Monday, February 16, 2015

The Ugly and the Beautiful

The snow fell last night. It came gently, layering the ground beneath in beautiful crystals of white. I called my son over to the window that evening to see it covering the ground, and he looked over to the east and, seeing the reflection of lights within town against the dark sky, shrieked, "Look at that beautiful sunset! We can still see the sunset!!" We have this game where he and I point out what time the sun is setting and run and watch the palette of colors stream across the sky. I started to explain to him last night about the reflection of lights, and that it wasn't the actual sunset, but he was persistent that it was. He saw something he loved, something beautiful beyond the darkness surrounding the silhouette of the trees.

Chloe's ugly bug is still here. Day #12. She's now on a mix of formula and Pedialyte. She's been having runnier diapers. We're praising the Lord that her oxygen saturations are still beautiful, her heart rate is good, and her respiratory rate is within its normal range. By the grace of God, she still has no fevers. She's warm and snuggly and all tucked in. And sleeping. A lot. Her doctors are encouraged that other than this ugliness of the need for albuterol and steroid, and some runny diapers, that she's holding her own.

We're still nervous. We've had conversations about what to do or to plan ahead for our other littles should Chloe's doctors want her to come in for visit. We've talked through logistics if we'd have to pack her up and take her if they want to admit her. We've chatted endlessly about how she was doing better last week, then turned pale and tired again. She's pinked up now, but is still so worn out. It's all we can do to let her rest. I haven't even held her other than beside her crib for the last two weeks, and even then, when I do, she gets restless. I don't like this ugly bug. I don't like the constant temperature taking, closer chest listening, watching to be sure her tone is pink. We're to go to her appointments in KC on Wednesday, for ultrasound on the blood clot and echo on her heart. We're slightly anticipating this so she can be seen, and dreading it because we're afraid it'll wear her out.

I don't like that slight shadow that follows us at times, where we are focusing on remembering that a simple ugly bug for some means so much more healing time for her. Where we're not thrilled about snow and ugly roads and cold temps if we'd have to load her up and take her in.

But we've learned on this journey, that we can stare out the window on wintry nights and look at either those black silhouettes, or we can choose to instead see the beauty in the white snow. To be reminded that He makes all things new. That the Lord alone is the great physician and healer. That He will see us through these long days of helping our sweet Chloe to get over this ugly virus. And that even now, in the midst of her virus, to allow us to soak up each sleepy snuggly, each warm hand rubbing her back moment, each squeak as she finds her voice.

There's always a chance to see beauty in the ugly. Joy in the pain. Hope in the waiting.

Today, instead of letting the fear of weather in light of Chloe's condition scare us, we're having joy in family time. We're sledding and throwing snow. We're laughing and making snow angels. We're giggling as we watch our son wear hot pink snow pants over his cowboy boots because it's the only pair we have for him {he wasn't thrilled either, but the joy of snow won over the ugly snowpants}. We're snuggling and watching movies and letting our sweet baby girl get tons of rest.

I was changing the trash earlier today while my daughter was beside me, sipping her warm hot chocolate, held in her sledding-battle-wounded, bandaid-wearing hand, hot tears still drying on her little rosy cheeks from the incident, and watching me tie the trash sack. She watched me intently stuffing the last of the gross trash in that had fallen on the ground, then studied my hands as I tied a knot with the red plastic ties and then said, "Mama, tie it into a bow. It needs a bow." She smiled and nodded contentedly after I did. It didn't matter to her what the trash held, or that it was a trash sack and not a princess dress. To her, it deserved a beautifully tied bow. She saw that even something gross could be pretty. Something mundane could have a touch of sweet. Something ugly could still contain beauty.

There's always room to see the beauty in the ugly.


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