Joy: Home

I’m feeling a little tender today, friends. On a simplistic level, and for the purposes of checking off “blog” box on my to-do list, I felt joy today sitting on the couch this morning with my youngest daughter, looking at the wall that you see in the photo above (and, subsequently, the mirror reflection of the trees through the large front window).

So. Blog: check. But in conjunction with watching the wall in peaceful quiet this morning, allow me to wax self-indulgent for a minute.

Our 3-year-old, little A., relapsed into fever and intense sickness yesterday. A doctor’s appointment this morning revealed yet another kidney infection (the second one, or maybe the same one continued, in under 2 weeks). Which is weird typing that, because it’s so factual, and those of you reading it probably ingest it as such, maybe feel a pang of pity, and continue on your way. Which is what I would do, too.

You wouldn’t have any way of knowing the gratitude I’ve felt yesterday and today that this little girl has a safe, warm, loving home to curl up and feel sick in. Or that she has parents who lie awake at night worrying about and checking up on her and siblings who pray for her. Or that she can cry to her sympathetic dad in the early morning hours and snuggle with her sympathetic mom in a foreign medical clinic environment.

Reading the factual statement above, you wouldn’t have any way of knowing the bittersweet tears I fought back as she looked squarely at me in the clinic restroom and, no doubt mistaking the worry on my face, promised, “I won’t trow up dis time, mommy.” Or when she found out she needed another painful shot and nodded, tightening her grip around me, when I asked her if she could be brave one more time. Or when her tears squeezed out, staring helplessly and painfully and accusingly into my eyes, as I carefully held her down to receive said shot.

You wouldn’t have any way of knowing that I completely failed to fight back tears at all in the quiet of the exam room with her face tucked carefully into her blankie on my chest. Or that, almost before her kidneys had even been deemed the potential problem, I was already planning out how — not if, but how — one of my own kidneys would fit into her little body, and should they take it out before, during, or after my unborn baby’s delivery. Or that I caught a glimpse of our reflection in the mirror on the back of the door — she in pain but clinging to someone she trusts and loves, me worried but cradling her as comfortably as I knew how — and immediately thought of God and His sorrow yet infinite caring for each of His children in and through their individual pains.

She’ll be fine, I’m sure. It’s just hard to helplessly watch a little body be in so much hurt…especially when it happens to be a little body that grew inside of you in the first place. And this is even a relatively small thing. Most likely treatable. So many people, probably you, have endured so much more through their children. I’m in awe of you.

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3 thoughts on “Joy: Home

  1. Melissa Johnson says:

    Brittney, thank you for your poignant sharing today. Made me tear up a bit as i remembered times I’ve been in a similar place. Hugs to you, as you hug your children within and around you.

  2. lisa says:

    Beautifully written. I’ve also cried a time or two in my kids’ exam rooms when they’ve had mystery illnesses and temps of 104. You just wanna take all their pain away.

  3. Tara says:

    Oh, Brittney…so very, very beautifully written. I know the feeling (or, my own version of the feeling, anyway, because everybody’s experience is unique) from dealing with my daughter’s most-likely-won’t-really-be-a-problem-for-her heart condition. It’s not easy to watch your child go through something when all you want to do is make it all go away. I’ll keep you both in my prayers…

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