I've always loved that passage from Jeremiah...For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
It always takes a little distance to see the good in a situation. Although I've been looking for it since about 2 weeks post the accident. The first 2 weeks were just blunt survival. And sometimes barely that!
So here's my beginnings of a list:
1) I value my time with the kids more-we craft more, we read more, I am more present. Because I know that every day is a blessing. Now that doesn't mean I don't wish they would just play on their own for 5 min while I relax it just means that I wish it a tiny bit less! I am also more vigilant, more careful...
2) I understand more what my patients and their families are going through. Prior to this my only hospitalizations since I was 3 (which I really don't remember much about) have been to have the kids. Which were both c-sections and fairly intense but still happy occasions and expected.
-I might be able to explain the PICU/UVA to families awaiting transfer better
-I know what it is like to be waiting for a doctor to come in
-I know what it is like to watch your child suffer
-I know what it is like to not know what is going to happen next and it SUCKS. The almost 24 hours we were at RMH before being transferred to UVA were so hard because the doctors here didn't know what the plastic surgeons would think of the burns. (we were stuck because of weather)
-I know that sleeping in street clothes is not comfortable
-I know that living on cafeteria food gets old
3) I have been overwhelmed by the compassion and generosity of friends, church, coworkers and strangers. I am completely astounded and humbled. I am surrounded by a community that cares for people and they care for my daughter. I had NO IDEA that people I didn't know would send cards, pray, and wish us well. We have been so blessed. I have not made a meal since I've been home. I have not had an hour go by at work without someone asking about Mary. I don't think a day has gone by without some sort of phone call, card or package... Tonight a random person called us (a shriner). He had just heard about us and wanted to make sure that we knew about the shriner hospitals and said he would be happy to write a referal for us. (They are a free charity of the shriners). The closest one is Cincinatti though so I think we'll defer for now since the main stuff is done!). They had said in the PICU that the really bad burns go there and they pick the patients up and everything).
4) Wesley and I are even more of a team than before. We have cried together, prayed together, waited together. During that first week it was just the 3 of us. Day by day, hour by hour, just us together.
5) Mary and I had the snuggle time that we never really had when she was born. When Robert was born we spent the first 12 weeks mainly just snuggling on the couch watching movies. When Mary was born Robert went to the babysitter some but it was never the same. More to do: more laundry, more picking up, and then keeping up with Robert. I spent 2 solid weeks with Mary and it was sweet in a way. Of course the first week home when Robert hadn't seen me for 2 weeks and Mary was used to everyone being all about her wasn't sweet at all....
6) I have had the peace that passes understanding the whole time. And it really does pass all understanding.