Yesterday though, he had a lot of blood in his right ear. We cleaned it, and more came, and some more. I think I irrigated that ear with over 10 ml of an alcohol/vinegar rinse (that's about 2 teaspoons). We're pretty sure his eardrum ruptured, which in itself is not a great thing. BUT it also means that the pain/pressure from behind the ear is now gone, and that makes breathing, swallowing, just living, much more comfortable.
And guess what? His oxygen needs are dropping. We "only" needed 7 1/2 liters at his highest yesterday, so it's progress. Today he's at three, but he's still pretty tired. We'll see what happens when he's fully awake.
I went to church today at the hospital. As I looked around, I marveled again at the diversity there. There were those in suits with their wives in dresses. There was hospital staff in scrubs. There were a few patients in hospital gowns while others were in casual clothes or even sweats. But we all came together to take the Sacrament and renew our covenants.
A few weeks ago, I was talking with someone whose son had been involved in a horrific accident where all the bones in his foot were crushed. It's hard, really hard to deal something like that. She was quick to point out the blessings. He gets to keep his foot, he'll walk and even run again. Someday, this will all be a painful, but distant, memory. And those are good things, really, they are. And I do think we need to be very aware of and grateful for our blessings.
BUT there's also the flip side of things. This is NOT the way this family dreamed they'd spend their summer. It hurts, badly. And as we spoke and I told her that as wonderful as all the blessings are, it was also okay to not be okay with things, that our Savior sorrowed for our pains and our problems with and for us, and if He sorrowed, it was obviously okay for us to be sad, too.
As I was relating this to my family, Jonathan brought up that we're actually commanded to grieve. But how can we bear each other's burdens if we don't know they exist? If we always put on the happy face and claim everything is fine (my kids say "fine" means "freaked out, insecure, neurotic, and emotional") how can anyone help?
And perhaps even worse, when we look around and everyone else does seem to have it all together, we feel even more alone than before.
That is not the way this life is supposed to go. It's important not to wallow in despair all the time, but it's also important to acknowledge that sometimes we don't understand why things are happening, and even though we have great faith that things will work out in the end (whenever that happens to come), what's happening now is not the way we thought things would be going. And when you feel alone, like nobody else knows or understands, it's even harder to see your way out of the darkness.
I have been to more funerals and viewings for children in the past six years than I thought I'd attend in my life. I've made friends at the hospital and communicated online with people I'll never meet, giving and also drawing strength. There is strength in numbers, there is unity and peace in knowing that you're not alone.
Mourning and being sad are not evidence of a lack of faith. Rather they are evidence of great love. Christ mourned over Jerusalem and the destruction that was coming, He mourned with Mary and Martha, and did this knowing he was going to be restoring Lazerus to them. If we didn't love, we wouldn't grieve.