Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Week

Tonight is Friday.

This week, I have felt like a cloth that a needle's driven into again and again.

Peter died.

A few days later, Silas started having body aches -- head and hip, sharp and tearful.  Then fevers began.  He missed school, and again, and again, then the whole final week.

We planned the service.

The doctor sent us for a Lyme disease test -- though not a terribly reliable test -- because I'd found a tick on his neck two weeks ago that had been there for days, blended into his freckles.  We all dragged to the lab, Silas in stroller, Maeve strapped to my chest, Eden walking, a perpetual good sport.

The fevers continued.  He moaned, whined, cried all day every day.  His head hurt, his eye, his hips.

In the evenings, I sat around my parents' kitchen table with my mom and dad, brothers and sisters telling stories and laughing harder than I have in a long time.

We didn't sleep, the nights punctuated over and over with crying, fevers, nursing Maeve.

Lyme came back negative.  Our basement flooded with puddles of standing water, a scrim of mud residue covering the floor, 10 gallons of water sucked out of the wool carpet and it still too wet and heavy to move.  (I fell in love with wet dry vacs).

Silas kept crying.  I got worried.

We held Peter's service in bright colors with words of hope.  Light shone in.

Ben and Silas went to the ER for blood work -- for 7 hours -- where the doctors missed his vein repeatedly and finally jammed in a huge needle so that his arm aches today.

This morning when he woke up, half of his face had limited movement: a crooked smile, an eye that won't blink all the way, lips that can't hold in all the water when he drinks.  A changed face.  God, please, no.

I researched:  Bell's Palsy.   "Most people recover spontaneously and achieve near-normal to normal functions." The doctor declared it Lyme.  Silas threw up, and started antibiotics.

Living at my parents' house, we were surrounded -- mom and dad, sister, brother and sister-in-law, cousins, brother, sister-in-law.  People started praying.

We showed Silas his face in the mirror and he laughed at his crooked face, and the harder he laughed the more crooked it was, and the harder he laughed.  Ben and I started laughing, too.

Last night, we celebrated my sister's birthday over lobsters, summer corn, and a camp fire.  For the first time in a week, Silas's fever didn't rise after the tylenol wore off, and he played.

For the first time in a week, we slept.  Silas didn't have a fever all night and is fever-free this morning.  His face sags on one side and his blinks are slow, but he ate grits and eggs for breakfast.

The week began dark and heavy, death at the table, and with each day, my need increased, but slowly, at the same time, the sentence was completed:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. 

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