Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 25--May 4, 2009

If it is possible for one’s heart to be cleaved into multiple pieces and scattered abroad, then I am living proof of that today. This has been one of the hardest days for me since learning of Katie’s condition. For whatever reason, my heart was not within me today. A portion of it was left at Judy’s learning center on the way to work, another portion was lying in a crib in room 5611 of Duke University Medical Center. The largest portion by far was occupying a space somewhere in the Parker Reese House, Duke Hospital or somewhere in between.For some reason today I have felt an overwhelming desire to have my family together. I went to work, but had no desire to be there. I went about the tasks of the day rather mechanically. It is unlike me to walk and look at the floor, but I have become quite familiar with the tiles of the halls at Triton, as well as the carpet of the rapid transit tunnel leading to Duke under Erwin Street in Durham. Our family Chevy trailblazer seems to know the miles between home and my destinations better than I, and it seems to find its way as if on autopilot.Most smiles today were for someone else’s benefit with little desire from within. These statements are not meant for sympathy, but rather conveyance of thought and feelings.I have no individual source for the overpowering loneliness that I felt today, other than the sense of having a fragmented family.Once I had collected Michael from day care and rendezvoused with Beth’s Grandparents for a care package of home made chicken and pastry with all the trimmings, the boy and I headed back North. A little over 90 minutes later we arrived to the smiles and hugs of my lovely wife. I felt as complete as I could. Soon our little unit will be whole.After enjoying the labors of MaMa McDuffie, Beth and I prepared our oldest for bed, and off we went to see Katie. She was wide awake and rather fun to play with. We got there just in time to watch her have her nebulizer treatment, and participate in her evening assessment. Diaper changes and all! She gained a miniscule amount today, but not much. She had done decent with her bottle feedings, haven eaten 21cc’s, 15cc’s, and then digressing back down to 5cc’s.Another bit of news was that her blood pressure is beginning to get borderline high, so she may have to be put on blood pressure medication as well. Her MRI indicated that she had a small amount of fluid on the left side of her brain near her temple, but that it was of little medical concern. Otherwise her brain looks normal.We are just kind of treading water right now. It seems for the past several days we have been content to not slip backwards. At present there is no end in sight. I spent as much time as was practical holding my darling girl, with my wife by my side. I am looking forward to having a “young’un” on both knees. I have plenty of lap, hugs, and kisses for both of them.Although I felt alone today, and missed my family terribly, the thought was never far away that “Yeah though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” As Christians we are not promised a life of ease, or free from care. On the contrary, we are instructed to “take up our crosses and follow Him.” What is my cross? What is yours? I suspect that they are all different. However I know that “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and that I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!”Thank you Lord!

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