort. Motherhood is not for wimps, that's for sure. I think though, if we hold to hope, and seek and acknowledge that which is 'virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy' in our lives, then we overcome.

I have so much to learn.

A favorite poem that captures some of my feelings right now:

Isn't it strange
that princes and kings,
and clowns that caper
in sawdust rings,
and common people
like you and me
are builders for eternity!

Each is given a bag of tools,
a shapeless mass
and a book of rules,
and each must make-
ere life is flown-
a stumbling block
or a stepping stone.

-Author Unknown


  1. *hug* motherhood is tough, and it's hard when things don't go the way we had them planned in our head! sending lots of prayers your way!

  2. Thanks Jessica - I really needed it - things are better now. (Keepin' with reading the scriptures and daily - well, kinds constant lately - prayer. It makes such a difference!)