Today's been a long day. Six IV treatments with the DHE and the headache is hanging tough, so they are starting a new medication now. Even as I see the setting sun reflected ever earlier off of the newest of the Children's Hospital buildings across the street, it seems a long, draggy day.
But I have a long list of things I am grateful for today. I am not these parents:
Overheard in the elevator: "....and then he coughed, which increases the pressure in your chest, you know? And a stitch in his heart tore loose and he started bleeding out through his chest tube, and I asked the therapist 'should his nose be bleeding like that?' and she said..."
Or this: "He's eighteen, just turned this week. He was born here. Yeah, we're 'Frequent Flyers'. I don't know what we're going to do now that he's too old to come here...."
Or: "We're on day sixteen since they took his appendix out. The abscesses are still draining...."
Yeah. We aren't those people, and we aren't any of the many people who arrived by helicopter in the last 24 hours either.
Sometimes I need to be reminded that my kid is not the only one laboring under the inheritance of Adam. I see the number of moms and dads with the blue 'I-have-a-kid-inpatient' wristbands sucking down coffee like it's a lifeline in the cafeteria at 5:30 AM. I see sibling groups with matching shirts that say "Team Gabby" filing into the elevator to go visit Gabby with a very tired Grandma in tow. I can look down into the ER waiting room, never, ever empty.
Our race was given Paradise. We traded it for the knowledge of good and evil and gained sickness and death.
And despite that...despite ALL of that, what I see here all around me are people who manage to put off their fatigue and put on a smile and keep walking. I see moms who stagger out of kid's room looking like a puff of wind would knock them down forever turn around ten minutes later and go back in singing. I see peace in the face of struggle. I see hope. And I see gratitude.