Monday, July 27, 2015

a walk.........

Two years ago I sat in a hospital room.....
I glanced back and forth between my sleeping son who lay upon the stark white sheets and the beautiful young social worker that spoke to me behind a yellow mask.  Her gloved hands pointing to paragraphs on paper and her stiff yellow gown awkwardly moving about.  Her words went in and out as my concentration faded.

We were having a conversation about the future.
The transplant.

She was giving me options....walking me through.
She began to tell me about different places where we could live during the process.
There was a couple who donated a house in town in which families could live during their medical journey.  Expenses paid, lots of room, short commute.
and then she began to tell me about Brent's Place.
A close by apartment building filled with people going through similar journeys, and a staff of which she insisted was incredible......

Feeling overwhelmed by her every word I declined to make a decision in that moment.
As she left the room I felt so afraid.
I had a home.
I had a place to live....
and I hated that I had to choose another.
but If I have learned a thing from my hardships,
I have learned that what I love or what I hate weighs very little on the direction that life turns.
Life goes its way.....
and the feelings I have rarely steer its course.
Often, the only option is to grip tightly to the steering wheel as it moves its own way....

I had a conversation days later with Devan when he and Paysen came for the weekend.
I explained that I didn't know what to choose....the house or the apartment....
I went on with my words for half and hour before Devan turned to me and said, "You need the people. You need the support."   He knew that he would not be there to support me as he would continue on with school....and he knew that someone needed to be.  He knew that his wife alone in a spacious house....would be disastrous. He knew.

Upon filling out the application and information for our future home I felt still nervous....  I could have never anticipated the massive effect that that apartment building and the occupants within in would have on my life.

We returned home yesterday after spending the weekend at a Brent's Place family reunion.  Families from multiple states gathered to eat and play and show support for those that suffer.
Something happens to my heart when I surround myself with people who have swam through similar depths....  Who's trail resembles mine.  Who's understanding of my pain is real.
And often times, I feel more at home in a room full of people I have never met, just knowing that they know. Knowing that although our journey is far from identical, they still know.  They know about the sorrow, and the joy that comes with childhood illness....
The boys got to count down to the start of the race!

Parklen kept up with Paysen during this years fun run.....they ran and danced and splashed and drew and boogied and partied through the course, and I trailed behind with my camera just trying to capture a fraction of that day.







Phin getting down in the dance zone.

a hoop race
















This I Parklen with one of his favorite guys, Brent's father....the founder of Brent's place. Turning tragedy into something beautiful.

The path was lined with signs...
Each sign showing a photograph of a Brent's Place child.
Some living and breathing survivors..
Others, smiling photos of child that lost their fight here in the world....
Parents walking....some with their children...others in memory of theirs....
I felt blessed to be watching my son run ahead of me....
and I prayed for the families who longed for one more moment with their lost one....
Their bravery was not lost on me....the strength it took to walk those steps while missing their child....I cannot even begin to imagine.




Later in the day,
Parklen swam the afternoon away in a pool filled with his peers.  Children.  Fighters.  Survivors.. Siblings and brave parents.  Paysen never too far away from his brother.....
I watched them as I had a conversation with another mother....
Her words spoke to my heart as she shared how her faith grew during her daughters treatment....
the mother of 5 quietly speaking and her words loudly piercing my mind.... "I wouldn't change it..."
I feel the same.
The times spent deep in the valleys of life have made the tip tops of the mountains and every place in between, more beautiful, more meaningful and more precious.

and that is something to be thankful for.





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