Wednesday, May 23, 2012

True Heartache


I’m a pretty selfish person.  It’s okay.  I know it.  Most of my frustrations can be stemmed from one simple truth: I’m not getting what I want, when I want it.  If something happened in life, it only happened to me.  Without getting into a huge theological discussion, it’s pretty much the nature of sin. 

From the second this kiddo was born my world shifted.  It was no longer about me, but about my little one.  (Don’t get me wrong…I’m still pretty darn selfish).  However, I have a new appreciation for anytime my parents ever said, “If I could take this pain away from you, I would.”  I thought I understood what that meant, but I didn’t. 

Little Teddy has been sick for about a month now.  His acid reflux has him up through the night screaming in pain every two hours.  During the day he can be lethargic and generally sad.  He has good days and bad days but it’s been a very hard time.  As soon as we think we get one thing figured out something else happens.  The latest is teething and/or a virus that he’s caught.  He now has a rash from head to toe, a fever, and his mouth/throat hurts him.  He holds his hands and then hits his face. The doc says there’s nothing we can do, it will pass soon enough.  Well, that’s just not soon enough. 

Throughout this time, TJ and I have taken turns in the middle of the night.  We rock him in the nursery with all the lights off and pray to God to take it away.  Give him peace.  Let him sleep.  Give it to us instead.  Teddy just whimpers and holds us tightly.  It breaks our heart.  When your parents said, “This hurts me more than it hurts you” what they really mean is they would gladly have their heart ripped out.  I’m talking Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, heart ripped out.  I would happily hop in that iron cage, yell for Short Round to hit the lever to drop me into lava, after watching my beating heart get ripped out of my chest if my son wouldn’t have to experience a moment of pain and heartache. 

He’s hurting and there’s nothing I can do other than hold him.  I grew up going to visit hospitals with my oldest sister.  Having her die after so many years of health problems was one of the more painful experiences of my life.  Even now, I still feel like poor pitiful me, I’ve lost my sister.  Here’s something that intellectually I knew, but emotionally didn’t understand:  parents feel every single emotion that their children do.  Every single cry.  Every single smile.  They feel it.  I totally get it now.  Not only did they feel the pain of losing a child, but they felt mine and Andrea's pain of losing a sister.  I’ll never understand the strength it took to watch surgery after surgery, but at least I can truly appreciate it now.  In the grand scheme of things it’s just acid reflux and while it’s miserable in this moment in time, I’ve learned to really step out of my selfishness and appreciate every parent out there.  You have no idea how much they love you.   
This is how we feel most nights:

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