Let me start off this post with a sincere thanks.
Thank you for all of those prayers and well wishes, they truly helped us through our stressful week. Thanks to Children's hospital for extraordinary care. Thanks to everyone.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I couldn't agree more. We are so super blessed to have such an awesome village in our lives, and your love has really made our hearts smile.
Since being home, I've had time to reflect on this past weeks events. We were so lucky that we were only at Children's for such a short time. Many of the other families there we not quite as lucky. We were placed on a Neuro floor, since the med/ surg floors were full (of the stomach virus...hmmm) as overflow, so most of the other patients were there with neuro related problems. A few we met were terminally ill.
I made the comment to Hubster that you could tell that Elliot was sick because of his eyes. His eyes didn't look like himself. Jokingly, I commented that they looked like Mr. Potato head's angry eyes, but in reality, it scared me to see that even though he was so little his eyes held so much pain. Pain that I couldn't change. No matter how much love I gave him.
So many of those little angels on that floor had eyes that will haunt me forever.
When we were on our way out of the hospital, I had Elliot bundled up with a hat and coat, and while waiting for the transporter to take us to the car, I ran into a mom who was walking her little guy down the hallway in a red wagon with the nurse in tow with his I.V. pole. Hubs and I had seen this family many times in the days before, and had commented on the seriousness of this little guys illness. His little bald head was wrapped multiple times in gauze, and he would often be seen clutching an Elmo doll. He was no more than 4 years old.
As the mom came toward me, she looked at Elliot and then at me, and embraced me in a forceful hug congratulating me on going home. As I looked down at Elliot's hat covered head, I realized, this mom didn't realize that we were just there for a stomach flu, and that Elliot's recovery would happen in a few days. She was celebrating what only seemed like the next step for us. She was celebrating "going home", because in her world, this was a huge milestone. A milestone that may never happen for her family.
In that moment, I was hit with millions of emotions all at once. I felt silly and embarrassed and completely undeserving. My heart felt heavy. Heavy with the sadness that children should never have to go through such pain, heavy with the understanding that this little guy may be there through Christmas. Heavy with the knowledge that he may never leave.
As I hugged her back, I made eye contact with her little guy who was slumped down in the wagon. So sick. So tiny and frail. In his eyes I saw so much sadness...more sadness that a little one should have to bear.Yes, in that moment of eye contact I saw a tiny little angel that had been put through hell. Because even if he got better tomorrow, he had already had large portion of his childhood stolen and erased. His childlike innocence was gone. He had already experienced so many things that no one should ever have to go through, especially not a child. His eyes held so much pain, so much sorrow. His eyes seemed to shout "Help me" and with every fiber of my being I had to stop myself from scooping up the little guy and hugging him with all of my might, even knowing that it still wouldn't make him all better.
With tears in my eyes, I pulled away from the mom and gave her an earnest "Thanks". And as they turned to finish their walk, I caught glimpse of this strong mommy's eyes.
And in them I saw hope.
It sounds horrible, because I hope to never ever have to go back to the hospital for my kids again, but at that moment God showed me the true meaning of being a mom. I'm thankful that I was able to stand in the presence of such heroes, and I'm thankful that in that one momentary exchange I was able to learn how to maintain hope and how to fight for the ones you love.
I'm thankful because I got to experience the presence of God's love.
Because as mommies, at the end of the day, we are here for one reason, to love our babies and to fight for them with every breath in our bodies.
God made mommies, so he could show his love through us.
So let's shower the word with that love, shall we?
Please take a moment and check out this website of an awesome group that brings smiles to kids with cancer and blood diseases.