Monday, October 20, 2008

While He's Here

"Take him home and love him while he's here."

This is what I just read on a CaringBridge website that Kevin's cousin forwarded to me. This is what this baby's parents were told when they finally got to take him home from the hospital. I don't even know these people, but my heart can hardly handle reading this statement. The doctor who made the statement wasn't being dismal; he was simply being realistic in light of this baby's extremely rare disorder, which will most likely not allow him to live very long.

I truly cannot imagine it.

No matter how many times I read stories like these, I am convicted of just how spoiled and selfish I am. For some reason, I feel entitled to complain when my kids won't leave me alone for two seconds; they want to (GASP!) talk to me and hug me and laugh with me ALL THE TIME. And I get annoyed because I think they're driving me crazy sometimes. HOW RIDICULOUS IS THAT??? My children are perfectly healthy. (Katie can't eat gluten, but that is a minor inconvenience.) They do not have special needs, and they are very independent for their ages. I have it so easy.

I can remember running into an old college friend a couple of years ago, and she shared with me about her little girl, who also has a rare disorder that will most likely greatly shorten her lifespan. We both stood there crying as she shared with me about her daughter and about what their days are like. A mother's will is strong--she will do whatever it takes to take care of her baby. But a mother's heart is incredibly tender--it shouldn't have to bear such things.

This is just one more instance where I see God's intervention in people's lives. The parents who share on the CaringBridge website know that God has a purpose for their baby boy's little life, and they have already been able to share their faith with so many people because of what they are experiencing. That doesn't negate their pain and their questions; it doesn't erase the sorrow that they are experiencing now and will experience later on when the inevitable happens. But it does give them hope beyond their human understanding. And they know that God weeps with them when the pain is just too much.

My heart aches for those who experience such tragedy with a child. But the truth is that I'm not guaranteed to have my three healthy children any longer than they'll have their baby boy. So really every parent should be sent home from the hospital with this advice:

"Take him home and love him while he's here."


jcbullock said...

That is so true! Thank you for sharing that! I struggle so often (daily) with the boys wanting me to play with them, and I am either "too busy" or just "don't feel like it." I should be cherishing every moment I have with them!

Anonymous said...

wow! carrie, you are so good at capturing raw emotion associated with motherhood. i have friends who have gone through things like this and i read so many blogs on a daily basis of people i don't even know that are going through similar does make you stop and think about how blessed we are and how precious each life is. you make me want to go wake them up from their naps and hug them - well, almost! :)

missy wright

Carrie Bevell Partridge said...

It's so easy to get caught up in our own little lives and families, and it often becomes hard to see past the laundry and dishes and crying babies. I literally have to make myself get out of the house and get a new perspective sometimes. It's sad to me that it sometimes takes reading one of these stories to wake me up!

Thomas A. Hilton, Jr. said...

I can relate. Back when I was a young 12 year old boy, because my 11 year old brother was gone in a blink of an eye during a hunting accident. My mother suffered greatly because didn't get a chance to say goodbye. My father passed on just a few years ago while on the job, heartattack. My mother never got to say goodbye to him as well.

I now have a passion for sharing my thoughts and praises to my son every chance I get. I've even started a nonprofit to help promote this fact. The importance of praising our children. The benefits are not just for them but for us as well.

I just started my own blog as well.

I don't won't to go through what my mother was forced to go through twice. We never know what's around the corner.

Thanks Carrie, for sharing this story with us to open our eyes.

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing. I was just sent to the same site through my friend, Stephanie, who lost her husband in July to leukemia. Your post ministered to me greatly. Thanks.


Lisa B. said...

Wow, you pretty much hit it on the head I said, I will never complain about laundry again.

Check out the website they were able to raise over 18k the other weekend just for research by having a weekend fair.