This is the third Tuesday we have spent in a hospital. The third week away from home. In some ways, it seems like time has sped by quickly, in a flurry marked off by a stream of conversations with Doctors, and nurses and changes in chemo bags. In another way it seems like we have been here for a lifetime.
By day, we become a part of a sub-culture that we call MDA-10th floor. We have learned the doctors routines, the nurses shifts and where the ice machine is. The smells, sights and sounds have become very familiar to us.
By night, Sarah and I come back to our temporary home, the Ronald Mc Donald house. Here we have become a part of another sub-culture that consists of the families will little ones with an illness. At first, I fought the acclamation process here. Seeing these families made Josh's illness too real. I was not ready to become a part of a culture that included conversations between moms and dads who were trying to plan out schedules between Dr.'s appointments... Who would stay home with the other kids and who would travel back to Houston for little one's next Dr.'s visit....it was all too overwhelming to me.
When we first arrived here, I was so devistated by what Josh was facing, I did not even want to see what others around me might be walking through as well. As time went by, and I began to breathe a little bit, the faces around me began to come into focus. I began to meet moms who had already traveled the journey we have just begun. They have shown Sarah and I great kindness. In them we see hope. In them, we gain perspective.
There are little ones here who wear their lack of hair proudly. They run and play with the other little ones. A sweet mom told me that her daughter, Sirah, who is 8 had already had a tumor removed from her brain several years ago. She had to re-learn everything. Now, once again, they feared she had another tumor. She told me that Sirah was undaunted by the thought of another surgery and re-learning everything...again. They had brought her back to MD Anderson to see if the tumor was rapidly growing, if it was, another surgery would be necessary. If not they would be able to go home and wait out the tumor. They got to go home yesterday.
Dear Lord, until this time, we have never know the terror of a sever illnes striking one of our children. There are many, many families who struggle through hospital stays, waiting games and crying out to You in the darkness of the night. Lord, forgive me for not looking and not seeing. Please Lord, heal these little ones, allow them to be a testimony to Your magesty. Help me to have eyes to see beyond the smiles of families that are walking this path. Help us to extend the love that has been extended to us.