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Burn The Land,

Boil the sea.
You can't take the sky from me.
--Firefly Theme song.

During the heat wave this past week, I was, yet again, (and again), reminded of the frailty, the uncertainty of our existence. The fact that the things we rely on, the things we base our whole being upon is just as unpredictable and frail as anything else. Like walking on a bridge and feeling totally safe while the supports that you can't see are weak under you. Is life just about chance, or luck? Some may make it across and others will fall, and yet, knowing this, we are still expected to stride out in confidence.

How can we cope with this?

When we are young, like trusting flowers raising our faces to the sun, we have not yet experienced the rain and hail that teaches us to be more cautious.  Once we have been battered down to the ground, it is harder to look up with the same kind of spirit. When children grow up, is it just a process of hardening, or becoming untrustful and cynical? The loss of innocence: is the term that we adults have coined in our pursuits of protecting our children. Others may call it naivety, or immaturity. Whatever you may call it, it's easy to perceive, to feel when that little spark of faith and trust is tested and weakened. How, is my question, how can we grow through the trails, the hardships, the tastes of mortality, and yet preserve this gift of faith? One of the children whose blog I have been following and who had the same diagnosis as Leo did when he was born, died last week. I feel his loss, the pain, very acutely. That could have, should have been my son, and there is no rational way to explain why it wasn't him that was chosen to bear that cross. How can all those flowers planted in the same bed live such very different lives? It boggles the mind. Why do some recover from the hail, and others bury their heads back into the ground? I know, I know, I should just be thanking my lucky stars for our situation, because "it could always be worse," but is that just a statement born out of pessimism and hurt? Is there a way to keep looking to the sky, even though you may be brought to your knees? How can I protect my children from bitterness?

I know that there is no way I can shelter them from hurt. But perhaps I can teach them to acknowledge the pain, to face the hurt, to acknowledge our weakness. And only from that place of utter helplessness, can we get rid of our pain, and ultimately our anger and bitterness. There is no rhyme or reason that influences the outcomes of our lives. Why my child lives, while another dies is a mystery that can not be understood, only borne. And from the rain and hail, heat and cold, in our Lord can we take refuge. Dear sweet  Ethan, Memory Eternal!



Leo is doing very well, although the heat has gotten to all of us in varying degrees. His swelling seems to have gotten drastically worse along with the temperature, which leads me to believe that it is a simple case of extra water retention from the heat. However, it is moderately frustrating to see his head getting bigger, instead of smaller. Now that the cooler temps have arrived we are hoping to see the reverse. His head does seem better today, though poor little man seems to have a preference for storing the fluid over his right ear which makes it hang down in a sad and droopy fashion! Although there is nothing sad about the rest of him, because he is happy as a peach, and now progressed to "papapapa, and "bababa," in addition to his original "mama." Also he has finally cut his first tooth and in celebration laid waste to several jars of baby food. As much as we are so proud of him, and happy that he is doing so well, we are more than ready to see some visual results from the surgery! Although it seems like it will be later then sooner. Definitely a lesson in patience for us. As always, thanks for reading, and a thousand apologies for the lateness of this post!



Comments

  1. Thanks so much for the update - I've been thinking about you guys a lot lately, wondering how the lil man is doing. All my love, and continued prayers, of course! I love the new pic of Leo in his blue hat - he looks so wonderful and beautiful!

    ~Nicki Lyon

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  2. Leo looks soooooo cute in this new pic! Thanks for sharing it. I can't imagine all the blogs you have grown close to as many have with Leo's blog, to lose one would be so sad :-(
    Memory Eternal, Ethan

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  3. There isn't a chance that the fluid retention is a result of the shunt not working properly, is there? I would absolutely hate to put any kind of worry into your head, but as I was praying for him, the thought of the old shunt came to mind and how it had stopped working without you knowing it. I realize that I don't know anything about anything, and that you have fabulous doctors looking after him, but the thought popped into my mind, and I felt I had to ask it. I hope that his swelling is going down with the cooler days, and that all is well.

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  4. If we all could only approach life and all its difficulties with the same strong spirit as Leo! Maybe this is exactly what Jesus had in mind when he said, "Let the little children come to me, because of such is the kingdom of heaven."

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  5. As many thoughtful comments as there might be to this post, I just have to point out how much Leo looks like your dad in that first photo.

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