Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Be the tree, grasshopper


I think God is trying to tell me something, and maybe I am hard of hearing.

Because today = mentally exhausting.

Tyler's tumor appears to be growing, so we pack up and head to the hospital for a new scan. Tyler begins to cry as soon as we put him in his wheelchair. I think he knows where we are going and he doesn't like it one bit. My oldest daughter comes with me this time since my mom's back is out.

Good thing, too. Tyler throws up five times today and she is indispensable.

Although they interact as siblings - my kids don't normally have anything to do with Ty's personal care needs - I think they need to have a regular childhood - well, as much as possible anyway.

But, lately, she (my oldest girl) has been asking to help with his tube feedings and watches us do his port care and administer IV medicine doses. She also saved the day when Ty called it quits on the way home from the library, so I knew she was up for it.

At Radiology, the staff loves her and they even let her run the CT Scan, pushing buttons to record the latest tumor growth. The head radiologist tells her to come back in 7 years so she can take over the tech's job. She is a regular little nurse.

I know there is something going on with Ty, and it is a little bit scary. He is sweating buckets and doing his version of a moose call - at least that's what it sounds like when you yell at your mom and your voice is changing.

When we arrive at clinic, an infant is in respiratory distress. Nurses are running back and forth the way they do when a patient, an infant, is teetering on the high wire between life here and that other place - with nasal canullas, some sort of 'stat' cart and the smallest backboard I've ever seen. He is sent to the PICU for angels to watch over.

Later one of the nurses talks with her about how she enjoys seeing kids and getting to know them. She tells her that a lot of them get better, although lately (I stop her before she talks about death)...not so much. The doctor comes in, listens to Ty's lungs for a long time and then mentions that there's a backlog in Radiology - so no scan results today.

I have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I do not like this "waiting for the other shoe to drop" business. I stink at it. We give Ty something to help with the nausea and go home.

Home. My ears are tired and worn out from too much hospital noise, too many moose calls, and too much pecking from kids needing me as soon as I step in the door.

I step outside, the kids following me still - peck, peck, pecking at my ears. I wander in the garden, breathing in earthy scents and pulling at bits of weeds. Therapy.

One by one, the children leave, go inside, as the wind picks up. The thunder rolls in from across the lake. I lay in the grass under the trees, my back pressing into the cool softness, and study the sky. Black clouds advance, tossing the tree tops like so many peacock feathers, branches bending low to scrape the grass. They thrash about - the leaves whip, whip, whipping at the sky. I inhale, deeply. Amidst all this turmoil I notice something.

I notice that the trunk stands firm, rooted to the earth, while the branches sway with the wind, carving light and air rhythmically to music only the trees hear. The trunk, branches, and leaves, one undulating form harvesting strength from the violent forces of nature.

People are not so different from trees.

I listen, and the wind whispers........

......... flexibility

.................... strength



Anonymous said...

You are an amazing person! I so admire your flexibility, strength, and peace.

Elizabeth-W said...

I just want to send you strength. I want to give you something that will help and comfort and relax and calm.
(I couldn't get the video to play.)
I think sometimes God has been shouting at me for years, and finally, finally, I'm getting my frequency tuned in to hear. But life doesn't get easier just because we can. It's still hard.
I just realized I never emailed you back. Okay. Maybe tomorrow b/c it's almost my bedtime, well, actually past it.
Big hugs to you!

Corrie said...

J - may God grant me the flexibility I need and my kids want me to have.

EW - try it now. Hope your little one is feeling better.

Corrie said...

EW - Does that thing that comforts, relaxes, calms start with Val and end with ium? Cuz that might be kinda nice. At least it seemed to do the trick for Ty.

Summer said...

I obviously have no idea of how difficult it must be to take care of Ty, both physically and emotionally, but I know that God helps us bear our burdens better when we ask. I hope some of your stress subsides soon.

athena said...

i dare you to whine for once. you're allowed to you know. :) absolutely loved the poetry towards the end of your post.

Montserrat said...

I thought about you all day on Tuesday knowing you were going to take Ty in. Wish I could be there to help in some way - watch your children or Ty to give you a rest. Sending you big hugs!

Corrie said...

Summer - It is a joy to serve Ty, the tiring part comes from watching him go through tough things and doctor's office are energy sucks.

Corrie said...

Athena - I whine plenty, to bad I don't wine. Mostly, I chocolate - not so good on the hips.

Corrie said...

Montse - thanks for the thoughts & hugs. How is that quilt coming?

b. said...

I've come back 12 times to say something......and I can only come up with this: Hang Tough.

Corrie said...

b - hangin in (luv u!)

we really have to do lunch @ Bajio's, especially since we share the shrimp love.

Birdie said...

Oh sweetie, what a beautiful (and beautifully written) story.

I read this as a mom, Corrie. I started the first sentence with the thought I would read and critique, but you pulled me into the story immediately, and I forgot my role.

My mom and dad both passed away over the last year and a half, and prior to that my boys other gramma and grampa passed. My inlaws lived in the same town as me, and I was the primary caregiver. I remembered so much of that time through your words.

My young boys helped take care of their gramma and grampa, didn't realize that spending all this time at the doctor, the hospital wasn't normal. Or maybe it is? This is what your story reminds me, that all of life is "normal" and good and amazing. your sweet Cali will always have these memories and understanding of the preciousness of life. That is an incredible gift that her brother has handed her, unaware.

My favorite line in your story:

I step outside, the kids following me still - peck, peck, pecking at my ears. I wander in the garden, breathing in earthy scents and pulling at bits of weeds. Therapy.

I loved this bit because I know the magic of earth therapy, and I simply adored your peck peck peck, that was divine, inspired.

I wouldn't change a word, girl. I'm going to feature this in my next BlogHer post, I hope that's okay.

Much love,

b. said...

Email me.
Once the kids get back in school.

slawebb said...

There is so much that our Heavenly Father gives to us. How blessed you are to have been given the opportunity to have one of his very special children to care for. There is so much to learn and so little time. He is there for you, to help you carry your burdens and to carry you when you are unable to walk on your own. {{{hugs}}}

Scribbit said...

Thanks for sharing this.

Daisy said...

I wish you strength and peace as you care for your family. Earth/ garden therapy works well, even while it doesn't do it all.