I'm excited for my youngest, Z-man. He's been potty-trained now for two years, but the nights haven't all been dry. Yet, in the last couple of weeks, the dry nights have moved into the majority. My writing brought me a few pennies, so the last time we were out running errands, we stopped into one of those box stores.
This was during the tax-free weekend, so all kinds of stuff was placed for prominent display. One of those items were the draw-string twin sheet sets that you buy for kids going to camp or college. They were on sale. We didn't NEED any sheets, mind you. The ones we have are fine, but they are old.
I looked down at Z-man and told him how proud I was of him that he wasn't wetting the bed any more (mostly) and that I thought he deserved to have brand new sheets. He was thrilled and picked out a bright apple-green color to have on his bed.
That night, we put his sheets on and tossed the others in the wash. His brother had also gotten a set. They were both quite proud of their selections and couldn't wait to hop into bed.
Would you believe it? Those sheets are worth their weight in gold. Z-man has something HE chose, HE picked out and HE wants to keep nicely on HIS bed. So far, the magic sheets have done their work nicely. All dry nights . . . One accident happened en route to the restroom, but the green sheets? Dry as a bone. Thank you very much!
So, why the mix of emotions?
Because tonight, there is a family making arrangements to have their their son released from the hospital to come home. There aren't any magic sheets for this young man. The cancer has done its worst, and the end looms. Hospice has been called, and prayers are being said. They've taken their last vacation.
These parents who have kissed the boo-boos and soothed the hurts are now facing an unimaginable loss, but there is no time to process all of that. For now, they must keep track of pain meds, care schedules and the endless telephone calls. They will not sleep much during the next while. Someone will always need to be awake. The one that should be resting likely won't be able to. They will make arrangements that no parent ever dreams of making.
They aren't just running out of time, they are losing time they thought they had. . . The holidays yet to come . . . The milestones not yet met. In an almost cruel twist, weddings, births, deaths, graduations, and new friendships will all continue to occur . . . time will march on . . . oblivious to this crushing blow.
For now, I live in a world where green sheets can work magic. But I have also known the sorrow that comes when nothing I could do would fix it. I know what it is to go on living when one I love did not . . . and I grieve for this mother and this father and the task that is before them.
Tonight, I'll tuck Z-man into his still-new green sheets, and I'll pray for this family as they settle in for the night. I'll be thankful that when these times come I know there IS comfort and peace because the Potter holds me firmly within His skilled hands.
Then shalt thou say in thine heart,
Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children,
and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro?
and who hath brought up these?
Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?
Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles,
and set up my standard to the people:
and they shall bring thy sons in their arms,
and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers:
they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth,
and lick up the dust of thy feet;
and thou shalt know that I am the LORD:
for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.