Times When You Can’t Find the Right Words

I’ve been blogging a little less (which isn’t saying a lot, as I’m far from a daily blogger), because I just can’t find the right words.

This isn’t anything terribly unique for a blogger, as you all are probably nodding your heads in agreement as you read this.

I can’t find the right words as I am learning about the journey that friends of mine are going through as I write – a major medical diagnosis for their beautiful two year old son that has been followed by multiple surgeries. My heart aches for them as it is one of parenting’s worst nightmares come true. I also am in awe of their amazing strength, faith, and love as they honestly share their story and celebrate the little victories with their son. Even in some of their most difficult days, they seem to be able to notice some good moments the keep them uplifted. It is inspiring.

On their own Caring Bridge journal, they say the comments and support from their virtual community is helping to look to the light. I feel a little helpless, thinking are my prayers, thoughts, and comments enough? How else can I give them a long-distance hug across several states?

This isn’t the first time someone I’ve cared about has faced a major medical condition with a child before. My nephew was diagnosed with a heart defect on the day he was born. It was a huge shock to us all then, and I can clearly remember being in the room when the doctor delivered the news. Horrible. Unexpected. Fear. Uncertainty. Prayers. At the time, I didn’t feel equipped with the right words, just as I feel now.

Fortunately, my sister and brother-in-law were supported by an incredible medical team and a local support group for parents of children with heart defects.  These parents understood all too well what my sister and brother in law were going through.  I was happy she had that outlet, knowing they would provide words of support and comfort that I could not based on my own life experience.

There’s no handbook for parents for handling such things. Being a parent is a scary business.

Before and after my nephew’s heart surgery (which now seems like a distant memory, as he is now a healthy, goofy, and energetic almost 3 year old), I did what I could to show my love and support in the most basic ways – making or bringing meals, watching my three-year old nephew, just listening, and fervently praying.

In times of crisis it all seems to come back to the basics of love. Doing our best to act out of love and  simply “be present” in whatever way we can be.

I’m inclined to believe that the right words don’t matter so much because God senses our innermost thoughts and hears our prayers.

In the spirit of not being able to find the right words, I’m going to close this post with a petition for prayer or kind thoughts (whatever your beliefs may be) for my friend’s son and for all families and individuals battling an illness.  Let us also pray for all caregivers, medical professionals, and supporters who care for the sick and their families. May our actions, thoughts, and prayers help wrap patients and their families up in one huge, comforting hug.

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Squinting to see the Light

Our Christmas Tree with white lights 2012

Our Christmas Tree 2012

When I put the lights on our Christmas tree every year, I like to use what I call the “squint test.”  This means that I step back from the tree and squint my eyes once the lights are on to see if there are many points of white light to make our tree shiny and beautiful.

In the wake of yesterday’s shooting massacre, I find myself squinting to see the light again during this holiday season.  My heart aches with prayers for heaven’s newest angels, for their loved ones left behind, for all parents, and for everyone searching for answers in such a violent year full of too many tragedies.  Is it possible to squint real hard to see the light and have some hope?

Life is precious and delicate – a concept put beautifully by Little Miss Wordy in her post yesterday.   I had some rough parenting moments with my 3 year old yesterday, but I quickly got over it when I heard the news.  I feel so blessed as I hugged my children extra hard last night.

In reading friend’s posts on Facebook, everyone expressed their sorrow, pain, fear, sympathy, and love. It’s a scary world out there, and every day is so precious.  I thought this quote from Mr. Rogers helps us look for the light –

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things on the news, my mother would say, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

Praying for extra helpers to shine love & light….

– Cathy (Mama O.)