It has been a very nice, relaxing two weeks since we were last in the hospital as patients. Though this will hopefully only be a day trip (Adam is on the afternoon list, so depending on the time he goes in and the time he is ready to go home we may have to spend the night, but we are hoping to avoid that) it has been such a complete break from all things medical that I find it a shock to be packing the bag again, to be making contingency plans again, to be preparing for surgery again.
The irony is not lost on me that the Lenten time is a period of penitence, of remembering our Lord's suffering and of being mindful of that which takes hold of our hearts on earth. I began the usual process of thinking about what to give up, and then realised that just the act of getting in the car tomorrow at 10:45am will be my Lenten observation. I don't want to go back, I don't want to send Adam back into theatre, I don't want to give up another whole day of my life. MY life. I like things the way they are, I like normal and I like boring.
One of the most common phrases we will hear over the next six weeks has to do with denying yourself and taking up your cross to follow God. Last year Lent began with Agnes' arrival, and the denial of self--and particularly sleep!--that accompanies the first six weeks of a new baby's life brought the meaning of Lent to my heart in a deeper way. Now this year Lent is beginning with another, different celebration of life: joy that Adam has finished the first part of his treatment, gratefulness that he has done so well so far, and steadfast, resolute and dogged willpower to begin the next two years of our life's journey.
I am no saint--I really want to be done with all of this!! But I am humbled and blessed to walk alongside Adam who perseveres without complaint, and the doctors who continue to support and treat my son, and our many friends who carry on with us gladly.
Happy Lent, if that's not too paradoxical a thing to say.