Wednesday, April 30, 2014

One Month Ago

I am just breathless today.  The forsythia is blooming bright yellow, the exuberant color in The Shopkeeper's Bear that you loved.  The yellow is a stark contrast to the cold, gray sky and the rain that has been steady most of the day.  One month ago we visited you at Children's Hospital.  Your eyes were closed and you were wearing a CPap mask (or was it Bi-pap?  I'm not sure).  You were sleeping, sort of, I'm not sure what kind of medications you were on at that point, but before we left you were beginning to have moments of fitful coughing.  That was the last day we saw any movement of your own.  How I wish I had gone to see you Saturday.  Grampy and I left our house early that morning.  Your dad was home - his first Saturday off!!  He had just changed his work route so that he would have weekends off.  Grampy was disappointed not to be able to come watch cartoons with you and mommy so he made an appointment for our car so we would be occupied that morning and not miss you too much.   The car appointment took way longer than we expected so we only came home for a short hour before heading out again.  Grampy and Daddy carried a piece of furniture over to your house but you were already in your room for your afternoon nap.  While we were out doing our errands your momma sent us a text that you were not doing well, fever that wouldn't come down and she was putting you on the monitor to check your oxygen levels.  We decided to eat supper out and while we were eating we received another text from your mom saying they were taking you to Boston.  Oh how I miss you!  I cannot fathom how you left us so quickly.
This was Thursday afternoon, chatting with Grampy on his way home from work.  You were zipping around the dance floor while mommy and Grammie set up for ballet.  I love you so very much, sweet boy, and I miss you more than words can express.

View From the Swamp

It has been a while, but I finally took a few moments to check on the swamp on our one sunny morning this week.  The water is high so it does not appear that any geese are nesting on the rock this year.
 Looks like herons may be on the three nests in the swamp.  I did not see any Wood Ducks or Hooded Mergansers.  There were a few Red-Winged Blackbirds but not the numbers I usually see this time of year; there seemed to be more Grackles than anything else.
Tree Swallows were back, but there are not an abundance of trees still standing in the swamp for nesting spots.  I played around with the color on this one because the sun was too bright to capture his iridescent blue.
This Red Squirrel jumped onto the stonewall in front of me nearly causing me to fall off the upended tree I was standing on.
Not a very riveting post just a dry report from the swamp.  My sister and I are trying to get hiking again.  We've taken a few years off due to hip pain then replacements and then a correction for her and grandbabies for me.  On a short hike last week we spotted Golden Crowned Kinglets!  A first for both of us.  They are so very small but noisy!  We heard them first and stopped to look, thinking they were Cedar Waxwings.  What a surprise when two spiraled down to the forest floor almost at our feet.  No camera that day, only binoculars.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


In the midst of grief, spring is here and beautiful
 Yellow.....forsythia blooming and goldfinches sporting their bright yellow after a drab winter...can you see them without enlarging?  They are well camouflaged!
and a little splash of blue...these are tiny bulbs I planted several years ago,  that now appear in random areas of the yard.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Unfathomable Loss

I cannot begin to comprehend how we are in this place.  Our sweet and precious Charlie, who has brought nothing but incredible JOY through these ten months of agonizing pain, who kept us from staying in deep despair, has been taken home to join his sister.  I KNOW in my head that my God is a god of LOVE and that He is GOOD....even if it doesn't feel good, BUT this REALLY DOESN'T FEEL GOOD.  A few people this week said, "it's so hard, even when it's expected."  THIS WAS NOT EXPECTED!!  Amber was fragile from the very beginning.  Charlie has been strength!  Loud and exuberant where she was gentle and quiet.  A snuggly softie where she was fiercely independent.  He has been walking with a walker!  Not a gait trainer like hers.  He has been imitating words and gabbing up a storm.  He loved telephones and remotes!!  For a very short while, we could appease him with a battery-less remote.  That did not last long, He knew there should be a result when he pushed buttons.  His dad bought a living room ceiling fan/light that has a remote!!  That worked for Charlie but it was nothing like the tv.....especially because his parents have cable in their new home complete with DVR capabilities.  One day I thought we would never get through Super Why as he kept hitting rewind!!!   I was so encouraged reading of a little one with I-Cell who spent 47 days in ICU and recovered.  6 days was NOT WHAT I EXPECTED!  There are other I-Cell children who are beyond their 6th birthdays.  Charlie seemed so capable of achieving that goal!  No prior hospitalizations, no meds, no oxygen.  Where did this come from?  I just don't get it at all .....  but somehow I know my God loves the babyMomma and Daddy more than they feel right now and I just pray that they will not let bitterness and anger take over but that somehow they will begin to feel that He does love them even though we can't begin to see it now.
  Lyrics that have played in my head a bit these two days:  I am not skilled to understand, what God has willed, what God has planned, I only know at His right hand stands One who is my Savior.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Not What We Were Expecting

Last week, the grandbabyBoy was in the best of moods.  He was just personality plus, chatting up a storm, wanting to play with his exuberant puppy, on the phone whenever he could grab one, full of smiles and hugs.  His favorite book right now is The Shopkeeper's Bear.  It is a delightful story that rhymes and has rich illustrations.

 The shopkeeper has broken his glasses and makes lots of terrible mistakes.  There is a picture of a woman screaming when she is handed a rubber snake instead of a hose.  Charlie fake screams with a big smile on his face when we get to that page, and when we get to the page where the shopkeeper gets a new pair of glasses and realizes his new assistant is a BEAR.  Charlie and I had a ballet DVD playing while we were playing on the floor, background music mostly.  When the music changed to ominous, he rolled over and did his scream with a smile!  Somehow, in an instant it seems, everything has changed drastically.  On Friday he woke with a fever, by Saturday night he was admitted to Children's Hospital Boston and on Sunday night he was put on a ventilator!!!  Not at all what we were expecting.  Last week I was missing the grandbabygirl terribly and praying that God would give me a dream about her.  Days later, we are roaming the halls at Children's and being reminded of so much.  For now he remains in ICU on a ventilator and medically paralyzed.  CO2 levels are a concern.  Frequent chest X-rays to monitor his lungs.  His right lung was still collapsed last night and the left has fluid.  We are trying to rest and trust in our sovereign God.  I am encouraged knowing that another family with twin boys who have I-Cell endured a similar incident last spring and documented it in their blog.  One of their boys was in ICU for 47 days, on the ventilator and paralyzed for much of the time.  He did recover.  We are hopeful.