I cannot believe another week is gone! Time has flown by this week, filled with to-dos and people – my temperament’s happy mix!
I ended up staying home until Tuesday so that I could do necessary shopping and packing with KB and Bubba. It was so fun to be with them. There was snuggling, reading aloud, the previously mentioned shopping, and even some time alone while they went swimming. Happily, I think Jeremy really loves being at the hospital. The mixture of quiet, getting to work, serving Little, and helping his family is perfect for HIS temperament. It was a great start to the week with both of us “taking care of business,” as the 1990 song by BTO says.
The first visitor of the week was a teacher Little had in elementary school. Special Ed. teachers make great visitors because they know fun things to bring and make Little engage in each activity. While she was here Little colored a picture, ate a cookie, AND made a necklace!! We love Blythe with our whole hearts and are thankful for the way she continues to love Little even though she has moved on to middle school. She is what Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony would call a “true, true friend.”
I brought the kids with me to the hospital on Tuesday so they could say good-bye to their sister and the family could all be in the same room for a bit. Everybody did their own thing but my heart was full just being able to put my eyes on all of them at the same time. The nurse took a picture for us. Everyone looks pretty sweet, but one of the kids had just punched another and one had stepped on another’s toes! Never a dull moment with three this close in age! And then there’s the emotion of the fact that I am NOT bending down at all in this picture and seem to be only an inch taller than my kids. Wow. But back to the point… what was the point? Oh, right! My heart was full because we were all in the same room and, in the words of Sister Sledge (1979), “We are family.”
Once the family left for home the Summerall family showed up. The Summeralls were in seminary at the same time we were and lived just a few doors down in campus housing. All of our babies were born within 6 months of each other and, even though it has been almost five years since we’ve seen them, they remain dear and treasured friends. They vacationed in Colorado last week and made a point of spending an evening here with us – such a blessing. Kermit went and got dinner with the kids so that Nicole and I could have time alone to chat. This extrovert was, as the 1985 song by Loverboy says, “lovin’ every minute of it.”
Independence Day in a hospital is QUIET. We donned our red, white, and blue and talked on FaceTime with the family at the local parade. We passed the time until I had to go to the airport to pick up Aunt Brooke and then the happiness really set it. It wasn’t that Aunt Brooke was here to talk with Little for hours, it was just that Aunt Brooke was here. I have found it interesting to watch our Little over these weeks and learn about what motivates her. She doesn’t need a lot of chatting but she does like having her people nearby. Watching her face light up when Brooke walked in was such a joy. Why wouldn’t she light up? I don’t know if you have met my sister-in-law but, as the Beatles sang in 1977, “to know her is to love her.”
Brooke went to FoCo to help the kids finish packing and brought them back down on Thursday for me to take them all to the airport. It took AN HOUR for them to check one bag and I got a text from Brooke just minutes before 2:00 PM telling me that they were JUST getting into the line at security!!! Their flight was to leave at 2:30 PM!!! I had this moment where I prayed and considered… here I am trusting the Lord for a heart for my daughter and trusting Him to do miracles for her … would I trust He could get them through the security line and onto their plane in time? I have to say, the plane situation seemed less probable than a heart transplant, but I chose to ask in faith and demonstrate that faith by NOT planning what to do with everyone if they had to wait three days for the next flight. Look at the time on this message from Brooke:
As they sing in Fiddler on the Roof, “Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles!” Besides getting to the plane on time, the luggage they were told wouldn’t arrive for three days also made it on time! Hallelujah!
Our friend Lola and her daughter Maya came to visit that afternoon with yummy watermelon and berry cobbler. Little had physical therapy while they were here and Maya was sweet enough to do squats with our girl and help with throwing the beach ball they wanted Little to catch. Lola showed Little silly videos of animals and there was laughter and fun, which is great because Cyndi Lauper made sure the world knew that “girls just wanna have fun!”
Some of this I am writing for my own benefit – so that I can look back and remember who was here and how the days were spent. I do know that others come here (or are sent here by my mother) to read about Little’s progress and to find out how to pray. It’s good for me to take moments to focus on this as well, especially when the weeks are slow and it doesn’t seem much is happening.
So, while all of these people were coming and going all week, Little’s body was quietly fighting her C-Diff and on Friday her tests came back negative for the bacteria and we were taken off “precautions” and can finally leave the room! Also behind the scenes, the doctors were sending off blood to continue testing for antibodies that will help them assess Little’s compatibility with heart offers. AND this week we did four days of PT and each day Little persevered and did a great job.
So she LOOKS well and her body is better than it was two weeks ago, having successfully fought the sickness in her gut. Physical exertion has been the reminder that the part of her that’s “broken” can’t be seen. Today we took the elevator down and started laundry together before walking back to the room. When we made the return trip to get the clothes from the dryer, Little got dizzy and I caught her before she fell. When we got back to the room she told me her legs felt asleep and she needed to wake them up! During the week she ended each PT session pale and exhausted; one day she even got sick. She smiles and laughs but we sing with Christopher Walker, “Give me a new heart, O God!”