I can’t wait for things to get back to normal. I have said it, and I have heard it said dozens of times over the last six months. What is normal anyway? I went grocery shopping the other day. Boring. Routine. A depressing way to spend money. A check off the to do list. As usual, I purchased more than my good intentioned list of coffee grounds, off brand laundry detergent, and completely unnecessary half gallon of ice cream. I piled my bags onto the very-much-in-need-of-a-scrubbing seats of my truck, and rounded the corner to the driver’s side muttering something to myself about children who leave skittles on car seats to bake into a glue that will last for all eternity. I glanced at the car beside me. Both the front windows were rolled down leaving the front wide open, and a man sat in the front seat looking … Continue reading →
It was hot. Not a cloud in the sky. Dust burst in small clouds from the ground with every falling step. A long line of travelers straggled in a slow crawling walk towards the searing horizon. Isaac licked his lips, tried to swallow, and spat grit out instead. There was a well here somewhere, he thought with almost panicked frustration. He remembered it from his boyhood, he remembered watching his father dig it. He remembered the smooth feel of wet dirt that came slinging out in clumps, thrown out of the dark hole when his father and servants finally hit water. It was here, and he had to find it. He must find it or they were all going to die. A baby wailed. The wagons creaked and lurched over the rough terrain. No one had the energy to talk. Even the cattle and the sheep were silent. He stopped … Continue reading →
The annoyingly cheerful ding of the doorbell sounded unnaturally loud through the perfectly still house, and sent a frown to my face. I was a young military wife, new in town, husband gone on deployment, and feeling less than my best expecting our first baby. Visitors were hardly a thing I expected on a random midweek afternoon. I opened the door with the express air of one who wishes people would call before arriving on my steps, and was greeted by a round smiling face, brilliant blue eyes, and torrent of talking which was in no way deterred by my stiff politeness. Somewhere in the flow of words I ascertained this unexpected caller to be a women, probably forty years my senior, whom I had met only recently at my new church. Whether I invited her in, or she invited herself, I am not quite certain. One way … Continue reading →
Six months after Jed passed away I had the opportunity to talk about the rather tricky subject of Joy with a group of ladies. Joy is the last thing on one’s mind after losing someone you love. How can you possibly have joy and a broken heart at the same time? Here we are looking at the two year mark of life without Jed, and I want to share this story again with friends who have never heard it. Recently, someone told me that because of the unfortunate changes our family has seen following Jed’s death, what happened throughout his life was a waste, and we are now just a statistic. I’m afraid I do not agree. You see, no one is just that grand. I do not, nor does anyone else, have the power to nullify God’s work, His truth, His goodness shown, or His promise that He is able to keep … Continue reading →
“What is your code ma’am?” You had to have one. A security code to give the hospital every phone call to see how your baby was doing. I still catch myself, feeling like I haven’t done something I need to do, I haven’t called to check on Jed. My code is 9014. I’m calling to check on Jed, do you have his labs for today? How much oxygen is he needing? How did his blood pressure do over night? What time are you running dialysis? Does he look ok? I’ll be in this afternoon. Call me if something comes up. It is the cruelest feeling I have ever known, to turn, to walk away, to will yourself not look back, to not cry, to harden your heart with all the facts that you know so well, to leave. I have done it more times than I care to remember. It … Continue reading →
This whole thing, start to finish, is not about me. This existence, this space on earth I occupy, these moments of intersection into other people’s lives, this whole thing called life is not about me. Counter to culture’s doctrine, I am not the hero of the story. I am an underscore, a shadow, a very fuzzy reflection of a brilliant reality. I am ashamed to admit I am fighting this truth tooth and nail lately. I know this truth. I teach it to my girls. I believe it. But I almost always shrink from the courage to live it. I want to have an edited picture, filtered, in focus, one that will earn plenty of approval. Because I am just that good. The only problem with that sort of picture is, that is a lie, I am not that good. You see, there are three great sorrows in my life. My daughter’s health complications, … Continue reading →
The first time a physical therapist showed up on my door step to evaluate Christina for services, I’m fairly certain I was as warm and welcoming as glacier ice several miles thick in January. She had worked with special needs kids for blah blah…and at that point, I was lost and gone. I did not have a special needs kid. I had a developmentally delayed premature baby. Get it right lady. Out came the check list. Was Christina able to do this, this, this, this, or this? No, no, no, no, and no. What did that prove anyway?? Clearly, there really was no extensive problem here. The therapist wisely ignored me, and proceeded with the whole business as if she didn’t notice my freezing lack of enthusiasm. When Christina was somewhere around a year old, I finally floated back down to the good old reality of Earth, and was ready … Continue reading →
It was somewhere between three months and seven and a half months into Christiana’s short, but dramatic life that I remember dully listening to another mom gushing about her daughter. Words meant to be encouraging landed like slaps to my heart. “We just had a lot of faith,” she said. “We prayed, and prayed, and our daughter made it home with no ventilator, and is so much better than they ever thought she would be. You just have to have faith.” I remember smiling politely and walking away. Have faith echoed from my footsteps down the hospital hall. It chuckled mirthlessly in the silent elevator. It jeered at me from the back seat of the car driving home. We had faith. We prayed. And then we picked our in home nursing care, installed electrical outlets for a ventilator, learned to change a trach, and memorized emergency procedures for keeping a baby … Continue reading →
I don’t have anything new to write about. No really, I don’t. I have fought and fought in my mind about this blog, about writing, about whatever happened to that women five years ago who painted furniture while two healthy little girls napped, and blogged pictures to amuse invisible friends in cyber space. I have always thought the day I got my first glimpse of my squirrel sized premature third daughter, was the day the door to my former life snapped shut and sealed itself impenetrably. There was no going back to the “shall we have taco’s for dinner or go out” life of luxury style problems. Her birth pealed a layer away to a deeper view of life that once seen, can never be unseen. As if a door to another world had opened and swallows us, we found ourselves lost in a maze of terrifying scenery. … Continue reading →
Why, in western culture, the phrase “how are you” is considered a legitimate way to greet each other positively confounds me. Very few actually answer the question. Fewer still answer with even the slightest form of honesty, and those who do, are generally considered less than pleasant people. Bless their hearts. I recently started working a bit in the retail business. For a people watcher such as myself, this is quality entertainment at its absolute finest. Dozens of times a day, the socially proper question of dubious meaning comes rolling out of my mouth to be answered in the expected, the unexpected, and sometimes the most downright shocking of ways. If I was not already convicted by my own lack of gratitude, I am now. If I was not already convinced, I am now thoroughly certain, that we, generally speaking, are not a thankful people. We are tired. We are … Continue reading →
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Welcome to chapter37! I'm Abby, the face behind the blog, and I'm so glad you are here! I call myself mom to four beautiful stories being written...two typical girls full of sparkles and giggles, one former preemie winning her battles one at a time, and a little man living life with gusto despite kidney failure and liver cancer. I write about the kids, the house, and all the mess in between. I hold the opinion that anything in life can be handled with God, a paint brush and a healthy sense of humor!