When the kids get stomach sick, I cringe. I soothe; yet I cringe, and my heart stops beating for a moment, and my lips and fingertips get cold and tingly. Having to help my husband through over 24 hours of nausea and vomitting. . . well, I won't lie. . . it is horrible.
He lies there in bed. . . in too much pain to move. . . so I move for him. From the sofa in the living room I spend a night waiting for his cry then running to his side to help him.
15. I'm grateful I am the helper, not the helped. As bad as it seems. . . I'm grateful it isn't me. But I'm also grateful God is helping me to be the helper He created me to be. I don't have that strength in me outside of Him.And just when things seem complicated enough. Just when I think I can't handle another burden. . . the kids, and I get sick. One by one come the coughs, the headaches and sore throats, the fevers. But I won't stop to cry. I have not the time nor energy nor desire to wallow.
16. I'm grateful for the beautiful weather we. Even sick kids can go out in beautiful weather. I can open the windows and let in fresh air - breathe it in and feel that much closer to health.I wake up to the horrible realization that I have a doctor's appointment for myself. Oh, no. Sick husband upstairs in bed, sick kids huddled down in the family room - but I've not seen a doctor in two or three years. . . and this appointment is already a reschedule. . . So I go. With two fevered, coughing kids I go to the family practice office for the second time this week - this time without the 6'4" mass of walking pain beside me. . . no, I leave him home this time. Yet, my four year old slumps over on my side to rest while my two year old scales the waiting room walls, and I'm so tired and discouraged and feel like I just shouldn't have come.
17. I'm grateful for such a joyful doctor and such patient nurses. Not only do they laugh and play with my kids; they are kind-hearted enough to tell me that my little ones are well-behaved. As the two of them stick their heads around the hidey curtain and drop crayons all over the floor and hang from medical equipment, the doctor and nurse choose gratitude. They reminded me to do the same.The week fills my mind with questions. I don't really know what's going on; I just pretend to for his sake and the sake of all those who come by with food and call with inquiries. But I don't know - I just guess - stabs in the dark - hopeful responses to my own questions.
18. I'm grateful for community. The ladies at church (and husband's work) bring food, and our friend -the doctor - our family doctor. . . he's so committed. He calls at least once a day to check on us, he prays with me on the phone, he assures me that his cell phone is at his side all day and night if I have a concern or question. . . his wife, my friend and accountability partner, gets the women organized to bring meals and calls to check on me and promise her prayers. Tired from taking so much care, I rest in the knowledge that I'm taken care of, myself.We are all frazzled - working on that last remnant of patience we all have left. We are fighting, snipping, shouting. . . How much longer? When will this end? I'm asked these questions by everyone - even myself.
19. I'm grateful for a good friend - the best kind of friend - the kind that just decides to come pick up all your kids, even the sick and contagious ones, and takes them for nine (yes, nine) hours. They get time at a new park, spaghetti and ice cream sundaes (the biggest ever), a trip to the movies, and time with their favorite family. I get a long phone chat with my mom, some cleaning time, a load of laundry, quiet time with a good book, and a two hour nap. I'm ready for another week of this.The headache has ceased. The fever is gone. Now we seek recovery.
20. I'm grateful for healing.And I get a call from my friend - the doctor's wife. Their landlord is putting their house - their home - up for sale. I can hear the emotion in her slow, deliberate words. With kids swarming around me as I listen, I realize: Now it's my turn.
21. I'm grateful I can take my friend to God in prayer. She was there for me, now I will be there for her. And the prayers begin. And they won't stop till the answer is made clear. . . then they will be replaced with thanksgiving.