Archive for November, 2008

November 20, 2008





These photos are from Tuesday.  They are just cute pictures of the girls, they don't have much to do with this post.  Tuesday we played and laughed and sang songs and danced, just like most other days around here.  And they threw fits and made messes too, just like most other days. 

    Wednesday I spent the day at Children's Medical Center in Dallas as a part of their project of photographing a day in the life of their hospital.  Wednesday was amazing.  I don't have photos from Wednesday yet and I don't really have the right words for Wednesday either.  But the day was filled with a very real sense of grace and peace. I can not explain it exactly, but I did not feel overwhelmed with grief.  And even in thinking about how the day might go beforehand, for some reason I did not anticipate being incredibly sad.  It was a hard day, a very busy day.  I met Ella, a two year old with Leukemia who had a birthday party in her room last week.  And Kayla a three year old recovering from major surgery.  And Smiley and five year old with cerebral palsy who got a brand new bicycle.
    I met Nicholas, a nine month old with downs syndrome who was having his breathing tube taken out.  When I walked in to the room, the nurse said his mother didn't speak any english, and there was no translator available, but I could try and get her to sign the consent form if I wanted.  Maria was asleep in a rocking chair by the window, she startled as I walked over and I, in my very, very broken spanish tried to explain what we were doing and asked her permission to photograph her baby boy.  I told her he was beautiful and he was, "Si, guapo" she said and I said, "Si, muy guapo."  We both stared for a minute at her precious Nicholas, I snapped a few shots and then the doctor and nurses came in to remove the tube.  And as I stood in the room taking photos of the four nurses and one doctor huddled around his tiny little body, holding various limbs and tubes while they extibated him, I noticed his mother standing off to the side by herself quietly crying.  Nobody said a word to her before or during the procedure and I thought about how awful it must be to watch something like that happen to your baby and not know exactly what was going on. I put my camera down and walked over to where she was and grabbed her hand, she squeezed mine and we both cried.  She mumbled "Gracias" and so did I.  Nicholas was free of his breathing tube and stable when I left.
    As I was packing up to leave for the day, they got a call from the ER, there were two head traumas and I could cover one if I wanted to.  I got my gear back out and headed downstairs.  She was two.  She had fallen off of the back of a truck and one side of her face was badly scraped, she was asleep when I got there and her mother sat crying by her side.  My hospital contact paged a translator so that we could get permission for photos.  The room was quiet and dark and as I snuck in and said hello I noticed there was a nurse in the room filling out some paperwork.  I walked over to the mother and asked what her name was, another Maria, and the baby was Iselle.  They both had forever long eyelashes that curled perfectly and full pink lips that turned up at the corners.  I took a couple of photos as Maria placed her hand on Iselle's sleeping little head and stroked her soft brown hair.  The nurse walked out without a word and I asked if I could pray.  Maria said yes and the translator, just in time, joined us for a minute of asking God's hand to heal Iselle and God's peace to come for Maria.  Gracias was mumbled again before they left.  Iselle was pronounced stable and Maria's brother arrived to hold her hand as they walked to their next room. 

    I went back upstairs to pack up again and head home to my kids, humbled to have been a part of this day with these families and to have been involved in this project.  Mostly, I was grateful for the opportunity to see God's grace.  I still do not have adequate words to describe what I felt and feel.  But Wednesday I did not leave completely overwhelmed with sadness, I left knowing that He is here, He is there, in all of us, in all of them, in our circumstances and theirs.  I felt His presence, His love and peace, and I pray that I passed a little on, but I feel like I left with more of it than I came in with.  Amazing.  Grace.  

November 4, 2008


Today I voted, hope you did too.  It's kind of a big deal.  I'm only a little embarrassed to say this is the first time I've voted.  It was actually less of a big deal than I thought it would be, no big lines or anything, no pregnant chads.  I was slightly amused and a little worried about the guy behind me who, I am not kidding you, had to look at his license to check what letter his last name started with before he got in line.   Other than that it was not super exciting.   I picked up the boys from school right afterwards and upon entering the van, Gabe said "Mom, did you vote?  Today's election day."  I said yes and Griffen said "Well I hope you voted for John McCain. He's a war hero.  He would be good at protecting our country."  I asked what else he knew about the election and he said "Well I know Obama hasn't ever gone to war, but he went to law school.  I just think he doesn't have the experience a president needs."  Before I had a chance to respond Gabe did. "Well, I don't like fighting, I like A-Rock Obama.  And he's a good choice, that's who I choosed."  So apparently they voted at school today, and either they are very smart boys who care about politics and our country, or Griffen's teacher is a Republican and Gabe's is a Dem.   

In other news, we raked our yard today.  It went something like this:  Lots of raking by Emma with a little help from me and the other three.  And then lots of throwing and jumping and laughing.  In then end the leaves are just redistributed across our yard in a somewhat different pattern.  The sun went down before we had a chance to bag them.  Oh well, we had tons of fun…

and because Griff was in a picture taking mood tonight

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