* Posted this. Then took it down. Now I'm posting it again (so Jenifer won't worry for Mason). I just cannot articulate these emotions. Try as I may. *
Having a sick child is no fun at all. Last year, my little guy had 8 or so ear infections that always led to fevers and grouchiness. The part of it that made it okay was that I knew he was okay. He was prone to ear infections, but never even required tubes. We knew he'd grow out of it and be fine. It was hard to see him uncomfortable, but he never even acted that sick.
Then there was his mole and cyst, on his forehead, which we had removed the day after Christmas. Signing papers to have your child put under general anesthetic is hard. Spending a day in the hospital was hard. Yet again, it was okay because we knew he'd be okay.
When I go to Children's Hospital, I can't help but wonder about every person I see. Is that person a dad? Sister? Aunt? I imagine their stories, each and every one.
The first time I went there to visit my nephew, I saw a dad walking with his daughter outside. It was October, so still relatively nice outside. She had on a mask and was hooked up to a IV, obviously trying to get some fresh air and exercise. My eyes filled with tears. I could feel his love, fear, strength, emotion, just by looking at him.
Courage comes to those whose children are ill. I've seen it. Their eyes are heavy. Their hair unkept. Clothing mismatched and wrinkled. Their resolve is strong.
Spending time at the children's hospital here in Omaha for the past few months has taught me so much.
Any one of us who have children could be in that position tomorrow. Tonight even.
Fear is a powerful thing and you can't let it control you.
It does help you recognize blessings.
Big and small.
Tonight I'm praying for my family.
Each of us touched in one way or another by all that has gone on in the past four months.
My sweet nephew, fighting to be well.
When you tuck in your sweeties tonight, give them one extra kiss on their forehead. One extra squeeze.
No matter the circumstance, you can be happy they are there.