I knew this one was different.
I’ve seen viruses and fevers before. Only a few months ago, in fact. But this one. This one took over my little one’s body and racked her with cramps and chills; with a forehead and a back burning like fire. With red eyes and slow responses she barely had the strength to tell me when she was about to vomit. Again. I watched her curl into herself, shivering with fever and aching and I knew we had to go.
They were kind, there. They cleaned her up after she got sick again in the car and talked to her softly so as not to hurt her head. They let us hold her while they checked her vitals and administered a medication that would stop the retching- the back arching spasms that were painful and tiresome.
We brought her back home and snuggled her close and prayed with a fire of our own to quell the sickness. If there was something we could have bought- even if it would have brought right back into the debt we are climbing out of- damn if we wouldn’t do it. There is nothing like sickness in a child to birth their hearts all over again inside of your own. There is nothing you wouldn’t do to bring them to wellness- to bring them to wholeness- to bring them, well, home. But you know the fever has to pass and before it does, it often gets worse before it gets better.
She looked up from the couch and whispered, “Make it stop, Mama.”
And part of me swelled with purpose- she thinks I have power to reign in illness. She looks to me for hope. And part of me broke, knowing there was nothing I could do to ease the pain. In order to get to the other side- in order to be whole, to be home- she needed to endure this trial.
And as my heart broke for her, with her, I heard someone else’s heart break.
The one who knows every hair on my head. Every thought before I think it. The one who reads the desires on my heart. The one who holds me fiercely, who loves me beyond anything I could ever hope or dream.
And for just one brief second, I could accept it. I may never understand it completely- why people have to say goodbye to their babies before them. Why there are some sicknesses called cancer. But I felt in that moment that I locked eyes with my own grieving, sick child, the One who is also grieving, locking eyes on the ones He loves. He will stop at nothing to bring comfort, peace. He is crying, quaking with sadness and is waiting for the worst to pass so that they can be whole- so He could take them home. He loves like a Father, because He is one. Mine and Yours.
Rest in that tonight. I am.