The morning Olivia was born, I woke up at, like, 2 a.m. because I had a few little cramps and probably needed to eat something. Obviously the forty-two pounds I had already gained weren't going to just sustain themselves? My late night BFF, Conan, was on and he was finding a way to make me laugh in the middle of my 10-days-before-she's-due, pregnancy hell. I was maybe a little uncomfortable and it's possible I was a smidge testy. And, although Conan usually can cheer me up and make me feel better, something was amiss.
The cramping was getting stronger and maybe a little more consistent. By the time I finally had the good sense to actually use a wristwatch, my what had become contractions were about two minutes apart.
So, after I called my doctor, woke up Trey, gathered my things and put on some lipstick because, duh, if I were really in labor, someone was going to take a picture, we swept up our slumbering 20 month old, Tee, and whisked him off to Miss Carey's house.
Now, people, Carey is a happily married woman but for some reason, my children have always called her this. Perhaps its because she's so young and beautiful. In comparison, even my own children call me 'Grandma'.
Anyway, they were at the door for Tee before sunrise, ready at a moments notice to help us through the crazy.
And it's been that way ever since. Our oldest boys are two months apart and all our siblings have been fast friends as long as they can remember. We've walked with one another through lots of hilarity, and deep theological questions, and trials that have threatened to chew us up and spit us out. Carey's a cheerleader to my cautiousness and has been a faithful sister and friend.
So, when three weeks ago, I got a late-night call that her oldest son, Luke, had been diagnosed with bone cancer, it was worse than getting jabbed in the throat. I don't really know what getting jabbed in the throat feels like, but I'm pretty sure this tops it.
Life has a way of doing that, doesn't it? Not only does it not stop, life opens up a can of whoop-ass and reminds me of what I already know. That, in a phone call, or a drive home, or a diagnosis, tomorrow doesn't always look just like today only with slightly different weather. Giant, unforeseen, storms come, and rock us to the core.
Our faithful Father, though, has already begun to make beauty from the ashes. He has brought His people out in droves to love and to care for this precious family and show us all how He binds up the brokenhearted, He gives strength to the weary, and has made them, us all, more than conquerors. He has given joy unspeakable in the midst of it all and great, great hope. Hope for Luke's healing and the abiding surety of this cool, 13 year old's salvation.
They've set up a Caring Bridge site and I can't encourage you enough to go visit. You'll be uplifted by Carey's honesty and winsome way of telling their story.
and...speaking of honesty. Carey's never really been a big reader of my blog. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I've told her everything before I write it and redundancy is so 1992. Anywho, so when she asked me to come buzz Luke's hair off before it started to really fall out, I counted it a privilege.
I just maybe didn't mention what I had once done to my dog. Twice.
Let's just keep that between us - for Luke.