The Difference of a Year

Sunday, December 13, 2009 6 Comments A+ a-

We celebrated my niece, Elliana’s, birthday last night. Has it really been a year?!

Tomorrow is her actual birthday, but one year ago, on this Sunday, we’d gone home after welcoming Miss Elliana to this world. I remember the frantic call from Christine, saying her water had broken. I remember taking my time getting Devyn and Hudson ready and out the door; stopping to kiss my husband good-bye as he headed out the door for another snow shift. I remember driving on icy, snowy roads with the intention of dropping my children off at my aunt’s house before heading over to the hospital. I remember the frantic call from Courtney, asking if I was on my way to the hospital NOW, and I wondered at the rush. (Seriously, it was her first child; we were going to be waiting for hours. Um, no, not really because she was already at 9 ½ cm when they got there. ) I remember the quick change of plans as I turned our van around and headed to the hospital instead. There was a Broncos game in the waiting room, a quick visit once Christine had gotten her epidural to slow-her-labor-the-heck-down, pizza was ordered, aunt showed up and took the kids, the reports on progress, then pushing, then the news of emergency c-section, and then the much-awaited arrival of Elliana Faith. Wow! A year. It flew so fast!

I find myself in much contemplation this December; we’ve had numerous conversations as a family as we reminiscence about this time last year. A lot of conversations beginning with “Do you remember…” or “At this time last year…” I’m sure its to be expected after the December we had last year. Honestly? I get so very tired just thinking about it, but as stressful and overwhelming and heartbreaking as last December was, I can say with absolute confidence that we see God’s providential hand in every detail during that time.

Elliana arrived one week before Courtney’s wedding, thus allowing Christine to be at the wedding. Chris wasn’t able to sing the song that Courtney had asked her to sing and she had to sit in a chair up at the front of the church, but she was there to witness Jeremy and Courtney’s vows. And if she, Caleb, and their one-week-old baby had to leave the reception early, then so be it. A sister didn’t miss the wedding!

Only three days after Courtney and Jeremy said their “I do’s”, Mom’s paralysis moved even further up her body and she was forced to go to the emergency room on Christmas Eve. None of us imagined sitting in the hallway outside her hospital room as the neurologist consulted with her on Christmas Eve! It seemed like a bad movie. But again, God’s timing is everything. Courtney and Jeremy were set to leave the day after Christmas to go to Hawaii for their honeymoon and were able to spend some time with Mom in the hospital before they left. They weren’t ideal circumstances, but after a spinal tap, the neurologist was finally able to confirm that Mom had Guillian-Barre and we finally had answers!

Then just five days after that, our little girl, Reagan Jacqueline, arrived two weeks early! In the same hospital where Mom was still receiving treatments for Guillian-Barre. I know Mom was up the whole night I was in labor, crying because she couldn’t be there to witness Reagan’s arrival. I can’t imagine how much it must’ve hurt her to know that just one floor below where she was staying, her girl was giving birth. Yet, months later, we look back at that time and know God’s had timed everything just so. If Reagan had arrived anywhere close to her due date (or after as her siblings were prone to do), Mom would’ve already been transferred to the rehab hospital and would not have met her newest granddaughter until she was weeks old. As it was, her nurses heard her weeping and arranged to wheel Mom down one floor into my delivery room and meet Reagan as she was just hours old. This picture means everything to me.
We often joke that the hospital should’ve given us a family discount as we had three family members in there within a two-week time frame. Oh, we can laugh and joke about it now. It’s almost comical how each circumstance piled on top of the other until none of us thought we could stand it any longer. I said almost. But our God is good. And gracious. And loving. And purposeful. He did not give us anything more than we could handle and it has made us, all of us, that much more appreciative of this Christmas season. We have all found ourselves slightly weepy at times as we reflect on the difference of last December and this one. We feel as though we walked through the fire and came out stronger on the other side.

A year has made all the difference between entitled and grateful.

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

6 comments

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Christine
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9:11 AM delete

Beautiful post Jenn. Isn't God amazing, how what seems to be a tiny detail is actually his hand working everything out in his perfect timing?!

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Dareth
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3:28 PM delete

What a beautifully written post. And so encouraging as it feels like I may be having "one of those Decembers"...

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Anonymous
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4:27 PM delete

wow jenn, that was so good! You made me cry! Last year was really rough and good all at the same time! And to read this and look back on it brought back memories of it all!
Alli

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Amy...
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9:23 PM delete

Love this post, Jenn....love YOU:)

Amy

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Katie
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3:42 PM delete

Great post, and an amazing picture. Brought tears to my eyes...

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Anonymous
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8:56 AM delete

Awesome post my friend, awesome!! The pic of you and Becky at the hospital ALWAYS brings tears to my eyes!! You have an AMAZING gift of the written word Jenn:) Love you!!

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