2020 put him through the wringer, rewriting nearly every norm in his life.
A year of highs and lows and messy in-betweens. But by heaven’s grace, we made it through, along with his sister, to this familiar rhythm of putting up our tree. Keenly aware he probably won’t need my shoulders next year, I breathe deep tonight’s seasonal scene.
Gratitude falls afresh for the momentary peace of lights upon on a dove-topped tree.
I once wrote a post on life’s blindsiding moments, on life’s before and afters, on grieving and growing through blessings in disguise. The past six days have required me to reread and remember my own words, something I’m still struggling to apply, if I’m honest.
This week began as any other and became, by Monday’s end, another before and after, rendering my youngest son admitted to a children’s hospital with a lifelong diagnosis: Type 1 Diabetes.
This week I watched my brown-eyed boy be cared for in a different hospital by the same physicians who helped sustain my blue-eyed boy’s broken heart 13 years ago.
This week I felt the embrace of sincere community while confined in an age of social distancing.
This week I remembered distinct antiseptic smells and pulse ox alarms, and the significance of small numbers flashed across a screen. I remembered huge, ugly-pink water pitchers and crunchy ice refills and sleeper recliners that never quite get comfortable no matter how hard you try.
This week I experienced the brilliance of bedside nurses, the solidarity of colleagues, and the sacrificial courage of men and women who, having taken the Hippocratic Oath to first do no harm, are often overlooked in times of our own need.
This week I witnessed an eight-year-old boy ride the rollercoaster of grief towards acceptance of a new normal and take immeasurable strides towards maturity within four in-patient days.
This week I gained fresh appreciation for outdoor breezes and sun shining on the skin, of organs unseen and disposable needles, and how a formidable diagnosis may contain the capacity to bring alignment to those otherwise at odds.
This week I reconciled my assumption that certain experiential boxes can be checked only once in a lifetime with the fact that one can never outlive any possibility while this broken world remains.
This week began focused on a pandemic and ended with a new perspective for pondering life’s weightiest things.
This week I returned to the world of fragile, chronic conditions, resilient children, and unanswered questions, of treasured tears captured in an unseen bottle by a Physician, Great and Eternal, and the holy tension of honest lament.
Above all, this week reminded me that gratitude and grief can cohabitate a heart as it cries out to the only One worthy, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.”