Sunday, September 23, 2007

Welcome home

Yesterday, my husband, Gregg, returned from his first trip to Japan in over a year. He usually travels there for his work 3-4 times a year, but had stopped traveling while Katie was sick.
I used to get very sad when he left on these trips, and miss him with an intense longing. After the events of the past year, it felt more like, "Have a good trip. I hope you have some great meals and accomplish some good work. Call me each day & we'll be fine." It was a totally different rhythm to anything that we'd experienced before. David and I were a good team at home. Having said all of that, it is GREAT to have him back at home!

We did get used to splitting up each night while Katie was in the hospital. Gregg stayed the nights with David at Ronald McDonald House during the week while I was at Children's with Katie, and I stayed there with David during the weekends while Gregg stayed with Katie. Since we are a very close family, all of the separations, even just for sleeping, were difficult, but I think they had the effect of making this trip of Gregg's to Japan easier on me, for some reason.

I have been reading some blogs written by other mothers, one in particular whose son died in this year. I also recall a number of conversations I had with parents of other children when we were in the hospital. As awful as all of this has been, it has always amazed us to find out that it could have been worse along the way. The outcome is as bad as it gets, having our beloved Katie pass away, but there are other families and other children who actually had a worse time than we did during the illness, and in their dying. We keep talking about that: we didn't think it could be any worse, but it COULD have been. Amazing. We can be grateful for that, even while we did not get the outcome (remission and a cure) that we wanted.

We felt very loved and grateful for the support we had, in the hospital community and outside of it, from our family, neighbors, friends and church community, as well as the community at large. There were people who were traveling this same road, but very much more alone than we were. I grieved for them. We can pray for them. There are also other mothers, in other parts of the world, holding their suffering and dying children, without medicine, a home or even clean water. So yes, it is as bad as it gets, but at the same time, it could have been is worse for some. Prayers for comfort and love go out for those people...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

dearest karen (and family),
you are such a strong person. to even acknowledge that it was bad, but could have been worse, just emminates the loving person you are, and the empathy for human kind that you possess. i wish i had your faith. i am not leaving my name as i would embarrassed to have some one of your caliber see my blog, but i just wanted you to know how much sadness i have in my heart for you and yours. katie is SO very beautiful i cant stop staring into her eyes. they are so full of light, and life, even after ya'll knew she was ill. god bless you all. i cant say it enough. i have a feeling that you offer so much comfort, hope, courage, strength and faith in your life about this painful journey of losing katie, that i truly believe god chose you to be one of the lights to other people, who without you, might have crumbled and lost their way.... maybe even ended their life. you are the lighthouse now by which other heartbroken people find their way.
god says something good will come out of everything (romans) and i believe that. i think your family is doing very well with what you have been given to bear. its healthy to have this blog, to be doing things for others (blankets) and i am just SO PROUD of you, all of you, for showing us that all things are possible through christ. there is NO other way. seeing how loving and close your family is, and all the joy you have been able to provide for the kids, it makes me wish i was in your family too. i am a christian even if i dont live that way all of the time. and i do believe she is with jesus now, watching over you, until you are together again. she must be SO proud of each one of you. so proud. god bless you all.

at times when it's hard to breathe...
and the pain is so great, you want to leave...
remember your angel watches over you,
and will breathe for you if she needs to.

(i just wrote that for you.) :)

god chooses the nicest people for his purpose. you all are proof of that. and even though you live in pain every day in this world, it will all be wiped away in the next, and i personally think if there are such a thing as awards in heaven, there will certainly be one waiting for each of you.

take care. one day at a time. sometimes one hour, or one minute at a time.

you have made such a difference to me, and i am just one tiny little person.

thank you.