Monday, August 16, 2010

On Healing

His hair has long grown over the c-shaped scar. The scar itself has faded to a tame pink, and but for the slight lumpiness where the skin was stitched back together, one would not feel anything out of place. Reuben's fall happened in January. Now it's August. He's fine, he has healed. Life moves on.

Except when I lay in bed and I remember. I remember seeing him fall slow-motion through the air, knowing I couldn't catch him in time. I remember the sickness that washed over me when I saw his head hit the car battery under the tree house. The sound.

I remember his eyes locking to the right, his limpness when I scooped him up, the seconds where he only formed a scream with his mouth but no sound came.

I remember the emergency room...him throwing up blood...watching his little body go into a huge scanner....seeing the scans that showed bone breaking inwards to the brain....waiting for the hospital to approve surgery because they needed to make sure we could pay for it...rage....time without surgery increasing likelihood of brain swelling....rage and prayer.

A constant flow of tears.

Time for surgery, I scrub up so that I can be with him until he goes under. He looks so small on the operating table and he's so confused. Lots of people I don't know in ominous clothing and masks. They tell me with compassion in their eyes that I need to go now. I crumple.

In the hallway Nancy and I sit and pray together. The prayer becomes a song which becomes a prayer and back again. I sing "Lord, give me back my son". It's a holy time, and I feel the Lord with us as we kneel in the gap for Reuben.

An eternity later the surgeon comes out, says all went well, the bone did not pierce the protective sac of the brain. Now is a critical time though, he needs to be constantly monitored at the public hospital's infant intensive care unit for any seizures indicating brain damage. I get to go to him.

He's crying in a nurse's arms. Small. And his head has a huge wrapping, he's so confused. So many tubes and monitors on his little body. I weep with joy and relief to see him and hold him. We ride in an ambulance to the hospital, going through the maze of corridors in a building which looks like it lived through a few wars.

I have to leave him there. I yell that I will not leave my son. Dustin pulls me out of that crazy hospital.

Reuben heals...the days pass....a month passes and I still can't sleep without him tucked in beside me. Eight months have gone by.

I was fine all day, but at night I remembered.

And I broke.

Dustin got Reuben for me and tucked his sleeping form next to me so I could sleep.

I could have lost my son.

Lord have mercy.

I am still healing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Dustin and a team from YWAM transporting a 95 year-old woman after she was helicoptered out of her home, way back in. She could no longer care of herself, so the guys hiked her, plus her wheelchair, for about an hour to her granddaughter's home. Which is why it's so hard to describe an average day in the mission field...
Yoya, Belen, and I at a recycling art class I gave on Tenglo Island.
The kiddos on Osorno Volcano enjoying the snow!

I guess I'm still used to four clearly-defined seasons, because it always surprises me how they blend here. As we drove down a volcano the other day, where we'd played in the fluffy snow, I marveled at the orange flowers bursting forth on the trees, catching the brilliant light of the sun. My hydrangeas shrivel and die one week, and the next you can see the buds forming. The lawn white with frost in the morning and my roses blooming steadily.

Squished between the ocean and the Andes, our weather is fairly temperamental. Or just mental. The seasons sort of look like this:

Summer: somewhat rainy
Fall: rainy
Winter: very rainy
Spring: rainy

But it sure does make for an emerald green south. Dustin and I often say Southern Chile would be perfect if it'd only do all its' raining at night : ).

With both excitement and sadness we are in our last rainy winter here in Puerto Montt. I'm a great disliker of "lasts", I much prefer "firsts", they are so full of promise. "Lasts" are so charged with melancholy, a tinge of regret. Perhaps some think that going "home" is easy, or natural. I'm afraid it is not.

I find myself worrying a bit about the kids. When we were home on furlough last time, we had gone to a church event and Sophia had tried to play with two of the little girls at church. They totally shunned her. She was just trying to introduce herself as she does with all the little Chilean friends she has: you go up, act like a ham, inititate a game of 'tag' and you're in. I thought maybe Sophia didn't notice the rejection. But two years later (yesterday) she said that she was sad that little girls in the states don't like her. I hugged her and told her that God is preparing special friends for her, but inside I was like, "Lord, oh Lord help! She's Chilean inside, how will she fit in there?". There are many things in a mother's heart.

We are trying to navigate the seasons...
They blend and blur...