Monday, January 10, 2011

Home Fires

It has been cold this winter. Below freezing cold for days on end, with a respite of 35 degrees thrown in here and there. It has been lovely to keep a fire burning in the wood stove in order to keep the house in the 70 degree range, and know that my electric bill won't suffer because of it. I can usually start a new fire in the morning with the embers left from the night before, using the previous day's junk mail as tinder.

Since we were out all day, and there was no fire, the stove was cold and dead tonight. I tried unsuccessfully for at least an hour to get one started, but it would only smolder and smoke. Finally JP did his thing, and it is roaring again...but not in time for me to bask in the warmth before climbing into my cold bed.

Instead, I am warming my brain by munching Godiva dark chocolate in tiny bites, and feeling warmth in my heart thinking of the wonderful people at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh that we encountered today.

J returned to see her Rheumatologist this afternoon for joint injections in her knees. She was dreading this procedure, which is the common reaction when you inform someone that they are going to have needles stuck in their knees. The procedure was planned down to the last dot on the consent form. The nurses gave J a stuffed puppy to hug during the injections. The Music Therapist had even been scheduled to help with diversion. She sang songs with J, including "Stinky, Stinky Diaper Change" (sung to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"), "Jimmy Picks Boogers" (sung to the tune of "Jimmy Cracked Corn"), and an original composition about our dog and cats.

It is incredibly difficult to watch your child suffering and be unable to help. I am reminded often these days of my brother and sister-in-law, who spent many months in and out of the Children's Hospital several years ago when my nephew was ill. I asked my brother once, "How do you do it? How do you take him to all of these appointments and know that they won't all be pleasant, that he will still have a terminal illness? How do you go on?" He told me "I just do it. He's my son, and I do what I have to do for him."

No child should have to experience what so many of the patients at Children's do. No parent should have to watch their child suffer. But it happens. Life is not fair, as I tell my girls so often. The wonderful thing is that there are those special people who make the hard things just a little easier, with a stuffed toy, a silly song, a joke or even a hug. I feel extremely lucky that our situation is one of the better ones that walk through those doors in Pittsburgh, and I admire my brother and sister-in-law even more for their walk, which was incredibly more painful than ours.

So, with the powers of dark chocolate working their magic on my brain, and the cockles of my heart glowing, I will go warm my toes by the fire before dashing off to bed.


Kimberly Long Cockroft said...

So glad the day was marked by such kindness!

Jessica said...

thanks for sharing - that is really difficult and our thoughts are with you all. xo