Monday, August 1, 2011


The constant "snap, snap" of Isaiah taking apart the k'nex Ferris wheel in the other room was soothing as I rocked back and forth with my head in my hands. I had just poured through Proverbs 3 seeking comfort and promise from the scriptures I believe, while simultaneously struggling with worry about my daughter upstairs.

She was sick. For the second time this week. Mysterious, sudden, and scary sick. She wanted the comfort of her favorite movie and her favorite brother. I obliged with both. Isaac wouldn't have it any other way. So, he sat vigil next to her bed while she watched "Cars."

Every time she flinched, grabbed her stomach, grimaced in pain, whimpered in fear, or needed anything, he was at her beck and call. He fetched her anything she needed or wanted. He jumped at each sound. And he did it all voluntarily.

I sent Tim scarce updates via text. I knew he was busy working, and I didn't want him to worry. But an hour before his shift ended, he took leave and made his way home. She had a rough night--up every couple of hours. I had a rough night, too. Barely sleeping. Up every few minutes to check on her. Worrying. At 1:45 a.m. she panicked because I had sent Isaac to his own bed. Isaac, the BEST big brother on the planet, came back to her bedroom and camped out on her floor.

By the morning, she seemed to be back to her old self. Just like what happened on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. She asked for cereal. And she wanted to play. She didn't seem sick at all.

I've been doing this long enough to know that sometimes what seems like a simple illness is more than it seems. Sometimes, what presents as a virus is a virus. And sometimes, what presents as a virus is an intestinal blockage or shunt malfunction.

And that is what we suspect this time. The sudden sickness. The additional symptoms. The unpredictably of it all.

We'll ask her how she is feeling, and she will answer, "Great!" Even as she clutches her body in obvious pain.

So, every time she is sick, my mind goes to the dark places that borrow trouble from the unknown. I worry about what is and what could be. About getting appointments and tests scheduled. Taking time off work. Getting results. Doing it all alone.

Even as we approach this next chapter in her care, I am aware that we are walking this road together. Last night, as he picked up toys and nervously cleaned, Isaiah kept saying, "Even if she is sick, she will be okay."

His love for her palpable. His worry inescapable. His commitment to his sister and his family unflappable. His trust was in the one who gave the promise I poured through in Proverbs. The boys and I stayed up late watching a movie based on a book they had both read. We checked on Esther-Faith every few minutes. And we prayed a lot.

Because even if she is "just sick" or more than "just sick," we know that in the end, it will all be ok.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:3, 5-6

Painting her new pencil box for kindergarten on Wednesday.

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