Sunday, January 21, 2007


The day I realized we weren't headed for Italy

There is a sweet little inspirational essay written by Emily Perl Kingsley that I read years ago. Years before I ever knew that I would need to read it...daily.

Then two years ago today Steven had a simple CT scan to look into some dizziness that he had been experiencing, and and two years ago today we stepped off of a plane in Holland.

There are certain little details of that day that I'll never forget. I was watching the "Nanny Jo" show on the night of the 19th, and a preview of the 11 o'clock news followed some commercials. The preview mentioned the sudden death of a local high school baseball player during practice. When Dale came home that night, he asked how Steven was feeling. I told Dale that Steven was fine. Dale then quietly said that he was going to take Steven to the doctors the next day. Dale NEVER takes the initiative in medical care...not for himself, and certainly not for the kids. I know that the news of the untimely death of the young baseball player was foremost in this decision.

Dale and Steven stopped by my classroom the on the morning of the 20th to get the checkbook. The pediatrician had ordered a CT scan and an EKG, and Dale needed a check to pay for these tests. After they left I told a co-worker about the dizziness, the visit to the doctor, and the tests to follow.

"I'm sure it's nothing," were my exact words. "It never is."

That night, at 6:45 I received the phone call. I was standing at the edge of the kitchen counter when I heard the doctors voice. She relayed that something was abnormal on the ct scan, and her office was going to schedule an MRI for the next day, Friday, or the following Monday. The urgency in her voice frightened me a little. The doctor then told me that I needed to call and get the earliest appointment possible with a neurosurgeon in St. Pete. I innocently asked if it mattered if we chose a "neurologist" closer to home. I remember the doctor correcting me, and I walked into my bedroom before I repeated, "Neurosurgeon?"

That call welcomed us to Holland.

Holland hasn't been all bad, but it certainly hasn't been an easy two years. It still gets to me that we'll be in Holland forever...FOREVER! The roads are bumpy, and there's a lot of tragedy in Holland. There are no guarentees here, and innocence is lost.

But there is also a special sweetness to the air here that Italy doesn't have. Time is more precious. Smiles are more frequent, and kisses are handed out more frequently. There is a clarity and vividness to life here that you can never have in Italy. Faith is big here. Everyone is so brave in ways that they could never be in Italy, and nobody whines or whimpers in Holland.

And most importantly, Steven is happy in Holland.


diary of a genetic defect said...

hope keeps us alive

Heather said...

Wow, that gave me chills. Very well written.


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