"Making the decision to have a child -- it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." --Elizabeth Stone
I've always thought that quote was a bit over-used and cliche. That is, until last Saturday when I received a phone call telling me Jordan had an infection in her leg. It was her mission president who called -- and in case you don't already know, a call from the mission president is never good news. When I realized who was on the other end of the phone, I took a deep breath and braced myself.
It was all a bit confusing at first: She'd been to a doctor. She was seeing another doctor. They'd call me on Sunday and update me.
I instantly felt uneasy, sick to my stomach. But I did my best to push my fears aside. I'd wait to hear good news.
Sunday morning I woke up early. France is seven hours ahead of us, so I figured I'd hear something early. My anxiety was increasing as the minutes ticked by, so I started straightening up, putting dinner in the crockpot, anything to keep my mind from resting solely upon the what-ifs of Jordan's situation. By 11 AM my time, I decided I'd have to call (or run screaming into the street).
Guys, they were still trying to get her admitted to a hospital -- essentially begging for IV antibiotics. Meanwhile, her leg is now an angry red from her toes to the top of her thigh. The mission president and nurse were working different avenues to help her. There was even talk of putting her on a fast train to Paris. My first instinct was the grab my purse and head to the airport. But time wasn't on anyone's side. She needed attention quickly. Not in five hours. Or twenty hours. Also, I don't speak a lick of French. So, instead of doing anything, I relayed the information to Sterling and cried in my bathroom.
And I prayed. I prayed fiercely. I prayed that the infection would slow. That the doctors would use the right medications. That her body would be healed. And my heart, the one that was now in a hospital in France? It hurt.
The good news is that the antibiotics seem to be working. Her biggest problem right now is an intense case of boredom and the hospital's reticence to use the air conditioner. Word is that she may be released on Thursday -- that's almost FIVE days in the hospital. And all the while, I've been a world away, biting my fingernails, working myself towards an ulcer.
This part of my heart walking about, unprotected, is my hardest part of being a parent. I want to take all of my hearts, wrap them in bubble wrap, and lock them in a room upstairs -- taking them out only when the weather is perfect, the alarm is engaged, and I've fully got my wits about me. But those darn hearts won't be contained. Already they are wandering off into the world, seeing Broadway plays, walking home after dark, mucking about in piles of germs. I'm not exactly sure what to do about this.
I suppose there is nothing to be done but to train my hearts towards love and away from fear and bitterness. To truly observe the joy that they bring me. To invest in a good colorist (many gray hairs this week). And to close my eyes and hold on tight.