December Photo Project (DPP) - Day Two

Today was a long day.  It was a challenging day on my heart too.  But just like most days - there were great treasures along the way.  Today, I got to be the one to accompany my big brother to the hospital - for what seems like his 1000th surgery this year.  Clearly - that is an exaggeration but that is what it feels like.  My big brother is in renal failure and on dialysis.  Unfortunately, he is also an overachieving clotter - so he is having lots of problems keeping sites open.  So today, he returned to try again.  Somehow, he keeps a sense of humor.  It was fun to watch him interact with the people at the hospital and joke with them.  It was sad to realize that they all knew who he was and he didn't even have to provide them his name.  My heart aches that he has to endure this struggle.  Here he is, looking ever so cheesy.  :)
As happens with surgical schedules, we had a long wait.  He was taken back to pre-op and due to construction, I was not allowed to go with him.  During this time, I found that I was at peace.  Working on projects for work that could easily be done remotely.  What came as a bit of a surprise was the level of discomfort that came when they let me know he was being taken back to surgery.  I am an expert compartmentalizer - so when I am involved and busy - I can shut off my worry.  I hadn't realized how much I had shut off my worry when it came to B.  It came flooding in today.  It was such a lesson in trust and patience today.  As I looked around, I saw many people struggling to be patient and trust that their loved ones were in good hands. 
As I worked at my computer, a gentleman began to talk to me.  He was soft spoken - so at times I struggled to hear him.  And being someone who is anything but soft spoken - I found it a bit hard to understand such a thing. :)  The more he talked, the more I wanted to listen.  His wife was there that day having surgery.  His brother had just died last weekend of cancer.  He was trying to figure out how to help his wife's recovery and still make his brother's funeral out of town.  Most remarkably, was his dialogue (that may have been him working through things out loud and allowing me to be part of that) was so uplifting and positive.  He talked about how he hated the cancer that took his brother but acknowledge that it was the cancer that allowed him to see mercy in death.  He spoke about life being hard - but that there are so many more ups than downs.  And those downs, he said, are what makes us stronger, smarter, and kinder people.  His final sweet thought was, "I really want to worry about my wife today.  I want to be scared.  But she has good doctors and it is time for me to trust and pray.  What good will worrying do anyway."  I don't know this man's name - but I am pretty sure I will never forget his face or his words.   I will trust and pray that B's new site works well for once, that this will be B's last surgery for awhile,  that the man's wife does well, and that he can make it to the funeral. 

  I am so thankful that today's procedure was relatively minor and that, despite it not going smoothly, he is resting comfortably - hopefully with an open graft site! 

A long day at the hospital means that I didn't get a lot of family time - but there were still plenty of moments to melt my heart.  And these moments were so much sweeter after a day of appreciating loved ones and a healthy dose of perspective.  And how can this not melt your heart?  A daddy and his little girl - trying to figure out what is wrong with her armpit. ;)  And those feet!  Will I forget someday how she always crosses them when we read? 

Then there were the boys.  Something new that has started, and I am sure someday will disappear, is the nightly football game.  They always play tackle, of course.  But as you see here, Brandon is no fool.  With no where to run, he catches that ball and falls to the ground.  Ben usually flies on top of him afterward (that picture, not surprisingly, was completely blurry). We love watching them play.  They are such good buddies.

Bedtime routine is supposed to be pjs, brush teeth, book, snuggles and songs, then bed.  Not for the boys - It is play football, pjs, play football, brush teeth, play football, get in bed, get out of bed, play football, read book, snuggles and songs, then bed.  I would have to say that most evenings Rich and I fail to see the humor that is undoubtedly present in this rambunctious boy behavior.  In fact, most nights we find it infuriating.  But I am sure in the long run, this will be one of those things we look back on and smile.

Maybe if we got a whistle. . . .
And sometimes bedtime routine needs to be paused for a good long admiring look in the mirror.  It is a perfect picture of this kid because his feet are off the ground because he keeps jumping around.  He is always jumping around.  And somehow, with all this energy flowing, he still manages to crash and burn faster than all the other kiddos.  He is a play hard, sleep hard kind of kid. 

But today's DPP Day Two selection is a rare moment - on the lap snuggles with my oldest.  We love to snuggle up to read, snuggle up on Saturday mornings, and snuggle just before bed.  But climb onto my lap snuggles - those are, sadly, dying out.  This girl is fiercely independent, innovative, creative, and on the go.  She is a big idea girl with the determination to make her ideas reality.  But she is also soft and sensitive, eager to please, especially teachers, parents, grandparents, and coaches.  Her feelings get wounded easily - but she is unwillingly to let that show to most - stoic to a fault. . . .until she gets to her mama.  Today was a hard day for her.  Some typical struggles of a girl navigating her way through the world - especially through the fifth grade.  Some struggles that come with poor choices.  Truth be told - she was looking for a little saving tonight.  And while this mama will hold her, cuddle her, tell her that I love her - this mama won't save her from the things that aren't bigger than she is.  I believe in her too much to send her a message that she can't do it.  It is going to be an uncomfortable life lesson but one that will help her grow.  And plenty of snuggles to get her through it.  Just as the man at the hospital said, it is the down times that make us stronger, smarter, and kinder people.

Photo Credit to my handsome hubby
who supports the time and energy put into this blog
and works to help me find those moments
we both want to remember.