Thursday, September 06, 2007

Joy and Pain

I really am not sure why I thought that on Tuesday I would just jump online and report about the birthday party. I must be crazy. Tuesday came and it was like "Oh! There's a day after August's birthday." And the days keep coming. Lucky for me, I love being busy. I mean, I love being busy. I get really down with nothing much to do. After being in a wedding with all the showers and dinners and especially the wedding weekend, I would get so down that it was all over. I would think about the bride and groom getting on a plane and about how they had so much to do and places to go still ahead. And I was just home looking for something to watch on cable. Bummer. This also explains why I have always had the "summer blues." How long and boring is summer? This year it was pretty busy, I guess, but nothing to what the school year is already. So where does that leave me with blogging? I've become even more sporadic than before. I have so much on my mind, but no time to sit and type it out. Then when I do type it out, it becomes this vague, boring post like the personality test one. So I'm waiting on the birthday party post. Might as well anyway, Elspeth will be one on Wednesday so I am having another birthday party next week. Can you believe it?! I mean, the part about Elspeth being one. Well, I can't anyway. So in the next week, just seven short days, we have George's dad and step mom coming down from Michigan and the day after they leave, my mom coming up from Nashville, Elspeth turning one, Elspeth's one year check up, not to mention the regular school lunch volunteering on Tuesdays and Thursdays and ballet lessons on Thursday afternoons. I say all this because I am just so excited. I so love being busy. Did I mention that already?

On a more serious note, Amelia went home from the hospital today. Or she was supposed to. I am not sure if she did based on a recent post, though a close friend of theirs said they were leaving around the same time. This whole experience has showed me that I truly am an optimist. I always think of myself as being pessimistic, but I think I am just easily discouraged. I know I am. People are always telling me my expectations are too high. That reeks of optimism! Reeks because I am so unrealistic, so naive in my hopes. I get it from my mom. My mom says "I refuse to receive that," literally, those words, in the face of grim probability. It drives me crazy. Because you can't just refuse to receive what God has for you. She says God doesn't have bad things for you, that those are all from "The Enemy" (and I cringe, just wishing she would say "Satan." "The Enemy" is like nails on a chalkboard to me). I tell her that God had slavery for Joseph, and that he says "Satan meant it for harm, but God meant it for good." And that God has crucifixion in His plan for His only Son. Then it gets all blurry and we just start talking past each other. But my point is that, regardless of what I believe to be true, in the face of grim probability, I have a sort of naive "faith" that God will make things right. I put the word faith in quotes because I feel like it is a faith that He can, but I think it is misplaced faith to just assume that He will. His ways are not our ways. And though I think we have a longing for situations to be righted that is from Him, we also have to accept that things that do happen to His people are in His plan and are meant for good. I have no idea how. And I do not think I could, nor do I think it would be helpful or appropriate to say that to Steve or Jen right now. I think this whole thing is about the worst thing I could imagine and I can't think what God is doing. I think it could be easy to see it if she comes out of this, but it is not so easy to see it when you think of the grim probability she is faced with. As I mentioned, I talked with a close friend of the Allens today who had pictures of beautiful Amelia to show me. She is right on track with height and weight and an absolutely darling little girl. But she is severely brain damaged. She may never walk. She may never talk. She may never be able to feed herself. And I think the "may nevers" are closer to "probably won'ts."I don't think I have gotten a real feeling for that when I have talked to the Allens and read the blog.

But I wonder if it is because I have not let them say so- "refused to receive" bad news or possibilities. How much easier is it to rejoice with those who rejoice than to mourn with those who mourn? When she is sucking on a passy or moving out of the PICU, it is so easy to cheer and weep for joy. But what happens when they mention something about bad test results or the upcoming intense therapy? What do you say? You don't want to upset them if they are not already upset. You don't want to pick at a scab. Though I am sure they are nearly always raw. And I find myself wanting to constantly avoid the fact that I have a healthy baby at home the same age as their dear suffering one.

Anyway, Amelia is going home very soon, but she is in no way well. We should continue to be grateful for the little progress we see, but I think sobriety about the gravity of the situation is helpful too. At least it was to me. I've been tra la la about all her progress, full of stories about people who had miraculous recoveries, remembering that we don't really use that much of our brains anyway, reminding us all that she is just a baby and babies are all learning everything anyway (so surely she can't be that far behind?), and putting a lot of hope in her therapy, which are all comforting at times maybe, or at the very least well meant. But to be someone who can handle and talk about the grim probability (I keep using that phrase because it is more or less one Steve was using last week), is needed too. Maybe even especially. I am not sure when I will see them again as they will not have a home base here much longer, and I know most of you will not see them ever; but please pray with all this in mind, with the idea of what this little girl's life is supposed to be as God created her and of what it is "supposed to" be when the doctors look at the brain scan now. Please pray for her full recovery as often and as soberly as you can.


Becca B said...

I love being busy, too! I actually get more accomplished than if it's dead as a doornail. And I like that things are cranking up again--I have a newfound love for autumn and its unique buzz of activity. LR is too danged hot to breathe during the summer!

Prayers for the Allens...though I'll probably never know them, I have followed Amelia's story from afar.

Happy Birthday August and Elspeth!

sara said...

Are the Allens still moving to Nashville??

Anonymous said...

I think I am starting to realize how busy fall is, and how many fun things there are to do...see, it was never this way for me growing up, or at least I didn't realize it. This explains why I always get the end of summer blues. I've always hated fall. True, at
Auburn, I looked forward to seeing friends again, rush, and football games, but I think it's been ingrained in me since I was young that fall was back to the grind, same old, same old, whereas our summers were fun, out of the ordinary, going to the pool, meeting friends, ice-cream, zoo, shakespeare in the park, fun trips, etc. Fall meant, studying and getting up at five a.m. to practice violine and piano, not to mention countless music lessons every week. I am starting to realize that as fun as summer is, I do like the return to routine and the autumn activities that come with it.

I'll be praying for the Allens.

Love, elizabeth

lauren said...

elizabeth-i'm with you...growing up i felt that way about the fall, but as an adult, i'm kind of the opposite.

i love shopping for school supplies, pumpkin patches, fall recipes, holidays, raking leaves, cooler weather, etc. i'm getting excited just thinking about it!!! :)

but on the other hand, now that ellie has started K5, i appreciate the lazy summers where we can wear our pjs until 10am (or pm!) if we want. there's no commitment to be anywhere everyday. i'll probably cherish next summer a lot more after a year of waking up at 5:45am!

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