Saturday, January 16, 2010

Chink in My Armor

It was completely unexpected. The uncontrollable crying started, and I just couldn't stop it. I had taken a half-day yesterday, so I could drive up to the Children's Hospital in Birmingham to spend the weekend with Dan. We are planning to go home on Monday. She is really doing better; although, she will be coming home on oxygen. The tentative plan is to keep her home for three weeks and check back in for another admission in three weeks. If she gets sick in the interim, we can always bring her back early.

So, I left work and went home to complete my packing and load the car. Dave had arranged for me to swing by the Vo Tech to pick up gumbo for dinner before I left town. As I turned out of my little dead-end street onto Hwy 90, the oxygen tanks clinked together in the floorboard of the backseat... And, I don't know... Something about the sound sent me over the edge. The tears came. The sobbing started, and I was just unable to continue on.

I turned into my school, entered the office and headed for the Principal's office. I guess that might seem a little odd to some, but it was my "safe place" for that moment. Ms. Bridget found Dr. C for me, who sat by saying comforting words, even though I'm sure he was completely at a loss as to what to do with me. Ms. Shelley got me a diet Dr. Pepper, and Amy was ushered into the office to hold my hand while I cried. Becky Bailey is totally onto something with the whole school family idea. My school family does comfort me. They all care. They go out of their way to take care of me. And, I am so blessed and lucky to have each one of them.

My whole school district has been so supportive. They are going out of their way to make sure Dan can return to school, even with oxygen. And, I just stand by in awe of the love and support being offered so freely. Being loved like this and watching people love my child is just a true testimony of God's love in action.

Really, I have been O.K. Most of the time, I am walking around with a sense that God is doing for me what I cannot do for myself... But, yesterday, the clink, clink, clink noise of the oxygen tanks broke through my facade of O.K. and found that place of hurt and fear and all the stuff I try not to pay attention to. In education, behaviorists believe ignoring some behaviors will extinguish them entirely. And, who knows, maybe that is true for behaviors... But, sometimes feelings can't be ignored... They come bubbling up to the surface in the strangest ways at the most inopportune moments. And, all I could do was feel the feelings, cry the tears, and let people love me.