We came back to the Hospice on Wednesday and since then we have spent most of our time sleeping! We feel so much better. And we were told yesterday that there was room for us to stay until next Friday! So, obviously, we are accepting the offer. Dave is going to continue to work and commute from here. I have been able to get outside several times. (it's been awhile) I took the older two to the zoo one morning and met a friend there. Her beautiful little boy went to be with Jesus a year ago this Sunday so her family is on my mind alot this weekend.
I have also taken the kids to the Hospital playground a few times. And this morning I went for a wonderfully long walk. (A volunteer played with our older two and the NA held Rachel.) This place feels like such a haven. We are so spoiled. And surrounded by people who have chosen to be with the hurting. One NA told me that when she was deciding on where to get a job, God had given her a verse in Ecclesiastes - "It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting." I am so glad there are people like her who have followed God into places like this..
We are getting to know other families here at the Hospice a bit. These parents have such beautiful children who are facing so many challenges. Some of them were also told that their child would not survive long but they have amazed everyone. They are so tired. They train someone to do respite and then the worker quits for another job and they hunt again. They spend hours and days and years at the Hospital. Watching these brave people care for their children amazes us and we admit, it puts fear into our own hearts. And yet, I don't think they feel brave. They just do it because there is no other option for them. Please pray for these families.
There have been a few times when Dave and I have thought Rachel looked quite blue. (see the picture below, she may have looked more blue than usual because of the lighting) I took her to the airport to hang out with my sister for an hour yesterday (she was en-route to a wedding) and while she was getting some yoghurt, I looked over at Rachel in her carrier and I felt my heart stop - that sinking gut feeling when I saw her face. She was so still. I had felt a bit aprehensive before but this was the first time I felt real fear that she might be gone. It seems strange that even though we know what is coming, it will still feel the same way. After I got back to the Hospice we took an oxygen reading but it was still the same - low 60's. It does seem like she's sleeping more but maybe she just really loves this place too and feels more relaxed!
Sometimes it is better for us to be in the house of mourning. I say this with some trepidation because I know there are people in our world that face enourmous suffering. I won't pretend to understand it. But I know this has been true for us: Even though my gut wrenches with sadness sometimes, I am glad for this trial too. I feel awake to God in a way I haven't for such a long time. I know this may sound strange but I can know such deep sadness and in the same day, feel incredible joy too at what is coming for those who choose to trust. We really will be ok (and that's not a platitude - it's real). We will be okay because we know how the story ends. And it is a good story. A love story about a God who pursued us even though we spurned him and it ends with a big wedding feast. It doesn't always feel like things are going to be ok. It doesn't mean all my doubts and questions are answered. Sometimes I wake up at night and want to erase everything I have written here on the blog because it sounds too darn cheerful (am I just deluding myself?) Sometimes I can't sleep because the fear strikes me like a huge wall. But I choose to believe because I have already seen God at work in our own lives and in others around us. And because I love His story. I am terribly afraid of feeling the pain but I want to keep waking up too.