I was getting ready to write about our weekend (nothing too exciting, just a little shopping on Saturday and church on Sunday), but with the events of the past week nothing really seems important enough to write about.
I have heard so much bad news about people I care about, I feel like I can't take anymore. This week I have heard of three very young people who have received devastating medical diagnoses. A friend from my old lifegroup learned she has a very large brain tumor. She is 28. They don't know yet what they will do about it. An old college roommate has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. She is 30. She is undergoing chemo and surgery. A dear friend and heart mom has just learned that she has a brain tumor. She is still undergoing testing to determine what kind it is and how it will be treated. She is in her early 30's and is a mother of two young children, one with his own serious medical issues.
Then there are the heart babies. I learned from Jillian's blog about a sweet little almost 2-year old boy who passed away suddenly on Thursday. Five hours before he died his mom was writing about how he was signing to her and watching a movie. I have been following another heart blog about baby Johnathan. He is four months old and just had his second open-heart surgery. He had a couple of rocky days at the beginning, but seemed to have stabilized. Sunday morning I checked on him before church and I knew things were bad. I went to church feeling like I could not take one more piece of bad news. I opened the bulletin and read that there was a 17-year old boy who attended one of our outreach programs that had been shot and killed. I didn't know him. But I cried and cried. I cried for all the families that have lost children. I cried for myself and my fear of losing my child. I cried for all the pain and tragedy that goes on in this world. Sometimes it really feels too much to bear. When I returned home and checked on Johnny I learned that he had lost his battle with CHD's too. I am so very sad for his family.
But I had to get it together because I already had plans to visit Arianna and her mom in the hospital. She's the sweet little 3-year old girl who has been in the hospital for ten weeks now recovering from her Fontan. As I made the drive over to the hospital I prayed for everyone. I have a tendency to try to hold on to all these feelings and just take the weight on myself. I know that God wants me to bring it to him and that he is big enough to handle all of these things. So I brought him all my feelings, all my prayer requests and asked that he would give me his strength and help me to be a light in a dark place.
I had a wonderful visit with Bahar. We talked about how difficult it is to split your time between your sick child in the hospital and your healthy child at home. How a long hospitalization can stress your marriage and your relationships. How painful it can be to have friends that just don't know what to say so they say nothing. How difficult it is to be on top of the doctors, nurses, and staff constantly to make sure they are all communicating and doing the best for your child. How everyone tells you take time for yourself, but there really is no time to do that. How isolating it can be to be walking through the hospital corridors for weeks on end and as others come and go. After our conversation we went back to Ari's room and she was awake! I got to talk to her and hear her beautiful voice. She is such an amazing child. She was in a great mood and was so friendly. After all she's been through she is still just a happy little girl. I showed her Drew's scrapbook of his time in the hospital and she really liked looking at it. She pointed out the ng tube he had, just like hers, and when looking at a picture of him with oxygen told me "I don't have oxygen anymore."
I left the hospital feeling a lot better. Yes, there is a lot of sadness in this dark world. But there also is a lot of opportunity to bring light into the darkness. I think one way we can do that is by walking alongside someone, just being with them on their journey.