...to share something OTHER than just peeing and moaning.
I spent time today doing a commendation for a little one from whom care is being withdrawn tonight. He never had a chance, although he's undergone three surgeries since his birth two weeks ago. I spent a long time at his bedside, just stroking his head. He has been in an isolation room because he has been so ill and is (frankly) a little scary looking. I was thinking as I was saying the prayers of commendation how little I've seen anyone touching him, not prodding or poking, but touching him the way babies need to be touched. So I stayed, and held his hand, and stroked his tiny head, and thought a lot about the meaning of such a tiny, brief life, just a flash of a shooting star across the sky. I truly believe he is going to a better place. This work is such a privilege.
I also visited a youngster who has suffered brain-damage from lack of oxygen after a near-drowning. The family is hoping for complete cure. It seems unlikely. So today we prayed for a hundred little miracles, like him gripping his grandpa's hands, or moving his legs a bit, or appearing to looking meaningfully at his brother. We also talked about how God's time is not our time, as much as we'd prefer the big bolt of lightning that fixes everything right now, and how we also need to pray for patience.
I'm thinking a lot these days about how, when one of our children is desperately ill, we become children ourselves, petitioning our Father God for a parental fix. We think as a child. At some point, if it is an extended recovery, or less than hopeful prognosis, we become grown, and we put away childish wishes. Our interactions with God seem to change.
Another mother and her child (who is HIV positive) are struggling to balance hope with reality, and the child's kidneys are failing. The miracle talk has shifted into simple requests for strength.
Neither is good or bad, or right or wrong. It's just an evolution as we process the suffering.
Four babies have died on the intensive care unit in the past two weeks. My heart aches.