Children were flocking to Jesus. The disciples began to divert them away from Jesus. Too much of a distraction for all that important Jesus stuff. Jesus rebuked the disciples. “Let the little children come to Me.”
It’s all in how you see it. The disciples were looking at the children as a potential hindrance. Jesus saw them as examples of ones who had Kingdom perspective. Being near to Jesus and being with each other mattered to them more than doing stuff for Jesus and excluding those who “might get in the way.” Highly valuing life and togetherness and the beauty of the now seem to matter to Jesus a lot.
It matters to my kids, too. Especially yesterday, when they saw Pop and Ammaw. Caleb had been up with me to see them before. Ella had come with Jen those two days that Jen came up before Mom woke from her coma. But Katey and Abby had not seen Ammaw and Pop for 9 weeks. They were a bit excited. And nothing would divert them from running to Pop’s arms.
Jen and I had coached them to give gentle hugs. And they did – at least as gentle as an excited, determined, full-speed child can give when they run to their grandfather. It was a sight to behold. Pop was overjoyed. You can see it in the picture. He is even smiling with teeth! He loves it when Erik’s kids and my kids are here.
Jen and the kids and I hit the road Sunday afternoon. We drove a little over halfway from Orlando Sunday, and then finished the trip yesterday. We arrived around 1:15 and took Dad to a late lunch. Then, we headed over to see Ammaw.
Caleb was a pro, having already seen her and been around her. Katey had seen pictures. Abby said, “Hey Ammaw. I love you.” Mom replied, “I love you.” Ella didn’t say much. She doesn’t talk.
Mom talked through her passy muir valve. Her voice has been getting better and stronger with it. She didn’t move much. Just seemed tired and uncomfortable. Then, the speech therapist came in.
She fed her some potatoes, some zucchini, and some thickened sweet tea. Mom chewed and swallowed it well, although much longer than you and I would have (if you eat zucchini). She seemed to appreciate just eating something. The kids looked on.
Katey struggled to watch after a bit. Her heart is so compassionate. She had trouble seeing Mom shrug in pain as she swallowed. She mustered up the courage to come back closer to the bed to watch and did something else that is very Katey-like. She got social.
“I am going to be a hospital girl, too,” Katey told the speech therapist.
Katey and I have what she calls “you and me time” from time to time. We try to have some each weekend right now, every weekend when I fly home. On one recent occasion, over hot chocolate at Starbucks, we were being silly and talking about what our dreams are. I asked her what she wanted to be when she got older. She said she wanted to be a nurse.
It will be interesting to see how what her Mommy does (she is an RN) and what all happens as a result of this accident influences the direction of each of our kids’ lives.
The younger two kids were getting restless. Ella needed to eat. So, Jen took Ella and Abby back to the parking garage to the van. Ella ate and Abby watched a DVD. Caleb and Katey stayed in the room while I worked Mom out. Erik had called me yesterday to tell me a few exercises he had done with Mom over the weekend. I tried to repeat them.
It continues to amaze me each time I have to help Mom do things she had done so easily before. We did wrist and elbow and knee extension and flexion. We lifted her arms and shoulders. She needed a good bit of help, but she seemed thankful for the stretching. I asked her if it hurt-hurt, or if it was just uncomfortable from the stretching.
“Uncomfortable from the stretching,” she replied.
I looked up with about two more exercises to go and realized what Katey was doing. She was over with Dad, who had been in his wheelchair resting, working him out. Repeating a lot of what I was saying to Mom, doing some of the same things. Of course, Dad followed Katey’s lead. But it was so cute to listen to her get focused and involved in it all. She was working him out hard, too!
We wrapped up the exercises and told Mom bye. Everyone told her they loved her. We washed our hands, headed out for a quick potty stop, and headed back to the parking garage to catch up with Jen and the younger girls. Overall, the kids seemed like they loved the time!
It’s all in how you see it – just a sick Ammaw or elated to have time with Ammaw, no matter her condition.
Speaking of all in how you see it, the Taylor family is and has been for some time very close to our family. Sheila called yesterday with the news of their first grandchild’s birth. Her name is Caroline. Justin, the proud daddy (Sheila’s oldest son), and his wife Jennifer had their first baby yesterday. The new grandparents were there with them, too. Ken, the new grandfather, texted this message to us all yesterday after they had confirmed the news of some serious medical issues with Caroline:
“Caroline is beautiful but has significant health issues. Surgery tomorrow. Sheila told Justin we are praying for a miracle. Justin replied that we already have our miracle.“
It’s all in how you see it.
May we all see life and togetherness and the beauty of the now the same way Jesus does. The same way those children did that came to Jesus. The same way my kids did when they saw Ammaw and Pop. The same way Justin did yesterday.
Thanks for praying. Thankful for all of you.