Monday, December 29, 2014

A New Invention

My children have spent their little lives in the company of two cousins, Brody (6) and Gavin (4).  My three and five year old boys are in love with them and consider them their best friends.  My sister and her family left for Denver six months ago to spend an extended period with a team of specialists for my nephew's myriad of health issues.  We kissed them goodbye, expecting to see them in three weeks.  But that wasn't to be.

The doctors unraveled Brody's case and started from scratch. They provided clarity, answers and a new regimen to keep him safe and growing.  In short, they were an answered prayer.  But one recommendation felt like a punch in the stomach.  They recommended that the family stay in Denver to avoid allergens that exacerbate my nephew's asthma.  And so they did.  They packed up their life to give their son a better one.

They visited for the first time this week and tears flowed down my cheeks when I saw those little boys that feel so much like my own.  My sons and I ran to them yelling like pack of crazed fans.  "BRODY!  GAVIN!  YOU ARE HERE!!  WE LOVE YOU!"  The boys (or the Pack as we call them when they are together) ran into the garage to begin taking out bikes, baseball tees, tennis rackets and anything else they could find to play together.

We spent every moment that we could with them until it was time for them to leave.  We bounced at the bounce house, went bowling and we opened Christmas presents together.  Every moment's joy was sharpened into focus as it always is when you know that it will end.  

When it came time for them to go, I kissed their cheeks and tried to hug them quickly so that they wouldn't see my tears. My sons gave them quick hugs, too, because they had already forgotten they would be going far away.  Or so I thought.

"Will you come up into my bunk bed and snuggle with me, Mommy?" my oldest asked as I closed the last book at bedtime.
"Sure, baby."  I said, grateful for the time with my growing boy.  
"Mommy," he began as he fluffed a pillow for me to lay on.  "I was thinking today about what I'm going to do when I grow up."
"Really?  Tell me about that."
"Well, I'm going to invent something.  I'm going to invent a machine, okay?  It's a machine that you just get in and then you push a button and then BOOM!  You are in Denver."
I started feeling a lump form in my throat.  "What a great idea!  Then you wouldn't have to fly or anything, right?"
"Right cuz that takes so long and it's so expensive.  This way, if we miss Brody and Gav, we'll just push a button and be right there to hang out and play."  His eyes drifted as he fell into thought.
"That sounds wonderful, love.  Until then, I promise we'll make it a point to go see them a lot, even if it's expensive.  We love them too much to let a silly thing like that get in they way," I said, trying to reassure him.
"I love you, Mommy."
"I love you, too.  More than you could ever imagine."

There is always a choice when we are faced with something difficult.  We can focus on the pain and the heartache or we can begin to think about how we can move forward and improve the circumstances.  Sometimes it isn't something we can do right away.  Sometimes it isn't even something we will ever do.  But having hope...that makes all the difference in the world.

What difficulties are you facing right now?  What do you hope for?

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