Sunday, June 15, 2008

A dozen years ago




A dozen years ago God returned joy to our life.

My mom had died so suddenly and the months after were dark and thick with grief. But a healthy pregnancy came along and slowly, month by month, joy crept back into all the moments of our days.

A dozen years ago a big healthy baby boy dropped into the midwife's hands and let out his first squall. I was so concerned that he might not be healthy my first words were, "why is he purple??" The midwives reassured and within minutes he was tucked into his grateful mommy's arms.

A dozen years ago we brought that sweet baby home to two siblings who tripped over themselves to care for him. Their own real life doll.

A dozen years and six weeks ago that baby got sick. Very sick. We spent day after day in the local hospital, then the children's hospital, waiting for a test that would come back positive and tell us how to cure our boy. There were no answers and hope began to slip away.

A dozen years and eight weeks ago I rocked that baby boy, the one who had brought joy back into my home. In the darkness of a hospital room in the middle of a thunderstorm I wept as we rocked back and forth, his shallow baby breath mixing with the tears that flowed down my face and onto my neck. He was wasting away and there were no answers.

A dozen years and eight weeks ago I wondered, 'will the summer of 96 be the summer we look back on and say, 'that's the summer we lost the baby' or will we tell it in other ways - 'that's the summer that middle boy was sick' ?

I am so thankful we get to celebrate today. Celebrate that a dozen years ago a sweet baby boy came into our family, got very very sick, then was given back to us by very smart doctors who never gave up on him.

I celebrate in my heart on June 16th every year. Not just because it is my son's birthday. But because he is the son I almost didn't get to keep. The son I almost lost two years to the day after I stood by my mother's fresh grave. The son whose name means laughter and who's bright spirit radiates through our house.

I am so thankful. So thankful we got him back. So thankful he grows healthier every year. So thankful God dropped him into our family.

A dozen years ago.

2 comments:

Rachel Coleman said...

Judy, that is really beautiful and touching. Thanks for sharing it~
Your friend,

Rachel

Steve said...

I am grateful, too.

Beautiful post, Judy. I, too, remember the pain - and love - you guys felt as the fear of the unknown abounded.

I'm glad that we (although it was mostly Dr. Hillman, and probably the other genetics docs there at Mizzou) finally figured out what was going on.

That's always been a hard thing for me to reconcile in medicine. Many times you know what you're fighting pretty quick, and can get to work. And sometimes, it eludes you, no matter how smart or diligent you may be.

I'm glad we finally all made it together. :)