August 9, 2011

Healthy and Fearful

I was put in touch with the story of baby Caden and the Stanley Family via a blog.  A new baby boy, born with a heart defect, now in the critical period post-surgery.  Things like this make me feel grateful, but sad and completely and utterly unworthy to have the happy (yet crazy) and healthy children we have.

I showed James pictures of baby Caden on the computer, and we prayed for the baby.

Me:      Let's pray for baby Caden, okay?
Stella:   Yes, the baby.
James:  Oh, okay, that baby looks like Stella.
Stella:   Stella!  That's Stella baby.
Me:      That baby is sick and we need to pray for him, okay?
James:  Yes, let's pray for the sick baby.

[we fold our hands and pray a little prayer]

James:  Remember when Stella was a little baby?
Me:       Yes, I do.
James:   She was not sick.
Me:        You are right.  We are very lucky.
James:   I was not sick too. Except the time I burped. Remember when I burped, Mom?
Me:        Yes, baby.  You and Stella are very healthy.
Stella:    I not sick.
James:   No, you not sick too, Stella. And Mom, you not sick, right?
Me:       That's right.

And round and round we went, just as usual, only this time the conversation turned into a fight about James being less sick than Stella ("I not sick!" "No, I not sick, too!").  

My two healthy happy kids...fighting over who was less sick.

The Expert's maternal grandmother, "Nannie," is in and out of hospice care right now.  The babies do not know she is sick, because I think it's just too early to convey this kind of sickness to children.  We are all praying for her to pass out of this life with peace and no fear, no pain, with the sense of a life well-lived.  My mother-in-law is watching her and tending to her, and I know this time is full of fear for both of them.

Times like this, I find that I am holding my breath in worry.  More than I realize.

I have complete faith in God.  I trust Him to lead me, my family in the right direction.  And I have never been led wrong, and I have found nothing but blessing after blessing poured on us.  Yes, there have been terrible, trying times.  This time with Nannie is painful for our family - and what my mother-in-law is going through is indescribable.

Then there is the Stanley family who is suffering...and others who have lost husbands, wives, and babies...and children....and adult children.  

I just fear it all.

So, with this post, I guess I aimed to write yet another post about gratitude.  But also a very honest word about fear.

When life is good, I fear that God (or life, or happenstance, or an idiot driving down the road) is going to say, You had your shot. You weren't appreciative enough. Now, time for the rollercoaster.  I fear that the rug will be yanked from beneath me, and I will be hit with the heavy hand of tragedy.

Fear, fear, fear.  Then I see this photo/icon on the Stanley blog.

Be still.  Wait.  Quiet.

If the Stanley family can be still in the face of what they are suffering... then I sure better learn. 

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