|Joyful Life Library|
This will never be easy. I tell myself as tears come flowing down in the shower. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy. The song is still ringing in my head from when my husband was getting ready this morning. I cried when I heard the song coming from the bathroom but quickly wiped the tears away as I don't want the little ones to know the full measure of why the tears fall. The song is most appropriate for this day.
He missed football practice. He missed taking our oldest to a Dr. appointment. He didn't call to tell me he wouldn't be home until late. By 7:26 in the evening I was sitting in my warm car at the tail end of our 9 year olds football practice wondering. I texted our oldest, have you all gone to Dr. yet? His response, dad hasn't come home yet.
I know it. We've been here many many times before in 15 years. He has a sick patient. I don't even have to text his nurse to know but I do and her response back to me, he has a [sick patient] so he might still be [at the hospital] with him. Last time I talked to him he said he was going to stay there for a little while with him. He had to transfer him to the PICU. The PICU.
It never gets easy. He calls me as I'm just about home. He rehearses the whole process of the surgery. The outcome. What should have happened. Why didn't it happen. He doesn't do this for my benefit. I listen very quietly. He asks if I'm still there. "Yeah, I'm just stunned." He is too. It is hard so so hard. I turn down the road to our house and there is his car going the opposite way. "hey, there you are where are you going?" "I don't know. I- I don't want to go home."
Home, it is our safe haven. It is our resting place. He hasn't decompressed enough from the day to be able to enter into that place.
"How is your patient now?" I ask changing the subject a bit. "I sent him to the PICU. I won't know anything tonight. They will just watch then it's an MRI and we'll go from there..."
He snaps out of it and turns around pulling up the drive about 5 minutes after I do. The first thing he says to our 9 year old as he sees him sprawled out on the kitchen floor finishing his homework- "sorry I didn't make football practice."
The kids know and it isn't easy. They all react in different ways. Our oldest is always forgiving and wondering what next. Our 9 year old smiles and gives a hug. Our daughter is sad and cries into the pillow on the couch not being able to put words to her emotions. Our littlest really just keeps watching cartoons but can't fall asleep when sleep comes so he lays on the couch in between the 2 of us...
Nobody is ever prepared when a child is admitted to the PICU. Comfort and hope are a need for these families. I know we've experienced both sides of it... Our oldest was admitted to the PICU for 4 days when he was just a newborn-
It isn't easy. But it can be made a little easier through the comfort of The Joyful Life Library. The following is a quote from Heather at Life Made Lovely and the founder of The Joyful Life Library:
We feel strongly that reading a favorite story to a child is an act of love that's comforting to the child and the caregiver alike, and is especially important when your life has been turned upside down because of a little one's critical illness. As a parent of a hospitalized child, you often feel helpless because there is so little comfort and care you can offer. Being able to sit and read a book, just like you would do at home, helps to make the entire family feel a little bit better. Because of this we have set out to put books in as many PICU's as we possible can.
Next Tuesday I'm going to start a book drive for the Joyful Life Library. With the winter months coming they are in need of Board Books for the little ones 3 and under that will be admitted to the PICU- Might you consider helping??