Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Simple Faith of a Child

The last several weeks have not been easy to say the least. The ups and downs of transplant, the transplant itself, and then the constant recovering process. In the midst of this harrowing, crazy, roller coaster ride you have moments that will never leave your mind. They make such an impression on you that they will be forever etched in my mind. The most tender part of my heart though are Olivia's friends. To see them support her, stand with her and continuing to love her through this is more than my heart can take at times.

I could write on and on about all those precious kids/teenagers. Notes after note. Coming to the hospital. Some of them scared to see her and yet do it anyway. Some of the cards and notes that have been encouraging and loving. But, one those moments was with her friend Tyler.

Most of her friends really have no idea how hard this is for Olivia. When you see her, most of the time, she is so full of life and pushing through so much but kids do not really see all that. When they see it for the first time, Olivia with all her tubes and not herself, it can be quite overwhelming. To be honest, some of my friends had a hard time. But Tyler gets it. He understand the depth and magnitude of what she is walking through.

Ty has a genetic disease called Mitochondrial disease. Now before you ask, I have no idea the ins and outs of the disease I just know at times poor Ty is tortured with pain and really has no relief. He also spends those times in ICU and personally, I don't know how they do that. My experience there is hopefully my last. In my opinion, what he goes through is so much harder than anything we have to endure. But Ty thinks Olivia has to struggle more and Olivia thinks Tyler has to struggle more. All in all, they both struggle about the same I think.

That day and most of that night before Ty came, everyone was extremely concerned. It seemed that not only was Olivia sick but her fight had gone out of her. She was so frail and so weak. We kept talking about how the second surgery had taken all the fight out of her. Everyone was worried. The conversation was worrisome because we did not think she could handle anything else. When Ty wanted to come I asked Olivia and she said she did not want to see him. Then I asked her , "Can he stay for a minute…just one minute? " and she said "yes". I was so relieved because I knew he just needed to see her and she really needed something. Anything to get her out of that place she was in.

Tyler has been very concerned about Olivia. She is never far from his thoughts. But the moment that won my heart was seeing him with Olivia. His mom brought him up here because he had to see her. He had to know she was okay. But, when he walked into PICU, he wasn't sad, he wasn't scared (not sure if he was on the inside though but if he was he did not let it show) he was just there. He pulled the chair up by her bed and though Olivia could not really talk or do much at all, he just sat by her bed. For hours they sat there together, in silence, watching mind numbing television. He was not in a hurry to leave. He was not expecting anything from her, he just understood. He understood what she was going through and wanted to be there for her. It was such a precious sight. In my Mom's eyes I don't think anyone had given her that much comfort before. They just have an understanding that no one else can relate too. They have both struggled to survive. They push through more than most kids (or even adults) could ever even think about and the maturity they have in understanding life is way beyond their years. Though, both of them could be angry, upset and bitter they are precious, full of life and live in the moment to make the best of each one they have. As he sat there she knew he understood more than anyone.

He left for a minute to go get some dinner and while he was gone Olivia started getting a bit better. He just smiled. He knew. Something about that time together helped her get over the moment and push back through. Then, he just as quietly went back to the room and just "sat" again. There are times we talk about people that are Angels to us. At that time, I know Tyler was Olivia's guardian Angel with skin on. By the next day she was on her way back to a regular room.

God has the ability to use us all in so many ways. I was so thankful for Tyler that night. He had some understanding that he needed to be here. Maybe he heard God, maybe it was just a "feeling" but whatever it was to him, I know for me….God sent him to help my little girl get stronger and get her fight back and I will never ever forget that moment. Through my eyes I may have felt God needed to do this or that..but, through Tyler's eyes…he knew exactly what he needed to do and followed through.

Kim and I are very fortunate to have these awesome kids. Kim has three others and we are constantly challenged with our walk with God by their simple faith that speaks volumes.

Thanks Ty. Ms. Barb loves you so much.
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