Monday, June 9, 2008

Ella's Miracle

Tonight at dinner Bird asked me if he started as the size of a sprinkle in my belly. Where do kids come up with this stuff? I think a sprinkle is a fabulous visual for the tiny little baby that grew inside of me, kung fu kicking, swimming laps, applauding live music, and nudging me time to time just to let me know he was anxious to meet me. Just a note, the kung fu kicks and applauding live music have not stopped.

I was lucky to have an uneventful pregnancy, gloriously easy delivery, healthy, delightful baby, and now a smart, silly, loving, comic preschooler. Twice I've been so lucky. Bird and Deal fight the usual suspects of ailments with a few kickers thrown in just to make us crazy and pray like hell for a remedy: RSV, dehydration requiring two trips to the ER, rotavirus, pertussis. Both boys have beaten every bacteria and virus that have come their way, no worse for the wear.

In the short term Mac Daddy and I were utterly grateful, squeezing them just a tish tighter every night. Then the routine of pick up your toys, stop kicking your brother, eat your squash, talk nicely, share, make your bed, stop pushing, wait your turn, use your table manners, napkin on your lap, get off the dresser, wash your hands, be gentle with the cat, use your fork, wipe your mouth, put on your pajamas, drink your milk, get in the car, stay out of your brother's face, shut the door, turn off the lights, shut the door gently, stay in the yard, put on your helmet, shoes off, brush your teeth, no whining, talk in an inside voice, and so on set in. Back to the life of Sisyphus, which meant mundane routines and that whole being grateful thing tossed out with the ham sandwich crusts and uneaten apple skins. Many hours of the day spent frustrated, exhausted, resentful at times, lonely, spent, defeated. Such is the existence of a mom, right? The good, the bad, the ugly.

I suppose the world of the ordinary is a happy place, like a day with no bills in the mailbox. Ordinary means nothing especially great. It also means nothing especially bad. Even keel. Uneventful. Coasting.

There are times that even when coasting, we slam on the brakes.

And so it goes for the Newmiller family. Their lovely daughter Ella, just a few months older than my Bird, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor smack in the middle of her brain stem. INOPERABLE. The fine doctors at the Envita Clinic are mapping our her treatment options. I don't know Ella, but my friend Molly was her preschool teacher. A lovely child by all accounts. No rhyme or reason behind such tragedy. I don't know where to begin looking for answers to questions that go unraised. Indeed this story is a tragedy on so many levels that I cannot bring myself to face them.

I wrote about my years as a pediatric bone marrow transplant volunteer. Not work I can wrap my heart around now that I am a mother. It's simply too difficult to face. I shudder to think about the heartache this family faces. This mother and father, cherishing their little girl as I cherish my boys, not knowing what one speck of their future holds.

And so I implore you, regardless your faith and ways of worship, even the non-believers out there, to pray for little Ella. Pray for her recovery, her health, her happiness, her right to a childhood and an adulthood. Pray for her parents and big brother too. You better believe I will be.

For those readers in the Triangle area, check out Ella's Miracle fundraiser this Thursday. And please, pass this on. Take a moment to be thankful for the ordinary and go kiss your children.

And yes, I did squeeze my boys a little tighter tonight.
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The Over-Thinker said...

Just wanted to let you know that I've linked to your post off of my blog, but I'm unable to get the "Ella's Miracle Fundraiser" link to work. In the meantime, I'll send prayers :)

Anonymous said...

Sending my prayers and simultaneously counting our blessings as I type. Thank you for writing about this.

Cara said...

She's in my prayers. Hearing stories like this does make you want to hug your kids a little tighter.