It was a few days before Christmas and into our house came a gift from nurse Janet - a gift at scale for a mouse.
A beautiful room, a copy of our space, with mini dolls, beds, and books - now sitting on the girls' fireplace.
* * *
Here are a few snapshots from the first weekend of the holidays:
But, the holidays here haven't been as quaint or quiet as the little room on the fireplace mantel. We thought the flu flew, but other viruses swooped in on Christmas Day and are still hanging around. Thankfully, all that appears to be left is a cold that Rachel and Janneke are dealing with.
Here's a snapshot of Janneke finally resting - only after her chest physio session.
Thankfully, everyone has slept better these past three nights - which improves everyone's perspective.
* * *
When the sick feelings returned last week, I was pretty frustrated. Canceled plans, little sleep, sad kids, cabin fever.... I was and am impatient in affliction.
I was pretty angry. It seems that whenever my kids get sick, things get ugly here emotionally. Finding joy becomes a desperate battle. A spiritual battle of the soul.
In the middle of this, a schoolmate of Rachel's died. A young life, so resilient, beautiful and strong to overcome and live with significant special needs, this schoolmate died so suddenly right before Christmas.
Instead of shepherds shaking their heads in amazement at the manger, I witnessed a grandfather shaking his head in grief while facing the coffin of his granddaughter.
Brokenness. Ugliness. At a time of silver tinsel and Christmas bells.
* * *
But this I call to mind - and therefore I have hope - because of His (albeit mysterious) love, we are not consumed (Lamentations 3). There is joy and there is sorrow. It is not one or the other - or one following the other. Not on this earth.
A year lies ahead - filled with memories to be made. Sorrows and joys.
For the weight of joy to supersede the weight of sorrow, it will be a wrestling match. A fight.
Last night was the preliminary round: New Year's Eve. There were sixty friends, large and small, a fiddle, banjo, piano and other instruments... hands were clapping, feet were stomping. Friendship, music, and laughter filled our home with little elbow room.
That was necessary and now savoured. Joy won.
Tonight: more chest physio and hopefully sleep.
Tomorrow? We wait.
Peace to your home.